It wasn't that many years ago that cows roamed the fields behind the High Hill Winery, with owner Robert DeGrazia watching over them. He bought the 150 acres in Dartmouth in 1983 with plans to retire a contented farmer. A farmer's life is not an easy one, nor profitable in this day and age. As he watched Westport Rivers begin to succeed and flourish down the road, Robert began to believe that his thoughts of creating a winery in southern Massachusetts might come to fruition.
Robert's mother told him stories about his great-grandfather's vineyards in Italy, and soon Robert had the bug. With support and direction from Westport Rivers, he planted his first grapes in 1994. He watched the vines grow, pruned and maintained them, and by 1997 the first grapes were ready to make into wine. The five barrels he made were quite good, and he was encouraged to plant more, and to press ahead.
With so few years under his winemaking belt, one might expect the wines to be adolescent - part of a learning curve that so many undergo. Quite the contrary, the 1998 and 1999 wines show off as full, fruity, drinkable and ageable wines that can compare well with the products of much more established wineries.
1998 Estate Reserve Chardonnay
This is a low sulfite wine created with locally grown Chardonnay grapes. This region is well known for their Chardonnay, and this is no exception. It is fruity, with a light, fresh flavor.
1998 High Hill Chardonnay
As the winery was still in its infancy during this year, grapes were brought in from Palmer Vineyards, on the North Fork of Long Island to fill out the harvest. This chardonnay is fuller and fruitier than the Estate Reserve.
1999 Estate Reserve Chardonnay
The most recent Chardonnay is aged in American Oak, with 50% malolactic fermentation. This Chardonnay is very smooth, with a balanced, vanilla flavor.
1999 DeGrazia Red
This blend of Barbera and Alacante is a low sulfite wine, with a light, fresh, berry flavor to it. Easy drinking and clean.
1999 High Hill Red
Unfiltered, this wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot - the classic Bordeaux blend. It has a smoky aroma, with tobacco and cherry flavors.
Robert shows pride in the beautiful new labels created recently for High Hill - the central spiral represents the corkscrew, and even the pattern to the right symbolizes the cows that he cared for. The wines are selling well, and he has plans for expansion and more vines. Swing by to see what a new winery can be capable of!
The Wineries of Massachusetts
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