Maxwell Point Vineyard
Maxwell Point Vineyard began in the early 1990's as a hobby project by Cape Elizabeth resident and ophthalmologist William Holt, M.D. seeking varieties of wine grapes that would grow and ripen well in Maine.
Traditional wine grapes don't survive or produce well in Maine, but over the past 20 years new cold hardy cultivars have been introduced by The University of Minnesota and Cornell Univesity. Experimenting with these and other varieties, Bill has learned a lot over the years growing these grapes and creating good wines from them. In spring 2014, our first release, Two Lights White, was well received.
The vineyard comprises about 1000 vines situated on Holt's land once part of the Maxwell farm.
The Varieties We Grow. Of the many tried in our vineyard over the past 20-years, the best cold-hardy vines are:
Frontenac Gris and Frontenac blanc-aromas of peach and apricot, a good balance of fruit and acidity
LaCrescent-a superior off-dry white with nose of apricot, peach and citrus
LaCrosse-makes a fruity white wine similar to Riesling
Seyval blanc-a 1921 French hybrid call the "Eastern Chardonnay"
Marquette-represents a new standard in cold hardy viticulture, makes a complex red with good tannins and notes of cherry and spice
Frontenac red-gives a lively, light refreshing wine
Marechal Foch and Leon Millot-a French hybrid often compared to a Pinot Noir
Petite Pearle-newly developed it is showing great promise. We will be planting 75 vines in spring 2016, the first in Maine. The wine is a dark garnet and is described as "elegant with complex aroma and flavor with soft tannins." Our first crop will be in 2018