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DAR Calendar 2014 - September

Mount Warner Vineyard in Hadley, MA. Photo by Gary Kamen.

September’s photo contest winner was Gary Kamen, who photographed Mount Warner Vineyard in Hadley.

Mount Warner Vineyards is a farm-winery located in Hadley, a small town in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. Operated by Gary and Bobbie Kamen, their philosophy is to recognize the unique characteristics of our agricultural climate, as well as grow grapes and fruit to produce award-winning wines.

The vineyard has always been well-suited for grape growing. Grape vines do best in sandy, drier soil, which is not typical for farm land in Hadley. However, Mount Warner Vineyard sits on a hill.  “My baseline was zero,” said self-taught winemaker Gary Kamen. “I started with some vine cuttings from a grower in NH and from there began to educate myself on winemaking and viticulture.

What began with 25 vines and a hobby winemaking passion, has grown into a modest vineyard and a micro-winery. The Kamen’s began their “what’s next project” in 1999 when they planted their first grapes and the vineyard has been fully developed since 2010. On one acre of land they can produce between two and eight tons of grapes in a season, resulting in approximately 500 gallons of wine from nine varieties of grapes.

Mount Warner Vineyards’ wines have been recognized in many national and international competitions. They continue to maintain a single focus of hand-crafting wines from hand-tended vines that can be enjoyed in any season using red and white French-American hybrid grape varietals they grow. Grapes like Cayuga, Marechal Foch and Canadice are crosses between traditional grape varieties and cold, hardy grapes that are better suited for Massachusetts’ shorter growing season and colder winters.

You can purchase and taste their award-winning wines at the vineyard and at area Pioneer Valley Farmers’ Markets and retail outlets. You can also visit the vineyard for a winery tour from April 1 to November 30 by appointment and they can usually schedule your visit the same day you call or e-mail them.

Each month, we are posting the 2014 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar’s photo of the month. Featuring photos of Bay State farming, the calendar is available for purchase. All photos were taken by amateur photographers who won the annual Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo ContestProceeds from the $10 calendars benefit Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom, a non-profit organization that works with teachers to develop classroom materials. The calendar features a winning photograph each month, as well as interesting facts about local agriculture.

Written By:

DAR Program Coordinator

With a background in the culinary arts, nutrition education and program development, Julia joined The Department of Agricultural Resources Division of Agricultural Markets in 2008 to help spread the word about Massachusetts’ incredible agricultural and culinary opportunities. She also coordinates several grant and marketing programs available to a diversified group of growers and agricultural associations across the Commonwealth. A Boston University graduate, she can be found in her spare time sourcing out the best local products for her next culinary creation or volunteering in the community.

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