Sustaining Maine Wild Blueberry Farms
We work with family growers in mid-coast Maine to bring in a kaleidoscopic crop of wild blueberries each year, sourcing from different regions and fields, each with their own unique characteristics and ways of managing this wild crop. Many of these family farms have been harvesting wild blueberries for generations. Our partnership with these growers stands at the heart of what we do at Bluet–in order to make the best sparkling wine possible and help create a sustainable future for family farms.
We’ve worked with the Boyingtons from the very beginning, turning wild blueberries from their beautiful fields on Appleton Ridge into our first vintage of wine in 2015.
Today, they supply us with fruit from several different fields up and down the ridge, which peaks around 600 feet and looks southeast across the Georges’ River and Senebec Pond. The well-sloped, sandy, granitic soil–a combination of Lyman Outcrop and Peru Fine Sandy Loam–drains well and produces a fruit with great balance and minerality.
In any given summer, you’ll find three generations of the family at work raking berries, driving tractors, or sorting fruit on the fresh pack line.
Jeff and Trudy Beardsworth have deep roots in the wild blueberry world, as Trudy is an Allen from Sedgwick whose family previously owned Allen’s Blueberry Freezer in Orland. Their Sedgewick wild blueberries grow near sea level within a stone’s throw from the ocean in Marlow fine sandy loam soil, and bring a beautiful rose quality when transformed into wine.
You’ll find the Beardsworth fruit strongly represented in our 2021 Champagne-method wines.
The Howard and Brodis families have been growing wild blueberries on their property in Hope for seven generations and counting. Their dramatic fields sit up high around 600 feet on the Jones Hill ridge between Senebec Pond and Alford Lake, with excellent drainage down western facing slopes of Lyman Outcrop-Tunbridge soils with moderately deep glacial till.
We’ve worked with them for several years now, learning about their land management practices, admiring their sense of community, and enjoying their own wild blueberry products which range far beyond great jams to the Eau de Vie of Blue Barren Distillery.
They are also incredible thought partners in a shared vision of ways to create a wine country experience for visitors to mid-Coast Maine.
The Allens of Orland have been in the wild blueberry business since the early 1900, and today a fifth generation harvests wild blueberries on land across Mid-coast and downeast Maine. We are proud to partner with Simeon Allen and his family to explore their fruit’s expression in sparkling wine, while exploring new ways to grow the Maine wild blueberry wine industry.
The Allens have a unique perspective as not only growers but operators of one of the state’s smaller processing facilities.
Linda and Cary Nash have helped pioneer the organic wild blueberry movement, managing hundreds of acres across mid-coast Maine. They’ve spent their lives in the wild blueberry business, not only as growers but in leadership roles on industry councils.
Their organic Maine wild blueberries are prized for their purity and quality, sourced from a constellation of fields that meet MOGFA standards, including challenging terrain that requires hand-raking. They were the second grower we started working with, and we continue working with their wonderful fruit to develop our first 100% organic wine, coming in 2022.
The Robbins Family, Bluet at Appleton Ridge
In 2020, Jim and Anne Robins bought a beautiful piece of land they’d been walking for years as part of a beloved trail that runs from the Georges River to Appleton Ridge and down the other side to the Georges River again. At the peak of this trail lies almost 20 acres of wild blueberry land that the Robbins family now leases to Bluet, where we are setting out to learn more about the fruit, experiment with field-to-bottle processes, and create an experience for guests in the heart of wild blueberry country. The land represents an amazing partnership between Bluet, the Robbins family, Maine Farmland Trust and the Georges River Land Trust. Visitors are invited to come anytime to walk the Ridge to River Trail and to watch the Bluet events page for special opportunities to meet us in the field for celebration, education and fun.