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Champlain Islands Wineries

Updated on August 30, 2017

Lake Champlain Island Vineyards?

An island in the middle of Lake Champlain might seem an unlikely place for a vineyard, but South Hero Island features two of these Lake Champlain Island vineyards. South Hero is the southernmost of the Lake Champlain Islands that make up Vermont's Grand Isle County. The entire county is surrounded by Lake Champlain, with the exception of the town of Alburgh, whose northern border is shared with Quebec, Canada.

Viniculture in the Champlain Valley has grown significantly in the past twenty years (check out: Lake Champlain Wineries for more about these wineries). Lake Champlain's waters tend to moderate the cold temperatures, creating a micro-climate that favors hardier varieties of grapes.

Let's take a look at the two Lake Champlain vineyards, both located on Grand Isle in Vermont.

Snow Farm Vineyard
Snow Farm Vineyard

Snow Farm Vineyards

Vermont's first vineyard and grape winery

Situated on an island in the middle of Lake Champlain, Snow Farm Vineyard takes advantage of the micro-climate created by Lake Champlain, the sixth largest lake in the United States. Because the growing season is similar to the Burgundy region of France, Snow Farm is able to grow the cooler climate vinifera grapes, like Pinot Noir and Riesling, as well as Vidal Blanc and Baco Noir, which are even more cold hardy.

Thanks to Vermont's cold winter temperatures, Snow Farm produces an ice wine, in addition to other dessert wines. Ice wines can only be produced in a few locations around the world because they require the grapes, at the peak of sweetness, to be frozen on the vine and immediately harvested and processed.

Snow Farm has been featured on Vermont Public Television's "Feast in the Making" and in a variety of publications including: The Wine Spectator, Appellation Magazine, Wine Enthusiast, Food and Wine Magazine, The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler Magazine, The Montreal Gazette, Boston Globe and many more. Snow Farm Vineyard also appeared on the cover and was featured in the 1998 Fall issue of Vermont Life Magazine; they were also featured in Vermont Life in 2001 and 2002.

Snow Farm Vineyard

Where is Snow Farm Vineyard? - Snow Farm Vineyard: South Hero, Vermont

A markerSnow Farm Vineyard and Winery -
190 W Shore Rd, South Hero, VT 05486
get directions

Snow Farm Vineyard Concert

Snow Farm Vineyard Concert
Snow Farm Vineyard Concert

2014 Snow Farm *Updated* Concert Schedule

On Thursday evenings throughout the summer the Lake Champlain Island vineyards come alive with music. Snow Farm Vineyard's music concert series presents a variety of music to satisfy all tastes: from classical to jazz to swing to bluegrass to classic rock. All concerts are free and tickets are not required.

Concerts are held every Thursday evening from June to September, weather permitting. Picnicking begins at 5 p.m. and music starts at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. Bring your own chairs and blankets.

Wine and beer are available for purchase. Alcohol purchased off-site is not allowed on-site.

More info at Snow Farm Concert Series.

NOTE: This year due to the unusually wet weather some concerts have had to be rescheduled.

This year's updated concert schedule is:

  • JUN 19 Sturcrazie 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • JUN 20 Jenni Johnson 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

    {Rescheduled from JUN 12}

  • JUN 26 Carol Ann Jones and the Superchargers 6:00 - 8:30 pm
  • JUL 3 Rhythm Rockets 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • JUL 4 Catfish and Bodega Review 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • JUL 10 Dirt Road 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • JUL 17 House on Fire 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • JUL 24 Phil Abair Band 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • JUL 31 Quadra 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • AUG 7 Blues For Breakfast 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • AUG 14 Nobby Reed 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • AUG 21 Shakedown 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • AUG 28 Starline Rhythm Boys 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Snow Farm Vineyard Video

30 second video about Snow Farm Vineyard, one of the Lake Champlain Island vineyards, and their wines

Red or White? - What 's Your Preference in Wine?

Which Do You Prefer?

East Shore Vineyard

East Shore Vineyard
East Shore Vineyard

Located in on the east shore of South Hero Island, in Grand Isle County, Vermont, East Shore Vineyard has been growing commercial wine grapes since 2000 . Lake Champlain not only offers a breathtaking backdrop to the vineyard, but helps make ESV an excellent place for grape growing. Lake Champlain's waters provide a micro climate that is very favorable to growing winter hardy grape cultivars from which ESV produces world class wines.

Although they have only produced their own wines since 2008, East Shore Vineyard has won numerous awards for their fine wines. This despite the fact that a severe wind and hailstorm destroyed the vineyard in 2007, forcing ESV to purchase its' grapes from other vineyards. With the vineyard back and plans for building their own winery (currently processing is done off-site) ESV seems well on their way.

East Shore Vineyard

Where is East Shore Vineyard? - East Shore Vineyard: Grand Isle, Vermont

East Shore Vineyard is located on Grand Isle. This Champlain Island vineyard also features a tasting room in Burlington, Vermont.

A markerEast Shore Vineyard -
69 East Shore North, Grand Isle VT 05458
get directions

East Shore Vineyards Tasting Room - 28 Church Street Burlington, VT 05401

East Shore Vineyards Tasting Room
East Shore Vineyards Tasting Room

Its eleven acre Champlain Island vineyard has spectacular views of Lake Champlain, but East Shore Vineyard is far off the main road; it lacks traffic and customers.

Without a sign or tasting room, East Shore Vineyard had been selling their wines at farmers markets and local events for five years. The winery sells almost 60 percent of its products in June and July to tourists. Now they are going to the customers with their products.

Bob Livingstone of East Shore Vineyard said, "we initially thought about having a part-time tasting place here because we needed a place for someone to go. We needed brick and mortar."

Now in the heart of Burlington, Vermont on the Church Street Marketplace they have that building.

"Traffic, traffic more than anything and exposure to people," said Linda Livingstone of East Shore Vineyard.

East Shore Vineyards Tasting room
East Shore Vineyards Tasting room

ESV Tasting Room News

East Shore Vineyards Wine Tasting Room

There is always something happening at ESV's hopping tasting room. Here's some of the latest news:

"Women Unwind" event- held once per month on aThursday 5-7 pm. $5 glasses of all of our ESV wines with featured cheese or chocolate pairings.

Relax with a cheese board and a glass of wine and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the Church Street Marketplace.

Wine education classes are taught by our wine professionals. Expand your wine knowledge while having fun attending private wine education classes at the tasting room.

East Shore Vineyard Wine Tasting Bar is located at 28 Church St, Burlington, VT 05401 Phone: 802-859-9463

What Do You Say?

Have You Tried Wines From Either of These Lake Champlain Islands Wineries?

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