- Ellison Estate Vineyard's wines at Field Guide Lodge
Last summer, Ellison Estate owners Kendra and Rob Knapik opened their first tasting room at their vineyard in Grand Isle, where the family spends the growing season. Stowe is where they live in the off-season and overwinter their flock of sheep, so they liked the idea of offering tastings there, too.
"Our winery is out of our home, so it's not really set up for that," Kendra told Seven Days. "We thought maybe we could find a temporary space to try on what it feels like to run a commercial tasting room downtown."
The bar and lounge in Field Guide Lodge — previously Picnic Social, which closed in 2018 — was ideal for that experiment, she said. The space offers plenty of room to spread out, with 18 seats at the bar, "nooks" for small groups, sofas by the fireplace, and outdoor fireside and porch seating, Kendra said.
The menu features rotating flights of Ellison Estate's sparkling, rosé, and still white and red wines, plus simple cheese and charcuterie boards. Glasses and bottles are also available, including the vineyard's last few 2020 pétillant naturel sparkling wines.
The tasting space will be open until mid-March, on Thursday and Saturday during prime après-ski hours: 3 to 7 p.m. Reservations are not required, but vaccine cards are.
"We're excited to share our wine with our community and experience the joy of après-ski season," Kendra said. "I love skiing, and I love living in Stowe because this is part of the culture."