Holmberg Orchards was started in the late 19th century by Swedish immigrants. The operation is still in the family, run by the third and fourth generations. It’s that fourth generation, Russell, who has introduced fermentation to the family business. They’ve planted grapes and produce both traditional wines and fruit wines from the Holmberg orchard. Those fruit wines are notable for two reasons: they are actually made from the juice of fruit (not grape wine flavored with fruit “essences”), and they have a clear and clean taste of the fruit from which they are made. We find them particularly drinkable and enjoyable, in a country wine sort of way.
Best of all are the hard ciders, which currently come in eight varieties: Original, Spiced, Rosé, Hop, Shandy, Black Currant, Honey, and Dry. The ciders are canned, and are all gently sweet (except for the dry version, we presume, which wasn’t available when we were there). Like the wines, but even more so, they have a clean and refreshing taste of the fruit, far removed from the candy-like flavors of mass-market ciders like Angry Orchard and Woodchuck. They are also quite unlike the complex, dry versions found in Normandy, Brittany, and Great Britain (and one of our favorite American cideries, Farnum Hill in New Hampshire). This is neither a good nor bad thing; they all have their places.
One more note: at the main road from which you enter the cidery grounds, the farm operates a farm market, stocked with their own produce, baked goods of some repute, and an impossibly cold and wonderful sweet cider slushie.1990 CT-12 Gales Ferry CT 06335 860-464-7305 Holmberg Winery’s Website Holmberg Winery on Facebook