Toward the end of December, we were contacted by the folks at Edible Green Mountain Magazine. They asked us to describe what the word “local” means to us, as Vermont winemakers and farmers. This is what we came up with.
Local” isn’t just our neighborhood as defined by the streets that we live on—it’s the people, the sense of place and the traditions that unite us.
Wine, in particular, is so often the catalyst for gathering friends and family together, and we appreciate that sense of community. And like any community, “local” is always transforming and evolving. It wasn’t all that long ago that wine in Vermont was exclusively imported; in fact, many other local products that we’ve come to know and love were once exclusively imported, too.
Wines have a long and storied history of distinguishing themselves by the cultures and regions from which they come. The influence that a location has on wine is often referred to as terroir, and as Vermont vintners we are starting to see how this translates to our own craft. The concept that location plays a pivotal role in the essence of a product is not unfamiliar to Vermont. In fact, a unique interpretation of this concept can be seen within the local-food movement. From wines and ciders to maple syrup to beef, Vermont seems like a place determined to hold on to its identity.
In a thriving, local-food economy such as Vermont’s, where the products are well crafted and such a reflection of the people who make them, “local” truly defines not just our food, but our culture. This is something to be valued: passionate and dedicated farmers, cheesemakers, brewers and bakers, deeply connected to their customers and to their communities.
There is such beauty in that, something so authentic about knowing where your favorite foods, drinks and products come from and the stories behind the people who made them.