Maine’s unique terroir
Grapes can, and are, grown all across the world in latitudes much further north, and south than Lincolnville, Maine. But can they be cultivated well? Can you produce great fruit consistently with the right balance for making great wine? Despite Maine’s unique terroir, we believe the answer to those questions is, yes.
Cellardoor Winery, nestled in a valley in between Cameron and Levenseller Mountains in Lincolnville, Maine, is about four miles inland from Penobscot Bay. Our 5000 vines of North Ameican cold-hardy hybrids, planted on 10-12″ of good fertile topsoil which turns to hard-pan clay, are surrounded by a forest with an active wildlife population. Netting is essential to protect our ripening fruit from being consumed by everything from moose and deer to gophers and songbirds. Animals and humans alike make the most of the short growing season in Maine. The challenge of growing grapes in Maine is also what makes our vineyard unique, and we believe the spirit of meeting those challenges head on and overcoming them, is present in every glass poured.
At Cellardoor there’s a sign that hangs above our door that says, “Transcend Circumstances. Sense possibility.” And that’s what we do. Not only do we want to set the bar for what quality and craftsmanship looks like from a New England vineyard and winery, but we also want every bottle to represent our absolute best, and every year we strive to beat our best.
From grape to glass
In 2008, when we started replanting the vineyard, we turned to the University of Minnesota, one of the top wine grape research programs in the United States that specialize in high-quality, cold-hardy, and disease-resistant grape varietals.
Today, we grow three varietals of U of M hybrids: Marquette, our only red and our oldest vines which are essential to our sparkling rose’ Vendange, and whites, Frontenac Blanc and Frontenac Gris. We also grow L’Acadie Blanc, another white varietal, developed in Ontario and considered the premier grape of Nova Scotia.
The vines on our 30 miles of trellis are cane trained, which is also known as Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP). We utilize double trunk training for vine longevity and increased options for renewal growth each season and aim to produce 3 tons of fruit per acre.
In 2012, we were able to harvest the first fruit from our vineyard, which yielded 4.5 tons of grapes and became Vendange, a sparkling rosé, and our very first Estate-grown wine. The following year, in 2013, we produced 6.85 tons of grapes and were able to produce both a sparkling rosé and a sparkling white, a Blanc de Blancs.