Maine Open Winery Tour
Visit four wine producers that are making extraordinary wine all within the city limits of Portland.
Maine Open Winery Day Tour
Saturday, September 16th
3:15 – 7:15
Pick-Up & Drop-Off Location
Old Port Spirits and Cigars, 79 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 04101
Savory Hand Pie from Ten Ten Pie (171 Cumberland Avenue, Portland)
Sweetgrass Distillery and Winery | Cellardoor at the Point | Maine Mead Works | Eighteen Twenty Wines
$65/person – All tastings, transportation, food, bottled water, and a take home souvenir bag are included in the ticket price. All profits are going to the Maine Winery Guild.
On September 16th, wineries across the state will be hosting tastings, tours, and special events to celebrate Maine Open Winery Day. It’s an opportunity for Maine’s winemakers to showcase their wineries and for customers to learn more about making wine from traditional and not-so-traditional products.
Starting with a single winery in 1983 making blueberry wine, Maine winemakers are now using grapes, native fruits, and even maple syrup to produce wines that are garnering regional, national and even international awards. Each winery has special products, great stories, and a lot to share with the public about what makes their products special whether it’s wine, mead, cider, or spirits. This is an opportunity for them to share their stories and showcase their products.
We will be visiting four wine producers that are making extraordinary wine all within the city limits of Portland.
Departing from Old Port Spirits, we will first visit the tasting room of Sweetgrass Distillery and Winery. Founded in 2005 by Keith and Constance Bodine and based in Union, Maine, Sweetgrass is a farm producer with an attractive tasting room showcasing their award-winning products in downtown Portland. The company makes mostly non-grape fruit wines (blueberry, cranberry, and more), one of the state’s best-regarded gins (Back River), and even esoteric items like cocktail bitters.
Next, we will travel to Thompson’s Point to visit Cellardoor Winery at the Point. In 2007, Bettina Doulton bought Cellardoor Winery of Lincolnville, ME. Once she visited Lincolnville in December 2006, and saw the 68-acre, 200-year-old farm that featured a 1790s post-and-beam barn and old farmhouse, as well a state-of-the-art winery across the road, it was a done deal. Cellardoor at the Point is a 5,000 square foot tasting room and event space to tell their story to a larger audience and to pour their award-winning wines in a repurposed space that features a large horseshoe public tasting bar, a smaller private bar that can be reserved for groups, and a large event space suitable for bigger gatherings.
Over we go to Maine Mead Works. One of the world’s oldest-known fermented goodies is made here in Portland: Mead. While mead — or wine made from honey — is often heavy and syrupy, you’ll be pleased to find that the team at Maine Mead Works has developed a light, dry, modern take on the formula. Learn about the secret of their success and taste their extensive list of variations, including some invigorating sparkling mead blends.
Finally, we will visit the newest wine operation in Portland. Founded in 2017 and located in Portland’s East Bayside, Eighteen Twenty is named for the year that Maine became a state. Pete Dubuc and Amanda O’Brien first met when they were both working in radio, now they are together making rhubarb wine and hard apple cider in small batches using simple ingredients from Maine. Their flagship wine, ‘rha’, is a refreshing dry wine made with rhubarb from two area Maine farms. They named their hard cider ‘ohm’ with a nod to their space in the old Rockingham Electric building. But also be prepared to observe Ohm’s Law, a version of their cider that is aged in cinnamon whiskey barrels.
We’ll drop you back off at Old Port Spirits and Cigars on Commercial Street, where you can continue to explore to find local products in the downtown area on foot!
Please note that tour venues and details may change without notice due to unforeseen circumstances.