How could you pass up a distillery named ‘Wiggly Bridge?’ You have to stop, right? 😉
Kathy & I enjoy stopping at wineries and distilleries on our road trips. Partly because we like bringing home souvenirs, but mostly (really!) because we love hearing the stories. Each place we visit has a story or two about their history, their products, their facilities and more. Sometimes many stories!
While we were in Rockport, MA, we visited two distilleries. Wiggly Bridge was about an hour up the road and just across the Maine border in York. We combined that with a visit to Bob’s Clam Hut, a local and tourist-favorite clam shack in Kittery. Two for one! 🙂
The story behind Wiggly Bridge is that it started as a bit of a joke between father and son, and turned into a full-time business. They even taught themselves how to build their first still. The distillery is located in an old barn, and windows in the tasting room look down on the distillery. A tour there starts at the bar with a cocktail made with one of their products, moves “across the room” to look at the distilling room, then returns to the bar for a tasting. The distillery produces whisky, rum, vodka, gin and agave spirits. Since this was our first stop we limited ourselves to a whisky and a rum.
After that, we drove back to Gloucester, MA to Ryan & Wood Distillery. Owner and co-founder Bob Ryan did our tasting and told the stories. If it wasn’t for two guys who walked in just as we were finishing our tasting, we might still be there listening to Bob. 😉 But we were “saved” and managed to get away with just four bottles – a rye whisky, a wheat whisky and two gins, one of which is aged in former rye whisky barrels. Yum!
Later in our trip, as we traveled from New Hampshire to Vermont, we stopped at the Vermont Spirits Distillery in Quechee, VT. Their claim to fame is a vodka made from maple sugar. We tried it and it was interesting, but to me it wasn’t something I wanted to bring home. Their 15 Hands bourbon and their bourbon barrel aged gin were pretty tasty, so we did bring home some samples of those.
In New York, we stopped by Finger Lakes Distilling, where we tasted but didn’t buy. We were mostly killing time before a wine tasting. 😉 Their spirits were quite good, but since we were already getting overloaded (in the car, in the car!), we decided to pass until next time.
Also in the photo above is Gunpowder Rye from New England Distilling Co. We didn’t visit there, but Kathy had that at a bar in Maine and loved it so much we had to track some down in Bar Harbor. That also made the trip home!
We visited three wineries in the Finger Lakes Region of NY but bought from only two. We purchased wine from Heron Hill and from Atwater, but chose to pass on wine from Dr. Konstanin Frank. We liked all of the wine but we were kind of choosy about whether we were getting a deal or not. If I can get a good discount and/or free shipping, I’m interested. Otherwise I can always buy online from home. Plus, we already have a pretty good supply on hand at home! 😉
One of the fun things about the Finger Lakes wineries is that we were introduced to several new – to us – varietals. Blaufrankisch is a grape that is widely grown in Europe and was introduced in NY from Austria. Baco Noir is a hybrid winemaking grape created in 1902 by French botanist François Baco. The unique climate in New York state is ideal for growing these types of grapes, and the results are really good. We were quite impressed and will continue to keep NY in mind as a source of good wine!
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot – there was also maple syrup from Vermont! 🙂