In the Mineral Hills of Florence is a very busy winery.
"The fall is very busy time for us. We have an apple orchard, we pick grapes, we pick blueberries in the ground some late harvest blueberries,” says Larry Godard, owner Mineral Hills Winery.
Godard’s passion for wine making runs in the family. His grandfather made wine in the North End of Springfield, and he has fond memories of spending time in the barrel room as a child. Inspired by his grandfather, Godard began making wine after retiring a few years back.
His wines are deeply rooted in Western Mass from the raw ingredients like grapes to the names.
"My wife and some of our relatives and friends are up at UMass in Belchertown at the horticulture society there colt spring complex and they are picking grapes right now. It's a variety called chardonel which I use in my NoHo blush," says Godard.
Other wines feature fun names like the Wicked Blue, or the Red Hen which is a sangria like red wine. Godard says they named that particular wine after their farm which takes it’s cue from the classic children’s book.
The winery produces 1,600 cases a year. Some of those wines can be found at the Big E, where the winery has won several awards.
"This year our organization is in the Massachusetts building you can find us in the back left corner of the building. I think we have seven MA wineries doing free tastings in the MA building and selling our wines," says Godard.
His wines are also on the shelves at Table and Vine in West Springfield. Michael Brunelle a wine buyer for the specialty store says that many people might not be aware of the number of wineries in Western Mass.
"Larry here is buying new barrels and experimenting with French oak, American oak, Hungarian oak. He has a crusher back there it's a total hands on experience to the time he gets the grapes to when it gets into the bottle. There is no assembly line. There are 8 folks who are putting their heart and soul into it,” says Brunelle.
The Mineral Hills Winery consists of a store, the barrel room and a outdoor area which hosts many events during the fall months.
"We have this thing called star gazing and wine tasting. We have some amateur astronomers come out with their huge telescopes we take some of our wines out pair it with some sweet desserts and people get a wine tastings and then at any point wander over to the telescopes speak to an astronomer and look at the sky,” says Godard.
For more information about the Mineral Hills Winery or their upcoming events you can visit their website by clicking here.
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