Northshore Magazine

November 2014

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 73 of 259

Wine ne 72 November 2014 from the liquid. Ellis purchased the hand-cranked instrument their first year, when they were only making a few cases of wine. They have since outgrown it. "It's very, very manual," notes Moxey. The next item to buy "to step it up a bit" is a hydraulic press. It takes them three days to press all of their grapes. "It was good for the first 10 years, but we are a bit fed up with it." Next comes a rough filtering. Two to three weeks later, a sterile filtering ensures no yeast is left and the wines are stable. Then, bottling. "The bottling is a whole family affair—a two family affair," quips Ellis. It's an eight- to nine-hour day of nonstop work. They employ just two automatic fillers and do all the corking by hand using a Portuguese corker. "There's no foot-stomping," laughs Ellis, "but all the rest is done the old-fashioned way." Finally, employing a simple hand-op- erated labeling machine, they adhere the Parker River Winery name to each bottle and finish it with a sealed cap. "When we say every bottle is handcrafted, we're not joking," notes Moxey. Currently, the duo is looking to increase their exposure by getting involved with the farm-to-table dinners that are pop- ping up all over the North Shore, as well as with area restaurateurs who embrace local foods. "We have a decent customer base," notes Moxey. "It's about the next step." Meanwhile, farmers' markets are favora- ble spots for hawking their wares. "The markets are great because you get to talk directly to the people," says Ellis. "People like to speak to the people who make the wine. We just want to spread the word a little bit more." Each year, Ellis and Moxey make a different red blend, which they have christened the Source after the nearby Parker River. Typically, it's their best seller. "It's a straightforward, quaffable red," explains Moxey. Last year's was a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Merlot. They also do a straight Syrah, Zinfandel, and Merlot. They make Chardonnay three ways—oaked, unoaked, and Mas- sachusetts Chardonnay (also unoaked), which is made with grapes from West- port. Alongside the Source, their rosé and the Westport Chardonnay are hot sellers. "The big surprise has been the rosé," notes Moxey. "People have this [idea] of a white Zin. But it is very popular with the boating community in Newburyport." They speak highly of their Westport connection. They are also quick to credit the people behind Willow Spring Vine- yards in Haverhill and Jewell Towne Vineyards—both wineries grow many of their own red grapes. But the guys behind Parker River Winery are weekend war- riors. Every Monday morning finds both men boarding planes—Moxey travels to North Carolina, where he is a mechanical engineer, and Ellis heads to Philadelphia. "Time is our biggest challenge," says Moxey. Their shared hope is to retire early and spend their days making wine. They talk of finding another site with more acreage—a place where they could sell their product. On this early fall day, a dwindling stock of 2014 wines lines just one wall. "We're burning up the last few bits," notes Moxey. Making way for the roughly 5,000 bottles that will constitute 2015's yield, they muse over Parker River Win- ery's raison d'être: "We do it because it can be done." European Style: Moxey and Ellis use a Portuguese corker and hand-operated labeling machine.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Northshore Magazine - November 2014