Advocating for under-appreciated wine regions in the Eastern United States
Owner(s): Paul and Cindy Freedman
Winemaker: Paul Freedman
Dutch Creek Winery Profile
Written by Brian Oct 2, 2017
Farming and a desire to learn and teach new skills have found their nexus at Dutch Creek Winery near Athens, Ohio. It was here on the grounds of their Wild Pear Farm that Paul and Cindy Freedman developed their love of farming, bee keeping and ultimately winemaking.
Following other careers, the Freedmans poured considerable energy into their farm. In addition to a variety of other newly discovered skills, in 2008 the couple began keeping bees. This pursuit had a direct causal effect on Paul’s experiments with mead (or honey wine). It started as more of a hobby involving a series of trial runs, but it proved to be a slippery slope. With the encouragement of friends the couple started selling mead commercially in 2015.
Mead, of course, is an ancient drink. In parts of Europe that did not support grape production, honey was fermented to make a sort of wine. Over the last 20 years or so, mead has steadily gained popularity in the United States and meaderies have appeared throughout the country.
One misconception, and one I shared until recently, is that mead is a sweet beverage. Of course, that is crazy. It is the sugar, after all, that is turned to alcohol during the fermentation process just as it is with other wines. Depending on how long that process is allowed to proceed, meads can range from very sweet to bone dry. They are also typically flavored and there is no limit to the ingredients that can be used render a variety of tastes. It is a versatile beverage and one worth exploring.
No Available Reviews
The Virginia Grape
Not open to public
Tasting room opening in 2018 -- see website
Part of the Dutch Creek lineup.
Keeping bees on Wild Pear Farm.
In addition to meads, Dutch Creek also offers a number of fruit wines. Honey, peaches, cherries, apples and blueberries are used to make between 200 and 300 cases of wine annually.
As of this writing, Dutch Creek does not have a tasting room, but one is under construction and it is scheduled to open in 2018. In the meantime, the winery distributes to a variety of retail outlets in Ohio and West Virginia.
The space that is now under construction on Wild Pear Farm will eventually allow Dutch Creek Winery to increase production, host visitors and provide room for educational programs. The desire is to develop a unique experience that includes tastings, maple syrup production, cheese making, mushroom hunting and more. It is part of the Freedmans’ interest in making a positive investment in their community.
I suggest that we keep an eye on the activities at Dutch Creek Winery and Wild Pear Farm. The winemaking alone is enough to peak my interest, but the other activities combined with make this a unique venue and one worth investigating further. So after they open their doors, make an effort to visit. When you do please let me know what you think.