Fresh off the Farm - East Shore VineyardOctober 15, 2014
We caught up with Ben Durant, owner of East Shore Vineyard, on his way back from Montreal on a run to pick up some wine bottles. In between the static we spoke (hands free, of course) about his magnificent news! East Shore Vineyards has recently found a home, after a very long search, in the fertile farmland of the Champlain Islands in South Hero through the invaluable services of the Vermont Land Trust.
The microclimate of the Champlain Islands is perfect for Vermont winemakers as it mimics the climate of Northern Europe, but the scenic land is rarely available or affordable for agricultural endeavors. Ben was familiar with the magical climate of the islands, as East Shore’s original and currently productive 12 acre vineyard is located in Grand Isle. Unfortunately, in 2007, a violent storm destroyed their vines and forced East Shore to start from scratch. In the interim, they partnered with a vineyard in the Finger Lakes of New York, buying fruit to continue making their wine. Their new home of 180 acres, 90 acres of future vineyard, will not only allow them enough room to grow more of their own grapes, but also to grow their business with an onsite winery and tasting room.
The land has already been tilled and planted with cover crops--ready for vines next year. Work has started turning the barn on the property into an operational winery, and the beautiful post and beam farmhouse into a tasting room. The new East Shore Vineyard should be ready to welcome visitors in 2015! Until then, you can visit East Shore Vineyard’s tasting room on Church Street in Burlington where you can try their new Traminette Dry or Sweet Adelaide (named for Ben’s 10 year old daughter) along with their full collection of award winning wines.