I recently reviewed Apfel Eis, a new apple ice wine made by the Still River Winery in Harvard, Massachusets. I now have more information about it to share with you.
The Holtzman family has been involved in brewing beer as a hobby for years and still grow their own hops. They are also wine lovers but did not feel that grapes grew well enough in Massachusetts and they did not want to purchase grapes from California or any other state. But, while visiting Quebec, they received inspiration after tasting their version of apple ice wine, "ice cider."
They realized that apples grew extremely well in Massachusetts and that Harvard is the number one grower of apples in the state. Thus, they felt they could produce an apple ice wine that would be at least as good as what they found in Quebec. So, they spent much time experimenting, including with different apple blends and yeasts. They purchase their apples from a couple local orchards in Harvard, and only produce about 400 cases per year.
They are currently focused exclusively on Apfel Eis and making sure that they maintain a high level of quality while expanding their production. In the future, they might consider expanding their product line but they have no immediate plans to do so.
If you would like to visit their winery, just call ahead to arrange it. Unfortunately, as Harvard is a dry town they cannot offer a tasting room or sell directly to customers out of their winery.
If you would like to try some Apfel Eis, you will have several opportunities at some upcoming events.
1) Still River Winery will participate in a charity wine tasting/auction at The Bull Run restaurant in Shirley, MA on Saturday, February 7. Tasting doors open at 6:30 PM and the auction begins at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $25 and include a $10 credit towards first wine lot purchase. Proceeds to benefit National MS Society/Blister Buddies and charities of the Rotary Club of Ayer-Harvard-Shirley-Devens.
2) Also on Saturday, February 7, Brookline Liquor Mart (Brookline, MA) will hold a special tasting of Wines for Valentines, from 1pm-5pm, including the Apfel Eis.
3) On Sunday, February 8, Marty's Fine Wines (Newton, MA) will have a tasting of Apfel Eis from 2pm-4pm.
4) Still River Winery will also be serving up Apfel Eis at the eighth annual Taste of Nashoba Valley, sponsored by the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, March 24, from 5:30pm-8pm at the Lawrence Academy Stone Athletic Center in Groton, MA.
Still River Winery
104 Bolton Road