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Prospect Hill Winery
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Name:                    Prospect Hill Winery

Location:               318 Orrills Hill Road

                               Lebanon, Maine 04027

Phone:                   207-651-9335

Website:                www.prospecthillwines.com

Email:                   info@prospecthillwines.com

Products and Services:

-unique red and white grape wines made from

grapes grown in their vineyard

-complimentary wine tastings on Sunday

afternoons from 1 to 5 in late May through


-vineyard tours

-grape harvesting

What Makes Prospect Hill Winery So Unique?

Prospect Hill Winery is helping to put Maine on the

map as a destination for unique quality wines.  It is most fitting that Prospect Hill Winery has been

included in the Unique Maine Farms project because

they are a great example of a family-run winery

that prides itself on only using their own hardy Maine-grown grapes in the creation of their very distinctive wines.

Richard and Anita Carle, the owners and vintners of the Prospect Hill Winery, planted their first grapes in 2002.  Richard has a woodworking background of over thirty years.  He is well known throughout New England for his beautiful cabinetry and his handcrafting of one-of-a-kind traditional Shaker furniture pieces.  Anita has been an educator in the RSU 60 school district for many years.

Richard and Anita were grateful to Dr. Peter Oldak of Jewell Towne Winery in South Hampton, New Hampshire, for providing a great deal of guidance in their early years.  They attended workshops on pruning and pesticide management.  Their first

Aurore vines originated from cuttings from Dr. Oldak.

Three years after planting their first vines, the Carles began their commercial operation in 2005.  Ten years have gone by from the first plantings and the Carles now grow six varieties of white grapes and eight varieties of red grapes.  They are members of the Maine Winery Guild and their wines are available

for sale at Tully’s Beer & Wine in Wells, The Wine Shack in Freeport,  Maine Beer and Beverage in Portland, as well as at the Winery itself.

Growing grapes involves quite a few challenges.

The Carles learned quite early that netting is essential to discourage the birds.  They have taped recordings that go off in regular timed intervals to discourage animals from feeding on the grapes. Fencing proved necessary to deter deer.  Other pests that can threaten a crop include fox, raccoons, porcupines, partridges, and wild turkeys.  The bear that visited their neighbor’s property last year luckily didn’t wreak havoc in their vineyard.

The Carles take pride in being one of the few wineries in northern New England producing wines made exclusively from grapes grown in their own vineyard.  They explained that they nurture the vines from planting, pruning, and harvesting.  Their grape varieties have been selected for their cold hardiness and the unique wines that they help to create.

Richard Carle shared that, “We are able to use less sulfites during processing due to the naturally lower

PH of our northern grown grapes.  Our wines may not be household names; no Chardonnay or Merlot, because those grapes will not grow in the cold climate of Lebanon, Maine.  Many area wineries that do produce such wine are importing their grapes from California, New York, and elsewhere.  We are proud to bring our grapes from vine to wine, handcrafted at Prospect Hill Winery.”

To say that the Prospect Hill Winery is situated in

a rather remote location in Maine is quite an

understatement.  It is set on the beautiful grounds of a 200-year-old farm on the rural Orrills Hill Road in Lebanon, just a few miles from Route 125 in Milton,

New Hampshire.  It is a peaceful spot with stunning hilltop views. The Carles advise visitors to be sure to approach the winery from the north end of Orrills Hill Road, as the part of Orrills Hill Road from West Lebanon is a dirt road that is not passable!

The Winery is only open for tastings and tours on Sunday afternoons from 1-5 from late May until mid-December.  They are open for sales year-round.

Individuals interested in visiting at other times should call or email to schedule an appointment.

The abbreviated hours that Prospect Hill Winery

are open is a reflection of the Carles’ desire to

have the farm operate at a manageable level.

They have chosen a lifestyle that includes time to enjoy their children and grandchildren. Richard still devotes his time to woodworking and Anita can still be found teaching.

Richard and Anita share a passion for creating unique Maine wines.  The sense of order that is inherent in building furniture and in teaching youngsters has transferred to their wine operation.  Visitors experience a  welcoming atmosphere where everything appears to be prepared, in order, well-kept, and extremely peaceful.  There is a sense of calm and a distinct natural beauty at their farm.

Because of their rather “out-of-the-way” location and their restricted Sunday hours of operation, one might imagine that their sales of wine would be limited. The reality is that the Prospect Hill Winery usually ends up selling out of many of their wines.  Word has spread quickly about their wines and attracting visitors has not been a problem.  Finding volunteers to help with the major harvest of the grapes in mid-September has also not proven difficult.  After determining the best day for harvest, over fifty family members and friends generously agree to show up at the farm and help with the harvest.

The Carles have come a long way from the planting

of their two vines in 2002.  Their Prospect Hill

Winery, with its emphasis on locally grown

grapes, is a source of pride for Maine wineries and

Maine agriculture.


Richard and Anita Carle, the owners and vintners of the Prospect Hill Winery

The HarvestProspect_Hill_Harvest.html