Fruit Wines on the Rise

An article in Vinepair makes mention of two blueberry wine producers in Maine: Bluet, and RAS Wines—a new business co-owned by Joe Appel.

Terrien’s first protégé is RAS Wines, set to release the inaugural vintage of its Arkadia sparkling blueberry wine in March 2021. Co-owner Joe Appel, along with partners Dan Roche and Emily Smith, took their learnings from Terrien, but they approach vinification slightly differently. They plan to do longer macerations — anywhere from two-and-a-half to four weeks — and will focus on a Pét-Nat style, where the wine won’t be disgorged after second fermentation. Unlike Terrien, they work with frozen fruit. “The freezing process makes the cell structure break down,” says Appel, “so it’s easier to ferment.”

More information from RAS Wines,

It’s terrific to see and be a part of so much new energy in winemaking, especially all the producers looking to the full spectrum of their regions’ native fruits. While we at R A S have been experimenting in small batches with frozen wild Maine blueberries, with excellent results, the vast majority of the wines we produce for sale will be from fresh wild berries from the 2020 harvest. (Anticipated release is March 2021.)