Northshore Magazine

November 2014

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

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grape from Kendall Farms in Walla Walla. Locally, they've developed a relationship with Westport Rivers Winery—an 80- acre Massachusetts vineyard that special- izes in Champagne-style grapes—from which they purchase Chardonnay grapes for both oaked and unoaked wines. Given their winery is located on Ellis's two-acre private property, only about 10 percent of the grapes they use are grown on-site; they have approximately 30 vines including two French-American hybrids, Syval and Vignoles. "They are mostly for experimentation's sake," says Ellis, who recently started hybridizing and cloning a few varieties. Dessert wines have figured into their efforts—last year, using their own grapes, they made a white port, and plan on both a red and a white for this Thanksgiving. The Parker River process of making garagiste-style wines starts with the very awkward transport of containers heavy with grapes down the steep stairs leading into Ellis's cellar. From those contain- ers, the fruit is transferred into 500-liter tubs after the stems and leaves have been removed. Then, Ellis measures sugar and acid contents and adds yeast based on the grape variety. For example, with a Caber- net, they use two different yeasts—one to bring out the mouthfeel and another to Wine ne 70 nshoremag.com November 2014 enhance the fruity notes. "This is where 10 years of experience has told us what's been right and what's been wrong," ex- plains Moxey. The grapes stay in those tubs for two to three weeks until they've fermented. "Punching them down" is a shared responsibility that necessitates their visiting the basement three or four times a day for 10 days in order to push the "caps" or skins, which rise to the surface as they ferment, back down under the liquid so they don't dry out. "All the color and the tannins in reds come from the skins," explains Moxey. "You've really got to keep them moist." Using a traditional Italian basket press, the two men separate the skins Tag Team: Top, Moxey (left) and Ellis; Above, the entire operation takes place in Ellis's home basement.

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