As part of our one-day, two-day and three-day itinerary series specially crafted for guests of the Historic Inns of Rockland, we’ll highlight an event or activity on each itinerary that gives you the flavor of what you’ll likely experience. As you’ll see in our One-day Romantic Getaway Itinerary, one of our favorite escapes is All Aboard Trolley’s Midcoast Winery Tour in our very own “Nap-ah Valley.”
This “Grape To Glass” guided tour is perfect for those who don’t have a car or don’t feel like driving. The custom White Diamond trolley picks you up any of the three Historic Inns of Rockland at approximately 10 am.
You can bring your own picnic lunch or buy sandwiches and salads at the last stop on the tour—but prepare to make this a day-long activity as the tour takes about five hours.
As the trolley bounces comfortably along country roads, you’ll experience the kind of pastoral beauty and rolling fields covered in buttercups that rival even Napa Valley’s bucolic countryside.
The first stop, Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery, sits in the hilly, blueberry-covered fields of Union, Maine, where owners Elmer and Holly Savage toil alongside family members on this 95-acre working farm.Ninety percent of Savage Oakes Vineyard’s wine is produced from grapes grown on their property, so try the fabulous Vineyard Blues, a refreshing white wine with just a hint of blueberries.
Onward to Sweetgrass Farm Winery and Distillery, just up the road in Union, as they say in Maine. This family-run farm uses Maine-grown apples, cranberries, and blueberries in the production of their wines and spirits. Keith Bodine, owner, winemaker and distiller, takes a casual approach to his service, allowing each person to choose six tastings of either wine, port and/or spirits. Try the Cranberry Gin made with real cranberries. With a sip of tonic, it turns into a pink G & T—so good! If there’s a little time, explore the hiking trails and the picnic area that overlook Medomak River Valley.
By now, you’ll have already made friends on the trolley as it takes you through the winding back roads to Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville, the last stop of the tour. Run by owner Bettina Doulton, Cellardoor Winery boasts a breathtaking view of vineyards and the Camden Hills behind them. First, you’ll get a tour of their recently constructed and ultimate state-of-the art wine making facility at the top of the hill. Tastings take place down the hill in Cellardoor Winery’s reconstructed 1790 barn. Try their Perfect Stranger, a white made from Cuyahoga white grapes that gives off a hint of beach roses.
The state of Maine unfortunately doesn’t allow you to open a bottle of wine you may have purchased on your tour and drink it outside. However, All Aboard Trolley is fully licensed to allow alcoholic consumption on board. They even have wine glasses hanging on a rack in the back! So, as the trolley makes its final stop up to the top of Mt. Battie, pop open a bottle and enjoy the sights of the surrounding Penobscot Bay.
To find out more about All Aboard Trolley’s Wine Tour go to: http://www.meetthefleet.com/wine-tours
To view our One-day Romantic itinerary that includes the Maine Nap-ah Wine Tour go to: http://www.historicinnsofrockland.com/2011/07/one-day-romantic-itinerary-3/