I spent May Day in Vermont, catching up on the wines that I had tasted pre-bottling from the 2020 vintage and finishing my visits. I rented a car in Hudson. They were out of the economy models and presented me with a huge SUV as a free upgrade—a Land Rover Sport. “I’m not getting into that,” I said. But I did and test drove it to Warren Street where I was compelled to drop some money at the new shop, Grapefruit Wines. It’s a great addition to Hudson. Homey and filled with great bottles.
Back in the leather seats of the SUV, I tentatively figured out (mostly) the technology, and by the time I hit Lake George, I had to admit, I loved riding around in the literal seat of luxury. And on a more practical note, it did handle the sloppiness of mud season very safely.
My trip’s focus was on tasting, meeting and foraging but still there were a few fun tips I picked up to pass on to you. Creemees, the local term for soft-serve, are trending. But like the fabulous Sonoma-based Straus, the best ones in Vermont rely on top notch ingredients. To that point, Burlington’s Little Gordo is on everyone’s lick list. The Vergennes Laundry is back in business with new owners. It’s upscale and expensive, but the cakes are divine. I’m tough on lemon poppy seed cake, but theirs ticked my poppy-seed infatuated sweet tooth box. But mostly, I was eating with friends so didn’t truly explore the touristic charms of the state. Speaking of which, the ticks were out, both deer and tree. Terrifying. And equally so were the lilacs, just about to burst into bloom—a full three weeks ahead of time. Meanwhile the vines were just budding out and the ramps were in full onslaught.
On a terribly somber note, I am sorry to bring more sad news about the passing of Pascal Clairet of the Jura, thoughtful, kind, a maker of beautiful wines. His Domaine de la Tournelle gave the drinking world immense pleasure. My heart goes out to his wife and children and those far closer to him than I was. If you’d like to leave a condolence, you can do so here. May his memory be a blessing.
And this week, I bring you the next installment of the Vermont news. Meet Camila Carrillo and her wines. For subscribers only!
I'm hunting the Leon Trotskys, the Philip Roths, the Chaucers and the Edith Whartons of the wine world. I want them natural and most of all, I want them to speak the truth even if we argue. With this messiah thing going on, I'm trying to swell the ranks of those who crave the differences in each vintage, celebrate nuance and desire wines that make them think, laugh, and feel. Welcome.