State’s wineries invite public to open houses on Sunday

The Maine Wine Guild is sponsoring Open Winery Day on Sunday.

Wineries all over the state will be open to the public, offering samples, food and wine pairings, entertainment, wine-making demonstrations and behind-the-scenes tours.

The guild suggests planning your visits to various wineries with the Maine Wine Trail map, available at

Most wineries will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., unless otherwise noted below:

Bartlett Winery, Gouldsboro. 546-2408;

Wine tastings plus presentations by the winemaker, a wine importer and a specialty wine shop owner; demonstrations of wood-fired oven cookery; artisans from a local cheese company and a smokehouse. A tasting from Bartlett’s library of exceptional aged wines will be available by advance reservation.

Blacksmith’s Winery, South Casco. 655-3292;

A progressive food and wine pairing throughout the winery, with a limited supply of complimentary glasses, will feature Smiling Hill Farm cheeses, Jim’s Chocolates and other specialties.

Breakwater Vineyards, Owls Head. 594-1721;

Tours of the winery with samples (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) of Appleton Creamery’s award-winning goat cheeses.

Catherine Hill Winery, Cherryfield. 546-3426;

Live music, local cheese and chocolate makers, special tastings in addition to the winery’s regular tastings, Art in the Vineyard in partnership with Tunk Mountain Art and Craft Gallery.

Cellardoor Winery, Lincolnville. 763-4478;

Chocolate and wine pairings, wine tastings; barrel tastings, vineyard and winery tours.

The Fat Friar’s Meadery, Newcastle. 563-5382;

A medieval party with a gypsy minstrel ensemble, lords and ladies, belly dancers and perhaps even knights demonstrating the finer points of chivalry and sword fighting. Medieval pastimes and crafts will be explained, and the Fat Friar will give tours of the meadery and pour tastings.

Maine Mead Works, Portland. 773-6323;

Complimentary Maine Winery Guild glasses will be available.

Oyster River Winery and Vineyard, Thomaston. 354-7177;

Tour the farm and watch draft horse-powered demonstrations in the vineyard (noon to 2 p.m.). Wood-fired pizzas by Uproot Pie Company and ice cream by Stone Fox Creamery.

Prospect Hill Winery, Lebanon. 651-9335;

Food and wine pairings, vineyard tours, demonstrations of winemaking equipment and discussion of grapes suited to the Maine climate.

Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery, Union. 785-2828;

Vineyard tours, grape tastings and winery demonstrations. Maine singer/songwriter Don Campbell will perform from 1 to 3 p.m.

Sweetgrass Farm Winery and Distillery, Union. 785-3024;

Distilling demonstrations and a special cocktail sampling.

Two Hogs Winery, Vassalboro. 660-5594

Samplings of local products will include cheeses, breads and chocolates.

You-nity Winery, Unity. 948-7777;

Grape stomping, live band, alpacas; artwork on display, winery tours.


Local chefs gearing up for ‘Claw Down’ competition

Local chefs are creating lobster bites for a new lobster chef challenge called “Claw Down,” which will be the kickoff event for the region’s restaurant week.

The “Claw Down” challenge, sponsored by the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor. The winner will be named “Claw Down Chef of the Year.”

Participating restaurants include The Boat House Bistro & Tapas Bar, the Boothbay Lobster Wharf, Brown’s Wharf Inn, Davis Island Grill and 10 others.

Lynn Archer, owner of Archer’s on the Pier and the Brass Compass Cafe, will emcee the event, along with Mike Rovin of 94.9 WHOM. Judges will include Dane Somers, executive director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council; Kelly Patrick Farrin, the 2010 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year winner and a sous chef at Primo restaurant in Rockland; and Meredith Goad, food writer for the Portland Press Herald.

The public will also get to sample each entry and vote on a favorite for a “Peoples’ Choice” award. Wines will be provided by Central Distributors.

Tickets are $35, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Boothbay Region Community Resources. To purchase tickets, go to or call 633-2353.


Course to teach participants how to create school garden

School teachers, staff and parents who would like to learn how to create and maintain a school garden can attend a new course offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland and York counties.

Each of the five classes will focus on a particular topic, from composting to garden planning. Participants will get an understanding of basic gardening principles and learn how to connect that information to the classroom and cafeteria.

The course will be offered Wednesdays from 4:30 to 7 p.m. from Oct. 3 through Nov. 7 at Bonny Eagle Middle School, 92 Sokokis Trail. The cost is $50 per person. For more information or to register, go to Registration deadline is Sept. 26.


Learn how to can vegetables, make fruit jam at free class

Learn how to can fresh vegetables and make fruit jam at a free class at 11 a.m. Saturday. The event takes place at Kittery Estates and is taught by Julie Kahler of Chef’s Cove. She’ll conduct a cooking demonstration, and participants will get to taste the fresh jam.

To register, call 438-1743. Kittery Estates is located at 220 State Road.


Maine Huts & Trails brings in chef Turin to prepare dinner

Portland chef David Turin will be cooking for the third Guest Chef Night at Maine Huts & Trails.

The dinner will begin with hors d’oeuvres at 5 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Flagstaff Hut. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. and includes four courses paired with wines.

The ticket price includes the dinner, wines, lodging and a full breakfast the next morning, plus access to all daily activities offered by Maine Huts & Trails, 496 Maine St. Tickets are $150 for a shared bunkroom, and $250 per person or $450 per couple for a private bunkroom.

Proceeds from the dinner go to the nonprofit Maine Huts & Trails.

Reservations are required. Call (877) 634-8824.

For more information, and to enter to win two free tickets, go to


Making ratatouille the focus of food pantry’s fundraiser

Using the season’s abundance of fresh vegetables, chef Lindsay Sterling and French native Stephanie Looten-Caceres will show how to prepare the classic Provencal dish ratatouille. The class takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Freeport Community Center.

Using eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes, the pair will use the recipe of Looten-Caceres’ grandmother and serve the dish over baguette, couscous or rice.

Those who attend are encouraged to bring their own drinks. Suggested donations of between $15 and $35 will be accepted for the Freeport Food Pantry.

The Freeport Community Center is located at 53 Depot St. To reserve a spot at the class, email [email protected]


Many dishes, silent auction featured at school benefit

The 5th annual Eco Appetito benefit for the Food for Thought Program at the Ferry Beach Ecology School takes place from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Vignola Cinque Terre in Portland.

Food will include scallops, mussels, salmon, top round beef, artisan cheeses, Gelato Fiasco gelato and mini whoopie pies.

Those who attend will also be able to bid on silent auction items and enjoy entertainment from the school’s staff.

Vignola Cinque Terre is located at 10 Dana St. in Portland. Tickets cost $40 in advance and $50 at door. To reserve tickets, call 283-9951 or email [email protected]


Five-course wine dinner shines spotlight on Tuscany

Bar Lola will feature the wines of Tuscany in a five-course wine dinner Tuesday.

The wines that will be served are Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2010, Farnetella Chianti Colli Senesi 2007, Agostino Pieri Rosso di Montalcino 2010, Poggio Amorelli Gode II Rosso di Toscana 2009 and Montepeloso A Quo 2010.

The event is $75 per person, which includes food, wine pairings, tax and gratuity.

Call 775-5652 or go to for reservations.


Whole Foods invites visitors to help feed hungry children

Whole Foods Market is holding its quarterly Food Drive for Kids 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

During the drive, volunteers from Wayside Food Programs will be at the store handing out a wish list of kid-friendly, non-perishable food items that customers can purchase and donate. The food will be distributed to more than 47 food pantries, soup kitchens and social service agencies throughout Cumberland County.

On the Thursday, the Portland store will also hold a “5% Day” to benefit Wayside during store hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The store will donate 5 percent of the day’s net sales to Wayside’s Under One Roof Campaign.

Whole Foods Market is located at 2 Somerset St. For more information, call 774-7711.