We are often asked how Glorie Farm Winery came to be. This is our story. Doug planted the first grape vineyard on Glorie Farms here in Marlboro back in 1983. The grape was a white French hybrid called Seyval Blanc. That first vineyard was followed by plantings of Concord, Sheridan, and DeChaunac. In those early years, all of the wine grapes were sold in large bins to local wineries. Time passed and Doug made contact with people who made wine for their own use. It is these “home winemakers” and their families who became our predominant wine grape customers. In the mid-1990’s, after Doug left his engineering job and began farming full time, we planted more vines, both Seyval Blanc and DeChaunac, because in most years the home winemakers’ desire for grapes was greater than the supply our vineyards could provide.
And then came 2001. The spring season was a good one with just the right amount of rain and no major temperature extremes. When the bloom and pollination periods had passed, the young grape crop looked promising, and we crossed our fingers. Summer came, and with it, bright sunny days, hot temperatures, and a distinct lack of rainfall – all good conditions for grape growth and maturation. Come September, when harvest began, it became immediately clear this was no ordinary crop. The fruit was abundant and it was sweet. We picked and sold grapes and satisfied all the home winemakers. We picked and sold some more to local wineries in the Hudson Valley, NY area, and still there were grapes on the vines. The grapes were of such quality that we were loath to leave any of them in the vineyard, so Doug worked out a deal with a winemaker at a local winery to use our grapes and make wine for us. We waited through the winter, visiting the winery to check on the wine, and tasting it every so often to see how it was developing. Again, we crossed our fingers.
Our patience was rewarded in June of 2002 when we went to bottle the wine. The 2001 Seyval Blanc vintage was excellent! The wine had a beautiful amber color, a pleasant fresh bouquet, full fruit flavor, and a long, smooth and satisfying finish. The wine, in our opinion, was fabulous, and we had 60 cases of it! We enjoyed some of it ourselves, shared some with family and friends, and even sold some under the license of a local winery. All in all, it was a fun experience, an experience that got Doug to thinking…. If we could consistently make such high-quality wine from our grapes, wouldn’t it be a natural extension to our fruit farm business, and wouldn’t it be an exciting endeavor to have a small winery of our own? And that, my friends, is when the seed, so to speak, for Glorie Farm Winery was planted.