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  • Shelburne Vineyard Shelburne Vineyard, Iapetus Tectonic 2020, Vermont

Shelburne Vineyard, Iapetus Tectonic 2020, Vermont

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This orange wine from Vermont has notes of butterscotch, apricot marmalade, flowers and tea while beautifully combining tannin and acidity with the pithy bitterness of thick-skinned tropical fruits.

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Shelburne Vineyard, Iapetus Tectonic 2020, Vermont

COUNTRY: United State of America (USA)



SUB-REGION: Charlotte



GRAPES:  La Crescent, 5.5% piquette of Riesling and Arctic Riesling
SOIL: Soils are deep, well drained, sandy/stony loams formed in both glacial till derived from limestone, calcareous shale, schist, and quartzite.

PRACTICE: Sustainable farming, using environmentally sound materials, minimal intervention

VINIFICATION: 86% destemmed, stainless steel then malolactic fermentation. 58-day maceration on the skins; 20% stainless steel and 80% wine sent to age in neutral oak sur lie with weekly battonage for 3 months; blended together after five months prior to bottling.

STYLE: Still, orange

COLOR: Golden cloudy amber

BODY: Light to Medium (3-4)


PRIMARY AROMAS: complex and layered, with subtle notes of butterscotch, tangerine, orange marmalade, apricot, melon, raisin, white pepper, tea, rose water, and floral attributes.

FLAVOR: well balanced and well integrated tannin and acidity, with a pithy bitterness reminiscent of tea and thick skinned tropical fruits.

FORMAT: 750 ml

ALCOHOL: 14.5%


SERVICE AND SUGGESTION: Winemaker’s complementary food recommendations include a range of dishes including pistachios, charcuterie, roasted beets, Mediterranean food, and oysters.


With no formal or family background in farming, grape growing, winemaking, or wine drinking, Ethan’s first experience in the wine world was being swept off his feet by a jug of Carlo Rossi. Carlo and Ethan were good friends for a while, but slowly distance grew between them. Ethan began working occasionally for Shelburne Vineyard during his time studying natural resources at the University of Vermont, while also taking up home brewing and fermenting vegetables he grew in his community garden plot.

In early 2008, Ethan seized on an opportunity to work full-time at Shelburne Vineyard and has since lost himself in the science, art, and mystery of wine. Ten years of self-education, first-hand experience and the support and guidance of friends, colleagues, and co-workers has brought Ethan to the doorstep of a new project: Iapetus. This name has historical significance to the Champlain Valley, but is also personal in nature. Water has always been an important element in Ethan’s life. He grew up like a fish on Mt. Lake, a small glacial lake in northern NJ. This intimate relationship with water and the outdoors eventually led him to the shores of Lake Champlain and the University of Vermont, where he pursued a degree in water resources, and subsequently discovered a passion for winegrowing in a place where water has also played an integral role in shaping the landscape.

Iapetus has been Ethan’s creative pursuit of wine with a story, one with a beginning hundreds of millions of years ago, and whose ending is still far out of sight. It's a story of transformation and being open to changes, transitions, and shifts both in our physical efforts with grapes and wine, but also in our philosophical and intellectual endeavors with the two as well. Iapetus will serve as an evolution in the continued learning, developing, and appreciating of winegrowing in Vermont.


ABOUT THE VINEYARD:The Mt. Philo Vineyard is situated on sloping land facing predominantly west. Like our other sites, vines are planted north-south. The soil is composed of Stockbridge, Nellis and Hinesburg series which are all deep, well drained, sandy loams. Some areas of this acreage have underground springs leading to the need for tile drainage spaced at forty-foot intervals thought the largest section of the vineyard.


ABOUT THE LABEL: Over 400 million years ago, the ancient Iapetus Ocean covered present-day Lake Champlain. Since then, powerful geologic forces have shaped the landscape we've come to work and understand as winegrowers.


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