Winter and spring at Shelburne Vineyard are not the laid back, quiet months that many people imagine. Beginning in late January vineyard staff is outdoors pruning the vines to prepare for the coming season. At the same time, work continues inside the winery to finish fermentation, aging, and blending the wines. This winter the task of updating the Vineyard’s familiar labels has also begun. With the new labels hot off the press, staff has worked furiously to bottle the finished wines. Several are now ready for release, an event that will definitely please those loyal followers who have been asking at every opportunity when some of their favorite varieties will again be available.
Last weekend marked the release of the 2012 Whimsey Meadow Rosé, a cheerful and aromatic blend of Vermont grown varietals that is fresh and fruit-forward with a hint of juicy berry sweetness on the finish. Memorial Day weekend marks the return to the racks of two perennial favorite whites produced from the grapes that frame the entry to the Vineyard—“La Crescent,” with its touch of sweetness and lingering notes of stone fruit and “Louise Swenson,” with its clean, dry acidity, stony minerality, and notes of tropical fruit. Shelburne Vineyard will also debut a new red wine that sports an evocative new individual label design.
The new red, “Harvest Widow’s Revenge,” is a successor to last year’s “In Spite of Irene” and is very similar in style—a semi-dry blend of Vermont-grown red varietals Marquette, Frontenac, and St. Croix. The wine exudes a fresh, fruity nose, a rich mouth-feel laced with a touch of sweetness and a full, lingering finish. “Last year’s off-dry red was so popular,” said founder Ken Albert, “that we definitely wanted to produce it again. But at the same time, we certainly didn’t want to invite another Irene! So the staff huddled and came up with the new name, a play on the long hours of dedicated work during harvest, while our wives and husbands and significant others are left to relax and party (and hopefully miss us) while they enjoy the fruits of our labor!” The new label, at the same time striking and whimsical with its black and white design, tells that story.
The remaining new releases will sport an updated, yet familiar label design. While each wine will retain its familiar individual label color as a distinctive color band, the beautiful pastoral vineyard image now includes the winery building and wraps the bottle with warm sepia tones—a new look for old favorites!
Shelburne Vineyard is open seven days a week all year. May through October hours are 11 am to 6 pm with tours beginning on the hour beginning at 1 pm through 4 pm. For more information, visit www.shelburnevineyard.com.