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The Cellar: Great Spring Whites—Round Pond & Red Newt

Friday, April 11, 2014


We Americans tend to drink more red wines when it is cold out and an increasingly number of whites as the temperature rises. This goes for me as well, so I figured I would feature two fantastic whites that I have recently sampled both of which are available locally.

2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Round Pond, Rutherford, Napa Valley

This week’s first wine is a delicious Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley. More specifically, it’s Round Pond’s 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from Rutherford. The Round Pond Estate is owned and operated by the MacDonnell family who, besides from making delicious wines from the Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, also produces artisan olive oils and red wine vinegars on their 350+ acre sustainable farmed estate. The 2013 growing season was nearly perfect – no problem achieving full ripeness here. The all estate grown Sauvignon Blanc grapes for this wine were hand-harvested at three different times during the harvest season. This allowed the winemaker the opportunity to play around with the three different expressions of Sauvignon Blanc as sugar and acidity levels go up and down respectfully as the grapes ripen. After fermentation, which happened in 100% stainless steel, the wine spent 4 months aging on the lees before bottling. The result is a delicious dry wine filled with pears and peaches with ripe lemons dominating on the long finish. Solid, ripe Napa Sauvignon Blanc that is sure to please.

2012 ‘Circle’ Riesling, Red Newt Cellars, Finger Lakes, New York

This week’s second wine is a really delicious one from one of my favorite cool climate regions – New York’s Finger Lakes. It is the 2012 ‘Circle’ Riesling from Red Newt Cellars. Red Newt is one of the best wineries in the Finger Lakes in my opinion. This place is absolutely beautiful, their wines are fantastic (and still reasonably priced) and their bistro is super convenient and delicious. In 2011 Red Newt received Wine & Spirits Magazine's ‘Winery of the Year’ award highlighting, among other things, their outstanding portfolio of Rieslings. Red Newt produces a series of single vineyard Rieslings each expressing the unique ‘terriors’ of their Estate. They also produce the ‘Circle’ which is a Riesling blend sort of speak – a blend of Riesling sourced from several of Red Newt’s vineyard plots. Each batch was vinified separately with fermentation stopped at varying levels of sweetness. The different wines were then blended together to create the ‘Circle’. Most Riesling producers in the Finger Lakes uses the guidelines of the ‘International Riesling Foundation’, which takes sugar levels into account, as well as acid levels and ph values, when labeling the wine ‘dry’, ‘medium dry’, ‘medium sweet’, or ‘sweet’. I like this way of labeling Rieslings as the wine may have a lot of residual sugar in it, but if the acid levels are high enough it may not come across as sweet. I see the 2012 ‘Circle’ as a real crowd pleaser. Slightly sweet, this wine is brimming with ripe granny smith apple, honeysuckle with a delicious sour finish leaving you aching for another sip. This wine is available, among other places, at ESPC for $10.99.


Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Feel free to email him at [email protected] with any wine-related question or learn about wine in person by signing up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.


Related Slideshow: 10 New England Wine Getaways

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Hardwick Vineyard & Winery

Central Mass’s own Hardwick Vineyard & Winery, open March-December, is a close to home treasure that produces 3,000 gallons of wine each year. The winery, which grows 6 varieties of grapes, is built on a quiet road in Hardwick that abuts the Quabbin Reservoir. Located on the property is a majestic 200 year old mansion. This weekend, take the trip to the vineyard to enjoy a wine tasting. Favorites include Massetts Cranberry and Yankee Girl Blush. If you head out on a Sunday; you’ll be in luck—the winery is hosting Sangria Sundays for the rest of the month.

3305 Greenwich Road, Hardwick, MA. (413) 967-7763.

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Westport Rivers

Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery

Tucked away on the southern coast of Massachusetts, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, located about an hour’s drive from Worcester, is worth the trip. For only $10, you can take home a special edition etched wine glass and enjoy a tasting of up to six of their award-winning wines. While the tasting room is open Monday-Saturday, free winery tours are also offered to the public every Saturday from 1-3pm.

417 Hixbridge Rd, Westport, MA. (508) 636-3423.

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Coastal Vineyards

A relatively young addition to the Massachusetts family of wineries and vineyards, Coastal Vineyards in South Dartmouth opened its doors in 2004. Coastal Vineyards grows eight varieties of grapes on their property, including Riesling, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and more. For a special treat, head over on Sunday for their Ugly Sweater Wine Party featuring acoustic musician Ryan Thaxter. Don your ugliest sweater to get 35% off your purchase—and a chance at a prize.

61 Pardon Hill Road, South Dartmouth, MA.

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Amherst Farm Winery

Head out to one of Massachusetts’s favorite college towns this weekend to check out Amherst Farm Winery. Enjoy a wine tasting set in a cozy 19th century post and beam dairy barn. For only $5 receive a logo glass and a taste of 5 of their 15 wines, including unique flavors like chocolate raspberry, pumpkin frost, cranberry, and more. Bring a picnic and cozy up on their leather sofa by the fire to enjoy your wine with a snack.

529 Belchertown Road, Amherst, MA. (413) 253-1400.

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Nashoba Valley WInery

Take the bite off the winter chill this weekend and take a drive to Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton. The winery hosts tasting events everyday from 10am-4:30pm For $5, receive a free tasting glass and samples of up to five different wines. Some favorites include Strawberry Rhubarb Wine, Holiday Special Cranberry Apple (a new release in November 2013), and New English Cider. If you are in the mood for something other than wine (if that’s possible), check out their beer selection as well!

100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton, MA. (978) 779-5521.

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Mill River Winery

Mill River Winery, located in Rowley, is the perfect wine destination for a mini-getaway. Enjoy the gorgeous winter scenery of Western Massachusetts as you wind through country roads to the winery. Mill River’s tasting room is housed in a refurbished cider mill, complete with eclectic décor that provides for an excellent tasting and shopping experience. Try their delicious Naked Chardonnay, a full bodied chardonnay with aromatic notes of lemon zest and pear. If you would like to get a “Dirt to Bottle Tour,” make sure to be at the winery at 2pm or 4pm Saturday or Sunday.

498 Newburyport Turnpike, Rowley, MA. (978) 432-1280.

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Black Birch Vineyard

For only $6, get the full Black Birch Vineyard experience—tasting and a tour! Enjoy the great mix of contemporary and rustic décor of the tasting room and the local culture of this Massachusetts winery. While you’re in, be sure to try their award winning selection of reds and whites.

155 Glendale Road, Southampton, MA. (413) 527-0164.

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Taylor Brook Winery

Located just over the border, Taylor Brook Winery in Woodstock, CT, is a hidden gem. This winery tends to over 2,000 vines of the finest grapes in the region. Head down to enjoy the country hospitality of this great local business, which offers tastings, bottles of their wine, and other great gift items for purchase. For a delicious winter wine, try their Winter Pomegranate.

848 Route 171, Woodstock, CT. (860) 974-1263.

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Obadiah McIntyre Farm

Obadiah McIntyre Farm Winery

The Obadiah McIntyre Farm Winery is located on the Charlton Orchards Farm property. The winery is owned and operated by a family that has been in the business of growing fruit for over 50 years, and began making wine in 1999. They are dedicated to making the best tasting wines around. Every weekend until the end of December, join them for a tasting and see for yourself.

44 Old Worcester Road, Charlton, MA. (508) 248-7941.

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Puttney Mountain Winery

Just over the Vermont border, Putney Mountain Winery located inside Basketville, has been making delicious local wines since the 1990s. All of their wines are crafted from local produce, which makes for the best tasting wine possible. If you’re toting the kids along for the day, the winery also sells juices made from locally grown produce, like their Putney Bubbly Vermont Sparkling Black Currant.

8 Bellows Falls Road, Putney, VT. (802) 387-5925.


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