Northshore Magazine

November 2014

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 69 of 259

68 November 2014 photographs by fawn deviney viticulture At the Source In the relatively dry town of Boxford, two guys are making a go of grapes. By Kiley Jacques at this time of year, the basement of Jim Ellis's West Boxford home is a popular place to be. Harvest season has just wrapped up, production has ground to a halt, and thousands of bottles of wine have been corked and capped. Now, it's time to invite friends and family over to sip the fruits of their labor. Following in the wine-stained foot- steps of the "garagistes"—winemakers from the Bordeaux region of France who emerged in the mid-1990s to produce readily drinkable wines—Ellis and fellow winemaker Guy Moxey have assembled a true cottage industry. "Everything we do," says Moxey, "for better or for worse, is by hand." Commercially launched in 2012, Parker River Winery is the town's first and only vineyard and winery. With 15 years of ex- perience in the biotech industry, Ellis has an affinity for science that fuels his feel for good wines. The Scotsman started making wine 12 years ago as a hobby—one he was introduced to as a boy growing up in Saudi Arabia. "My father was making wine on the side," he recalls. "That's what people did." Moxey, also an import from the old world, and Ellis teamed up in 2005 follow- ing a Thanksgiving dinner spent discuss- ing wines. "We started doing it together," notes Moxey. "And each year we made more. There's a limit to how much we can drink." Soon, they were making 1,000 bottles per year. "As a hobby, it was enjoy- able, but it was getting quite big." At that point, they had invested in equipment, so scaling back didn't make sense. Instead, Wine ne Wine in the Works: Moxey and Ellis do everything by hand including pressing the grapes and labeling the bottles. they started playing with new varietals. It wasn't long before the two were garnering awards from the Amateur Wine Society, whose regional chapter meets at Jewell Towne Vineyards in Southamp- ton, New Hampshire, where owner Peter Oldak proved instrumental in helping Ellis and Moxey establish themselves as commercial winemakers. "We had a few misses," admits Moxey, "but the majority of the time, we were getting good, consist- ent wine and we were winning awards." Winemakers in the Northeast gener- ally import grapes. Ellis and Moxey are no exception. Whereas they once bought from brokers, they now buy directly from Washington State, and are particularly fond of a high-end Cabernet Sauvignon

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