© Deirdre Heekin

Frigid winter cold makes Vermont an unlikely place for quality wine. But Deirdre Heekin, owner of La Garagista, is producing excellent, naturally made bottlings from esoteric, chill-resistant grapes like La Crescent, Marquette and Frontenac Gris.

Charles Antin
June 04, 2015

California, New York, Oregon and Washington don’t have a monopoly on sun, dirt, water and talented winemakers. Here we look at the best producers in America's unsung wine regions.

La Garagista; Barnard, Vermont
Frigid winter cold makes Vermont an unlikely place for quality wine. But Deirdre Heekin, owner of La Garagista, is producing excellent, naturally made bottlings from esoteric, chill-resistant grapes like La Crescent, Marquette and Frontenac Gris. Her Lupo in Bocca is a bright and citrusy rosé that's also appealingly earthy. She calls the Loups-Garoux "very woodland," and we'd say this Frontenac Noir from Lake Champlain is similar to a juicy, sour-cherry-inflected Beaujolais. Though Heekin's first vintage was 2010, her wines have already impressed one of the country's luminary sommeliers. Pascaline Lepeltier, a master sommelier and the wine director at Rouge Tomate, plans to carry both bottlings when her restaurant reopens in its new location. “I was impressed right away,” she says. "It was just very good wine, simple but delicious, biodynamically farmed and natural."

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