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Sip into Summer: Discover the Delight of Broken Creek Vineyard's Perfect Summer White in Worcester County

Discovering a Hidden Gem: Broken Creek Vineyard and Winery in Shrewsbury

When picturing a quintessential wine-tasting experience, Shrewsbury might not be the first location that springs to mind. However, nestled quietly on South Street is Broken Creek Vineyard and Winery, a flourishing haven for wine lovers cultivating grapes and producing exquisite wines for over a decade.

"We are this hidden gem; even people who have lived in Shrewsbury for years don't know we are here," co-owner Abby Skaff shared with a smile as she strolled through the vineyard. The white grapes are just beginning to take shape, while the red varietals are already flourishing, weeks ahead of their counterparts. Despite last year's wet weather, which devastated many of their grapes, the recent hot and dry conditions have been a boon for the vineyard, allowing 300 newly planted vines to thrive.

"Grapes love to suffer," Skaff said, holding out a budding cluster of white grapes. "They love being hot and dry." Abby and her husband, Jean, took over the vineyard and winery in spring 2023, purchasing the business and land from founders Eric and Peggy Pruesse.

The vineyard's story began in the 1990s as a hobby that ruined Peggy’s kitchen counters, eventually blossoming into Eric’s lifelong dream of making wine. The couple bought the land in 2011, planted their first grapes, and by 2014, the first glass of Broken Creek Vineyard wine was poured. By 2020, Eric and Peggy were ready to retire and began searching for new owners. The Skaffs, despite their limited experience in wine production, were the perfect fit to continue this Shrewsbury secret.

With the groundwork laid by the Pruesse family, Abby and Jean have managed to maintain the vines and uphold the recipes quenching Shrewsbury’s thirst for a decade. "I didn't try the wine until after we bought the business," Abby confessed with a laugh. "I was so scared it was going to be bad. But several bottles later, I knew it was a good decision, and the rest is history."

The local wine community played a significant role in their smooth transition. "The wine community is just so supportive," Abby noted. "We're not in competition with one another, so it's been a really easy transition into maintaining what the Pruesse family started years ago."

In the tasting room, visitors can enjoy a variety of red, white, and rosé wines, crafted from grapes grown both locally in Shrewsbury and imported from Chile, South Africa, California, and Washington. A standout favorite is the Summer White, a blend of estate-grown Cayuga White and Riesling grapes from California. This light, crisp, and dry wine with notes of pear, green apple, and citrus has garnered a loyal following, with customers preordering it by the case to ensure they don’t miss out.

Broken Creek's wines are produced and bottled on-site in small batches, ensuring quality and attention to detail. In addition to wine, the vineyard offers seasonal sangrias, wine slushies, and a selection of nonalcoholic beverages.

As we walked through the grapevines, Jean Skaff's mother, Najwa, appeared from behind a small vine, clutching a large bag of grape leaves. "She'll gather hundreds of grape leaves to make stuffed grape leaves through the winter," Abby explained. "Now is prime time to gather grape leaves; if left too long in the season, they'll become tough. So, we freeze them to enjoy all year long."

Najwa, who grew up on an olive oil plantation in Lebanon, recently shared her skills by teaching a grape leaf-making class at the vineyard, where attendees picked their leaves and crafted delicious stuffed grape leaves to take home.

The Skaff family has infused new life into Broken Creek with small events, classes, and unique experiences. This summer, they introduced picnic baskets that include a bottle of wine, cheese, crackers, salami, jams, honey, snacks, a bottle opener, a blanket, and two signature Broken Creek wine glasses. "People can reserve a basket ahead of time, and when they arrive, we'll hand them their basket, and a blanket, and they can find a quiet spot to enjoy," Abby said. "It's perfect for a surprise date."

Beyond picnics, the vineyard is hosting a variety of classes and events throughout the summer, including a wine and summer BBQ pairing experience, yoga on the vineyard, cupcake decorating, candle making, medium readings, author talks, and more.

Last winter brought an extra touch of magic to Broken Creek when it became the set for the Christmas movie "The Recipe Files," released during the holiday season. "Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson were hanging out in my house; it was very cool," Abby shared. The vineyard also began selling Christmas trees and hot chocolate, adding to the festive spirit.

Looking ahead, Broken Creek Vineyard has exciting plans. They have recently planted hops and are working on a hoppy cider, along with a Port wine set to debut in the fall. "We're just so excited for the newer creations, like the Port," Jean said, examining the latest growth on the red varietals. "I simply love the entire journey of the wine; you test it, taste it, and it just gets better and better." Source:


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