Three Questions with… Mandy Tolino of Tolino Vineyards in Bangor
1. Tolino Vineyards is closing in on its 10th anniversary next year. What has the first decade been like and what has been your biggest lesson learned about starting a winery from scratch?
Wow, time does fly! A decade ago we were picking rocks, prepping the soil and choosing grape varieties, and now we are producing and selling wine, hosting fantastic events and having a great time spending time with our customers.
The biggest lesson we have learned is that wine production is a labor of love. Almost all of our wine is made from hand-pruned and harvested grapes that are then fermented and bottled on site. It isn’t always easy, but it is fun and rewarding!
2. Your winery hosts its own special events in the tank room each weekend, but you also rent the space to wine lovers who want to host a party, shower, or other event. Why do you think people like to host their special occasions at your winery, and how do you make the event special for them?
During the fall the winery holds events such as pumpkin carving, live music, tractor rides, 5k runs and lots more. Other times of the year we do rent out our tank room for small parties and fundraisers. It has a unique industrial-chic feel where you are dining right next to the tanks full of wine. The view from the patio is pretty great as well. This year we had a few large tented wedding rentals as well.
3. What new wine release can guests look forward to sampling during Nouveau Weekend, November 19 & 20?
We don’t make a Nouveau wine just yet, but guests can look forward to tasting some new Vidal Blanc, and we hope to be able to release our red blend, Papa’s Red.