Wine is not something usually associated with Vermont. Maple syrup and craft beers top the list. Vermont is, however, becoming internationally known for its wine. Within an hour and a bit of West Hill House B&B there are numerous vineyards that welcome visitors and offer tasting opportunities. Two of our favorites are Lincoln Peak Vineyard and Boyden Valley Wine & Spirits.
Lincoln Peak Vineyard is on the route to Middlebury which is a great college town worth exploring. Evolving from an apple orchard to strawberry fields and ultimately to a vineyard, Lincoln Peak Vineyard is now one of the largest grape producers in Vermont. The vines came from a fellow vintner in Minnesota and are a winter-hardy grape variety that is happy in the Vermont climate.
Making a first batch of commercial wine in 2006, Lincoln Peak now produces over 25,000 bottles of wine a year all from grapes grown on their own vineyard. Entering the International Cold-Climate Wine Competitions for four years has garnered Lincoln Peak Vineyard three best-in-show awards along with several gold and double-gold medals.
Lincoln Peak Vineyard opens its 2017 season on May 20 offering visitors a chance to taste some of their 12 great wines with fun names like Starlight, Petite Pink and Ragtime. We stock two Lincoln Peak wines at West Hill House B&B, La Crescent and Marquette.
Like many Vermont enterprises, Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits evolved through a long family history. The Boyden family began farming 800 acres over 100 years ago. Purchased in 1914, the Boyden family started with 28 head of dairy cows. Frederick and Phila Boyden along with their nine children planted the roots of what today is the thriving business.
David, Mark and Stephanie are the 4th generation on the farm. David and his wife Linda, his siblings Mark and Stephanie and the rest of the team, oversee activities encompassing raising beef cattle and organic crops, tending 10,000 maple trees, raising cold climate grapes, making wine and more.
Boyden Valley Winery was one of the first licensed wineries in Vermont. Hardy cold climate vines were planted in 1996 and while waiting for them to mature, the Boydens began to craft fruit wines. Now they offer 20 award winning creative wines. They also took advantage of their other famous Vermont products, cream, apples and maple syrup and have created the most amazing cream liqueur, Vermont Ice Maple Cream Liqueur. The only thing they don’t produce on the property is the glass bottle the liqueur is in!
Their tasting room is a beautiful barn and the family members and staff are not only very friendly but are knowledgeable about all aspects of wine production from the ground to bottle. The tasting room is open year round and special tasting events take place from time to time.
Vermont Ice Maple Cream Liqueur is a much loved constant in the bar at West Hill House B&B.
When you visit West Hill House B&B we will be happy to direct you to these and other near by vineyards. Remember to drink responsibly and have a designated driver.
How many words can you think of that contain the word moon? 10? 25? 50? More? Well done! An internet search finds over 190 words containing the word moon. Here are but a few…
- Moon: The Moon is an astronomical body that orbits planet Earth, being Earth’s only permanent natural satellite.
- Man-in-the-moon: Although there is said to be a man in the moon whose face is always looking at us, Neil Armstrong was actually the the first man to set foot on the Moon.
- Moonstone: n. A variety of feldspar valued as a gem for its pearly translucence.
- Moonlight: n. The light reflected from the surface of the moon.
- Moonshine: n.Illegally distilled liquor, especially whiskey. Also called regionally white lightning.
- Blue Moon: a song written by Rodgers and Hart in 1934 which has become a classic and recorded by many.
- Moonwalk: n. A dance step in which the dancer creates the illusion of walking forward while actually sliding back one foot at a time.
- Honeymoon: n. The traditional holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in intimacy and seclusion.
Did you include Babymoon in your list? Yes, babymoon. It’s not a tiny moon however it is a popular “moon” to be enjoyed by parents-to-be.
Babymoon: n. A relaxing and romantic vacation taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born.
Whereas a honeymoon is a celebration of your new life ahead, a babymoon is a celebration of the old life you’re about to leave behind, well hopefully not leaving behind but celebrating the life you are about to bring into to your world.
General wisdom says you and your significant other are entitled to a babymoon during each pregnancy. After all, you’re about to embark on seemingly months of straight up nighttime feedings (where you may even get a chance to see the moon!), dirty diapers, and crying so you might as well try to get in a little relaxation while you can.
No matter the season, a babymoon should not be the sightseeing adventure of a lifetime rather a chance for the two of you to relax and rekindle your relationship before your baby comes and life changes in ever so many ways. Some babymoon couples head to sea and sand, some to countryside gardens, and some to the peace of the mountains.
So if it is the fresh air and peaceful mountains you are looking for, Vermont is the place to be. Outstanding bed and breakfasts invite relaxation, additionally many offer Babymoon Specials which may include such treats as a romantic dinner for two, couples’ massages with a special prenatal massage for mom, chocolates of course and a small keepsake for baby. Nearby pathways and mountain trails invite walking and our friendly locally owned shops offer everything from hand crafted children’s toys and snuggly quilts for the new little one to that something special to remember your trip by. Especially noteworthy are the excellent restaurants with healthy, locally grown food which is a treat to body and soul.
Therefore, if you are parents-to-be, we invite you to book yourselves a babymoon and relax in beautiful surroundings of West Hill House B&B nestled in the beautiful, peaceful Green Mountains of Vermont.
Our Sap-bucket list has just the thing for you runners, the Mad Marathon!
Billed as the World’s Most Beautiful Marathon, July 8, 2012 is the date for the 2nd annual run and it’s not too late to register to take part in either the full or half marathon. Walkers are also welcome.
Joining runners from around the world, the run will take you through the beautiful Mad River Valley on back and dirt roads offering breathtaking views of the Green Mountains, covered bridges, barns and of course, Vermont cows!
Professionally organized, this marathon course is certified and sanctioned by the US Track and Field. Check out the Mad Marathon website for full details.
West Hill House B&B, like many B&Bs in the area, requires a two night booking on the Marathon weekend so plan to stay for a few days to enjoy the many less strenuous activities such as visiting Ben & Jerry’s, photographing the covered bridges, standing in awe at the foot of beautiful waterfalls, enjoying the many great restaurants or just relaxing in a hammock.
The countdown is on to the World’s Most Beautiful Marathon – come be part of this amazing event.
Both of these attractions are well worth a visit when you stay at West Hill House.
The 600 ft deep Rock of Ages granite quarry in nearby Barre is a favorite destination for our guests. It is reputed to be the largest such quarry in the world. With the scale of the geological formation it is estimated that at current production rates there is enough granite for 4,000 years! There is a Vistors’ Center where you can learn all about the quarry, the factory where you can see how monuments are carved, and of course the tour of the quarry itself which leaves every 45 minutes or so. Check out some photos in our photo album on Facebook.
The granite is on display in its finished form as beautiful monuments in nearby Hope Cemetery. This cemetery in Barre is an unusual tourist attraction but please do not pass this up – it doesn’t sound like a great side trip, but it is.
Many grave monuments were carved for their own family members by stonemasons, who worked at the Rock of Ages Quarry. Find the soccer ball, the biplane, the eighteen-wheeler, the stock car, and the cube on one of its points. There are family portraits including a husband and wife sitting up in bed and lots of intricately carved floral arrangements. Have a look at our photo album on Facebook.
On July 1st Anthony Princiotti conducted the Vermont Symphony Orchestra in the open air at Sugarbush offering “Symphony Royale” with music fit for a king…or a summer evening in Vermont! Handel’s fireworks began the program and Northstar’s fireworks concluded it, in this musical homage to royalty. The noble procession included Scheherazade’s Kalendar Prince, the King and Queen of Troy, and the King of Siam. The concert was in honor of Independence Day celebrating America’s freedom from monarchical rule with their own version of royalty, Duke Ellington! The performance was crowned by the majestic 1812 Overture and selections from Sousa, the March King, which were both accompanied by an amazing fireworks display with the finale captured in this short videoby Susan.
Intriguingly the concert, being on July 1st, was on Canada Day when Canadians celebrated their royalty with the visit of its newest couple, William and Catherine, who were at Parliament Hill in Ottawa to join Canadians country wide to celebrate the 144th anniversary of Confederation.
Mystery fans seldom get to meet their favorite writer let alone sit down with him and talk about the secrets of the trade. On August 26 and 27, at the West Hill House B&B in Warren, VT, you will get that chance, with Vermont’s own detective mystery writer Archer Mayor.
The author wears many hats: medical examiner, cop, fire fighter, reporter, photographer … stir these all together, add a pinch of intrigue and one large helping of a mysterious murder and from these ingredients Archer Mayor has created Vermont’s own fiction super sleuth Joe Gunther. Joe is a local policeman, who is best described as kind and compassionate but sharp and intelligent, in short the kind of cop you hope shows up when you need one.
If you have never read an Archer Mayor mystery, go get one (or more). Red Herring is his latest in paper back.
All these events are being held in the Handsome Red Barn at West Hill House B&B in Warren, VT. The details are:
- Friday evening, August 26 at 7 pm: Archer Mayor brings his personal experience as a medical examiner to the front with an enjoyable and informative talk, “Not CSI: Forensics – Truth or Fiction.” $10/person. Light refreshments provided.
- Saturday afternoon, August 27 at 2 pm: aspiring writers will gather to attend a 2-hour workshop entitled “How Archer Does What He Does”. Attendees will gain insight into site, plot and character development. $30/person, $15 for students with ID. Light snack provided.
- Saturday evening, August 27 at 7 pm: “Archer Mayor Let Loose”. This informal evening will be fun filled as Archer Mayor entertains with his insight, experience, humor and storytelling. Autographed book included. $25/person. Dessert buffet provided.
Advance tickets are required, space is limited. This is a sanctioned event of the Vermont Festival of the Arts. Call 802-496-7162 for tickets.
Come and stay at West Hill House B&B on the Friday and Saturday night and attend all three events for $50 per person plus the cost of your room.
We can arrange your tee times and provide discounted green fees including tax and a golf cart. Golf club rentals are available. Rates vary by date so when you book please select the dates of your planned stay to see the price of a round. To take advantage of these rates please book at least two nights. The standard package is a round for two people – let us know if you need something different. The course is available through October 31st. You can book your Sugarbush golf package directly or call us to discuss.