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Chicama Vineyards - Massachusetts wineries & vineyardsIn 1602 Bartholomew Gosnold named Martha's Vineyard for the wild grapes he found growing there.

The Chicama Vineyards (photo, right) on the island of Martha's Vineyard became the first bonded winery in Massachusetts in 1971.

Although now closed, it marked the beginning of a big resurgence in home grown wines throughout the state and, by 1995 the number of wineries had grown to 12. Today, more than twenty wineries in the state produce over 100,000 gallons of wines annually.

With the resourcefulness for which New Englanders are famous, Massachusetts grape growers and winemakers have adapted to special conditions. The wide range of microclimates is a special challenge.

Massachusetts vintners have to adapt their choices of grape varieties to accommodate different growing seasons, soil, temperature, sun and water variables. Wineries in the Berkshire mountains, for example, have a very different environment for wine grape growing than wineries around Boston and Cape Cod coastal areas .

The Southeast coastal region of Massachusetts has climate and soil conditions ideal for the classic European vinifera grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir. Meanwhile. mountain regions tend to mix in more American hybrids and fruit wines.

The most common grape wine varieties grown in Massachusetts are the vinifera varieties Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, followed by the American Hybrids Vidal Blanc, Cayuga, Seyval, Vidal, and Marechal Foch.

And it's not just grapes that are being turned into wine.

Fruits such as apples, cranberries, blueberries and peaches, honey and flowers are all used in making Massachusetts produced wines. What other region can offer a wine lover the choice of a fine Riesling, an excellent sparkling wine or a true cranberry blush wine?

More information about Massachusetts wineries around the Web:

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources - Massachusetts Wineries
- Official listings of all the wineries in MA sorted by county with contact information, hours to visit, a brief description of what types of wines you'll find at each winery and directions which include a clickable map.

Wines from Massachusetts - Wine Searcher offers a wide selection of shops that carry Massachusetts wines. Wine are listed along with prices.

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