Philosophy

As New England’s premier winery destination, our winemaking philosophy is simple: make wines we are proud of and guests enjoy.

Daring to be different

To do so, we must dare to be different. In an industry that clings to tradition and conformity, at Cellardoor we don’t fear change—we embrace it. Whether by incorporating new production technologies, planting a newly developed cold-hardy grapevine, or crafting an unusual blend, we are comfortable living on the edge of the wine world—both figuratively and literally.

Quality Fruit

With that in mind, we source grapes from vineyards in California, Washington, New York, and even right from our own backyard. Be it from our own vineyard or those that we source from, all of the grapes that go into our wines are hand-picked and thoughtfully guided through every step of the winemaking process by some of the most hard working, dedicated people in the industry.

State of the art Winery

Every bottle that dons our historic hobo symbol is produced in a state-of-the-art winemaking facility in Lincolnville, Maine. From our custom sloped tanks, advanced lab-ware, pneumatic press, gentle pumps, and a portable steam generator we use to sanitize instead of harsh cleaning chemicals, we make every effort to improve wine quality and reduce our impact on the environment. Since all water used in our facility is from our property’s own natural mountain spring, we were the first in the state to implement an innovative water filtration system that allows us to sustainably return clean water back to the ground supply. Even the winemaking facility itself is built into a mountain hillside to help regulate temperature and humidity in our barrel aging rooms.

Crafting Great Wines

My late mentor, and Washington state wine pioneer Stan Clarke, once argued that a winemaker’s artistry and technique has a far greater impact on wine quality than the highly marketed concept of ‘terroir.’ That was a message I took to heart and fits perfectly with the artistic, boutique approach we apply to our winemaking at Cellardoor. In fact, having the freedom to work with multiple vineyards from all over the country ultimately gives us the opportunity to craft great wines that are both distinctly Maine-made and uniquely American.

Aaron Peet, Winemaker

Wine in Maine

Cellardoor is on the cutting edge of the wine world and with that comes trials and tribulations, but with hard work and some Yankee ingenuity, Aaron’s winemaking team has seen success on a national and international scale with several awards for their handcrafted blends. We take great pride in sourcing the best fruit available and making every effort to ensure a quality, delicious bottle ready for your table.

From the basement to the hill

Historically, the winery was located in the basement under the Cellardoor Winery barn. In 2010, we built a 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art winery across the street. Our new facility has allowed us to increase our production from 1,200 cases to nearly 12,000 cases of wine.

Raw materials

In addition to fruit harvested from our own vineyard and blueberries from Maine, we source grapes from premier vineyards in Washington, California and New York. All, except the white grapes, are crushed on premises.

Something for everyone

We offer a broad selection of wines, ranging from crisp and dry, to velvety and robust, to delicate and sweet. We’re not wine snobs – our goal is to make wine tasting approachable, easy and pleasant for our guests.

Estate Wines

The fruit grown in our estate vineyard tend to be lower in sugar and higher in acid than typical wine grapes and are best suited for sparkling wines. Our Vendange and Blanc de Blancs are created in the traditional method, a labor intensive and traditional method where second fermentation occurs in bottle.

Distribution

We proudly distribute our wines to stores, restaurants, and inns throughout Maine. To inquire about purchasing Cellardoor wine wholesale, please contact mckenzie@mainewine.com.

AWARD WINNING, MAINE MADE WINES

Visit our awards page to view featured awards, as well as awards organized by wine and vintage.

FAQ

 

NATURAL - Are Cellardoor wines considered 'natural'?

‘Natural’ wine has no legal definition; wine comes from grapes and yeast comes from the natural world, so all wine is ‘natural’ in a sense. All good winemaking is a fight against nature. Grapes prefer to be bird food and vinegar, but we prefer to make wine out of them.

However,  there is obviously a spectrum between mass-produced wines and a self-proclaimed ‘natural wine.’ As a boutique, artisan winery we would never say our wines make itself, but we are certainly not dumping oak chips and unnatural ‘stuff’ into enormous tanks either.

Please keep in mind that organic wines have to adhere to laws and rules, whereas there is no legal definition for natural wine. We do not make organic wine, but we do make great wine!

ORGANIC - Are the grapes Cellardoor uses grown organically, bio-dynamically, sustainably, and naturally?

The question about vineyard practices is an important one as the wine industry is in an evolutionary phase.  The practices, true standards and viability of organic, biodynamic, sustainable, and natural wines are all developing. Like Cellardoor, our partners are not organic. Cellardoor uses organic options in our vineyard as much as possible but will change course if required to protect our vines from fungus or pest breakout.

Read more: Organic Grape Growing Harms Vineyard Soil, Says A Consumer Advocacy Group, FORBES

Sediment - What is that stuff in my wine?

Most red wine will throw sediment at some point, especially the more acidic, tannic or highly pigmented ones. Big wineries who make millions of cases each year tend to process their wines heavily. Since we are a boutique winery that sells mostly direct to the consumer we can put flavor over stability in many cases. Because our reds are minimally processed, sediment may occur over time. Most wine professionals view this as a sign of quality rather than a flaw.

TARTRATE CRYSTALS

If the sediment is crunchy or glittery, it is tartaric acid or tartrate crystals. When the tartaric acid in wine gets cold or over long periods, the acid forms crystals and drops out of solution. They can form in sheets, clumps, or as very fine pixy dust glitter. These crystals are entirely flavorless and will not affect the quality of the wine. However, since few people want to crunch on a mouthful of these crystals, pour the last part of the bottle very carefully. If the crystals are clogging the neck, gently shake the bottle, and they will settle to the bottom.

colloid formation

If the sediment is smooth and paste-like, it is colloid formation. Colloids are harmless and tasteless naturally forming sediment comprised of tannins, pectins, pigment, and proteins. Since they are not crunchy, they are much less noticeable in the glass. More often, you will notice it on the end of the cork if the bottle has been stored upside down or as a fine sludge in the last glass of the bottle.
 Any wine that is meant to be refrigerated is cold stabilized before going to bottle by chilling the wine to 33 degrees F, so our whites, roses, and sweetheart should not form crystals.

Since there is no way to force calcium to crystallize, any wine naturally high in calcium could eventually form crystals. Our estate grapes are often high in calcium though this varies vintage to vintage and since calcium is unpredictable in when or if it will crystallize, it can vary bottle to bottle within a single vintage.

VEGAN - Is the gelatin you use during fining a byproduct of animals?

Some of our wines are fined with animal products and some are not; please inquire in our tasting rooms regarding specific wines.

Wine Finder

Awards

Our Wine

Our Wine

Estate Vineyard