The story of Mill River Winery is a story of juxtaposition; old and new, historic yet modern, art begotten by science. Since 2011, the historic Dodge’s Cider Mill in Rowley, Massachusetts has been home to a unique collaboration between Rick Rousseau, an award-winning amateur winemaker and contractor, and Donna Martin, a Ph.D. analytical chemist. Soon after they met, Donna quickly started using her talents to find ways to improve and optimize the process of winemaking. They realized they’d stumbled onto an interesting synergy and began looking for ways to continue exploring their shared passion.
When we first entered into the historic building we were struck by two things: first, the hand hewn timber beams that were clearly original to the Cider Mill, and second, how welcoming the environment and the staff was. Rick showed us around the older portion of the property and into the new, high-tech, production area complete with 1,000 gallon wine tanks and plastic “flex tanks”.
He also walked us through the property and showed us the rows of grapevines they’d started and would hopefully grow mature grapes soon. Since they are a newer Winery they’ve been forced to use purchased grapes to this point but are planning to use their own very soon. Those efforts have been stifled to some degree by the deer who wander on to their property seeking a sweet snack, but the eight foot deer fence they are installing should help alleviate that problem.
If you are planning a trip to the North Shore of Massachusetts and are in want of an activity make sure to add a tasting of Mill River Winery to your itinerary. We’re sure you’ll find the wine exquisite and the hospitality unmatched.
498 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley, MA 01969