AWG Correspondent

Mark and Sonja

Mill River Winery Photos

Mill River Winery Review

Region: Massachusetts

Reviewed: June 19, 2014 by Mark and Sonja
Published: September 29, 2014

Rowley, Massachusetts, is home to a charming town square and market area untouched by time for hundreds of years, wharfs dotted with excellent seafood restaurants where diners can take in the classic seaside view, as well as two charming veterinarians, truly lovely people who are wonderful friends of ours, and whose wedding gave us occasion to visit the area. Additionally, Rowley is also home to Mill River Winery. Built in a renovated antique mill on the edge of a lush, green New England forest, Mill River is a must-visit for anyone who finds themself in this rural area of beautiful Massachusetts.

The rustic wooden interior of the tasting room is smaller than some, but a pleasant place to spend an afternoon if there aren't too many people with the same great idea that day. There is no outdoor seating, and also no option to drink a bottle on the premises, two of the only drawbacks of the winery. With that out of the way, Mill River produces a large selection of enjoyable wines which you can taste and purchase in the renovated mill first built in 1890. Most of the wines are well known European varietals made from grapes grown elsewhere in the United States. Tastings range in price, depending on what you're in the mood for. We tried the basic as well as the select option to try to get a better sense of all that Mill River had to offer.

The red wines at Mill River read like the menu in a steakhouse: Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as several blends. The most affordable red, Plum Island Red, is named for a local landmark, and was easy drinking if not overly complex, a good deal for $14.95. For those with a pricier palate, however, the Select Cabernet Sauvignon and the Select Cab/Merlot blend were both fantastic, weighing in at $39.95 and $44.95 respectably, making them not only some of the best, but also some of the priciest, wine we tried all week.

The white wines were more modest in price, yet arguably as good as the reds ounce for ounce. Plum Island also had a white blend named for it, a semisweet concoction that reminded us a little of Nebraska's up and coming Seyvals. Two different Chardonnays were both enjoyable, and the Riesling was pleasantly off-dry.

In town for a wedding, we, along with two other friends, spent a few of our rare "down" hours at Mill River Winery one afternoon, and we're so glad we did. The unique and storied tasting room was the perfect place to sit around and enjoy wines that reminded us more of sunny California than of the wooded New England coastline so nearby. The friendly staff assisting with our tasting were knowledgeable about their product and happy to answer any questions we had. We liked their wine so much that we bought three bottles – one for the couple getting married, one for our hosts, and one to take home. It's currently sitting in the cellar, waiting for just the right occasion. Though we would very much have liked to purchase a fourth bottle that afternoon and go enjoy it in the open air, the time we spent inside the winery with friends was certainly time well spent, and one of many memories from our trip to Rowley, Massachusetts, that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

Address & Contact Information: 498 Newburyport Turnpike Rowley, Massachusetts 01969. Telephone: 978-432-1280, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Wed-Sun 11:00-6:00.

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