Alfalfa Farm Review
Address: 267 Rowley Bridge Rd. Topsfield,Massachusetts 01983.
Phone Number: 978-774-0014
Tasting Hours: Sat-Sun 1:00-5:00 and by appt.
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 6/22/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Not far north of Boston, maybe a half hour drive from Logan Airport in light traffic, sit two immense silos on one of the oldest farms in Massachusetts. Sprawled between the two massive round structures is a sign that reads Alfalfa Farm, which can be seen for miles. The farm sits atop a hill on one side of a valley, the views from the patio on a warm summer afternoon are enough to occupy your mind as you sit and enjoy a glass of locally crafted wine.
The wines offered at Alfalfa Farm are produced from European grapes purchased by the winery as well as locally grown and harvested grapes and fruit. That which is grown locally is in large part harvested and processed by volunteers, and on the day of our late June visit there were a crew of locals in the winery, hard at work. We found it curious that they appear to rely so heavily upon volunteers, and wondered what might happen if they stopped showing up. On this day, however, there was no risk of such things happening.
In the white wine department, Alfalfa Farm comes up short. On the day of our visit, their tasting menu contained only one true white wine a Pinot Grigio. It was an okay Pinot Grigio, not special, and again, alone as the white wine on the menu. If we had gone there looking for whites, as we may well have on a summer afternoon, the visit might have been a little disappointing.
The red wines however, were more abundant and also more enjoyable. The Merlot, White Merlot (a blush) and Pinot Noir were all wines that we enjoyed. The AFW Red Table Wine however, a 2010 Zinfandel, was outright fantastic. With notes of spice and chocolate, it was full-bodied, balanced, and would stand up to most Zins in its price range of around $20. We took a bottle home with us.
Alfalfa Farm also made a variety of fruit wines, including Cranberry, Blueberry, and Pomegranate. We tried all three, and all three were pleasant, distinct, and definitely on the sweeter side. This would be a brilliant stop for a fruit-wine lover.
The articles on the wall, as well as the horde of volunteers, made it clear that the community is proud of its winery. The little things at Alfalfa Farm we found appreciable, not least the recipe cards for cooking with their wine or pairing dishes. The paid staff behind the bar was friendly, dressed casually, and knew much about the wine she served us. Alfalfa Farm is unlike most of the wineries we visited in New England; we found it to be quaint and modest. Just like most of our prior stops that week, however, we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit.
If youre looking for a winery with fancy atmosphere, well, the name says it all. Alfalfa Farm is a farm, and while the large patio and the views from it are enjoyable, theres nothing upscale about the tasting room. With that said we found it relaxing, if far from ritzy, and on a quiet afternoon heading to the airport, that was just what we were looking for.