Bostonians love beer – but they also love wine. The wine-making heritage of the city’s Italian immigrants, for example, is evident in Boston Winery’s Mala Femmina. The apple farmers of New England have their whites as well, as the Apfel Eis produced by Still River Winery attests. Massachusetts vintners and wine makers are open to hybrids, like the Vignoles made by Willow Springs Vineyards, and to using unusual grapes like the Pinot Gris variety used by Nashoba Valley Winery. Nor are they above looking outside of the state for ingredients, like the California grapes imported by the North Shore’s Mill River Winery. Many other varieties of wines are produced in the Bay State, but those listed above are certainly among Boston’s Best Local White Wines.

(Photo Credit: Willow Spring Vineyards)

Vignoles by Willow Spring Vineyards
840 West Lowell Ave,
Haverhill, MA 01832
978) 374-1473

Willow Spring Vineyards in Haverhill is known for its unique wines.  Few vineyards plant the hybrid Marechal Foch, for example, which is used in making a rich inky red of the same name.  Both honor the Marshal of France, Ferdinand Foch, who led his nation to victory in The Great War.  While Willow Springs makes many other fine reds and pinks, it also makes a number of wines from other hybrids, notably its Vignoles.  Previously considered a “fringe” wine by sommeliers and critics, this late-harvest white demi-sec is suddenly much in vogue – and the vintners in Haverhill’s Willow Springs Vineyards can take some of the credit for that, at least in New England. Best served with cheese, fruit or a dessert, Willow Spring Vineyards’ Vignoles is a delight, and serves as a great counterpoint to a meal where their Marechal Foch red has been served to compliment the main course.

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Apfel Eis by Still River Winery
Still River Winery
104 Bolton Road
Harvard, MA 01451
(978) 415-WINE (9463)

Although made from apples, not grapes, Apfel Eis (which means Apple Ice) is as white as white wine gets.  Sweet and, of course, with a definite apple aroma, this wine is not made to be served merely chilled, but cold – and the colder (and thus more refreshing) the better.  Still River is located in the core of Massachusetts’ apple country, a mere 25 miles from downtown Boston.  That is fortunate, for it takes about seven dozen apples to make each bottle of their Apfel Eis which, by the way, is the only wine they make.

(Photo Credit: Nashoba Valley Winery)

Pinot Gris by Nashoba Valley Winery
Nashoba Valley Winery
100 Wattaquadock Hill Road
Bolton, MA 01740
(978) 779-5521

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Everybody knows what a Pinot Noir is, but the wine made popular by the movie Sideways has a lesser known, lighter white cousin – Pinot Gris.  Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton, Massachusetts, makes over 40 varieties of wine, including those made with apples, pears and other fruits besides grapes.  The Pinot Gris, however, is a white made from grapes, but not ordinary grapes.  It is made from a “mutant clone” of the Pinot Noir, and is grey or “gris” in color.  A delicate white with many identifiable citric flavors, it really pops when served with seafood or, as the vintners of Nashoba suggest, when paired with dishes redolent with ginger or cumin.

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(Photo Credit: Mill River Winery)

Naked Chardonnay by Mill River Winery
Mill River Winery
498 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley, MA 01969
(978) 432-1280

The “naked” in the name of this wine is obviously meant to attract the notice of customers cruising the shelves in local wine stores, but it is also descriptive of the wine itself. Unlike wines aged in barrels which impart an oakiness or other flavors, Mill River’s Naked Chardonnay is cold-ferment in stainless steel tanks. Wine makers Donna Martin and Rich Rousseau have imparted pear and lemon zest aromas and flavors to grapes imported from California to their winery on Massachusetts’ North Shore. They have been richly rewarded for their efforts, as Naked Chardonnay won a silver medal in the American Wine Society’s Commercial Competition. This wine is not only made in Massachusetts – but is also only available in the Bay State.

(Photo Credit: Boston Winery)

Mala Femmina by Boston Winery
Boston Winery
26 Ericsson St.
Dorchester, MA 02122
(617) 265-9463

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Massachusetts and especially Boston is home to many Italians and Americans of Italian descent. They and their ancestors have a long history of making wine, and at Boston Winery in Dorchester, their heritage lives on – and lives on with pride. Their motto “Make wine, drink wine, and enjoy life!” is honored by every bottle of wine they produce – and, perhaps most notably (at least among their whites) by their delightful Mala Femmina. Pinot Grigio lovers should beware, as one glass, nay, even one sip of this amazing honey-finished cross between a Chardonnay and a Sauvingnon Blanc and they might never go back to their usual vintage. This is one of Boston’s Best White Wines in more ways than one, for its home in Dorchester is within the greater Boston area.

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