Erik Neilson on January 28, 2017 1 Comment There are so many different wine regions scattered throughout the United States that keeping up with the next “up and coming” producers can be positively head-spinning. States such as California and Oregon have paved the way for others to enter into the industry, and today, there are wineries in every state in America. When it comes to New England, Maine is currently at the center of the wine industry’s attention — and for good reason. Mainers are an ingenuitive bunch, and winemakers in the state have learned a lot about how to deal with the fact that soil conditions are typically less than ideal and growing seasons are ultimately quite short. Despite these hurdles, the wine coming out of Maine is some of the best in the country, and the industry within the state is growing at an unprecedented rate. Looking to taste some of the best wine coming out of Maine? Look no further than the following wineries, all of which are worth a visit if you find yourself in New England. 1. Cellardoor Winery Located in the Midcoast area, Cellardoor Winery has come a long way since its humble beginnings in rural Lincolnville, ME. A beautiful farmhouse winery set against the lush Maine woods, Cellardoor produces wine utilizing their own grapes, as well as grapes sourced from New York, California and Washington. With a wide-reaching product line that includes multiple reds, whites, sparklers and blends, it’s hard to not find a wine to like at Cellardoor. Things have been moving in a very positive direction for the winery, as they’ve just opened a tasting room in a newly developed part of Portland, Maine’s biggest city. Their Chenin Blanc is as stellar as it gets, but if you’re looking to see what Cellardoor is truly capable of, look no further than a bottle of their 2012 estate-grown brut sparkling Rosé, Vendange. Also, don’t miss their fruit wines, produced with fresh Maine blueberries and more dry than you might expect. 2. Breakwater Vineyards A small producer in Owls Head, ME, Breakwater Vineyards is quickly gaining prominence and becoming more and more ingrained in the Maine wine scene. Located right on the coast of Maine, the Vineyard offers tastings on a regular basis in one of the most picturesque settings a person could ever imagine. Their wide catalog of wines contains old favorites like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, but also a number of different blends to choose from. Rose Rugusa is a particularly interesting foray into the world of Rosé, as is their Breakwater Blues, a dry wine made from — you guessed it — hand-raked Maine blueberries. 3. Bar Harbor Cellars Mount Desert Island is perhaps the pinnacle of Maine’s beauty, home to Acadia National Park and the quaint village of Bar Harbor, where Bar Harbor Cellars has been making wines since 2004. A popular visit for cruise ship passengers, the winery offers tastings every day, which do not require any reservations or appointments. As with many other wineries in Maine, Bar Harbor Cellars doesn’t hold back with their fruit wines, which are considered in top regard by many locals. While a variety of reds and whites can be found here, you’re going to want to try the blueberry and cranberry fruit wines they offer to get a true sense of why Bar Harbor Cellars is so highly revered in the area. 4. Bartlett Estate Winery Way off the beaten path in Gouldsboro, ME is Bartlett Estate Winery. Focusing on minimal intervention practices and utilizing the products that Maine has to offer, Bartlett wines are naturally fermented and produced by hand. What sets Bartlett apart from other wineries in the state that place a focus on fruits other than grapes is that they don’t use any grapes in their wine. Instead, you’re going to find reds, whites, aperitifs and dessert wines created from fruits like local apples, blueberries and pears. Ranging from bracingly dry and acidic to so cloyingly sweet it should be chilled and poured over ice cream, there’s a wine for everyone at Bartlett — a perfect excursion for those who are new to non-grape wines. 5. Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery Savage Oakes is unique in that it’s actually one of the very few wineries in Maine that works primarily with Maine-grown grapes. Even more interesting are the varieties that they’re using, which aren’t exactly household names — think whites crafted from LaCrosse and St. Pepin, blush wines showcasing estate-grown St. Croix and Cayuga, and reds blended from grapes like Leon Millot and Marquette. As one might expect, the unique characteristics of these grapes come out in full force in wines such as Katahdin Red, Nor’easter and Blushing Moose (how about those names)? 6. Catherine Hill Winery Cherryfield, ME is home to Catherine Hill Winery, which is currently putting out some of the best wines in the state and should not go overlooked. Unlike many other Maine wineries (aside from Cellardoor), Catherine Hill sources their grapes from elsewhere, which means they’re not restricted by the Maine growing season and are free to experiment with grapes like Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Look to their Black Fly blend to get a taste of how these grapes in particular meld together, or check out their Bold Coast, one of the best Syrah-Merlot blends in the country and a 2016 Finger Lakes Wine Competition winner. 7. Younity Winery and Vineyards Anyone who has ever been to the college town of Unity, ME knows that it’s not exactly the center of activity in the state. Unity is home to some true gems, however, and Younity Winery and Vineyards certainly deserves such recognition. A big proponent of utilizing Maine products, Younity wines range from those produced utilizing local fruits like apples and berries to wines made from St. Croix grapes grown right on site. One reason why Younity wines have gained such popularity in the area is that they represent an exceptional value considering their relatively low price points. If you’re looking for a wine from Maine to stock up on, look no further than a case of Saint Croix from Younity Vineyard and Winery.