Do something different at Halloween this year – bring a truly spooky wine from an actual haunted
According to legend, spirits lurk inside a wine bottle at Halloween and not on the label. Truly
spooky wines come from haunted wineries or bottled during tragic times and mysterious, mystical
circumstances. Some wines even spring from war-torn and blood-soaked vineyards of yesteryear.
War wine is perhaps the most profoundly scary beverage on earth, especially war wine grown on the bloody French and European battlefields during World War I. The most famous battles of WW I occurred in northern France and Belgium but, in 1914, the vineyards were bathed in blood as German soldiers battled the French in the vineyards of Champagne France. German wines of the time suffered too, as the war effort drained vineyards of workers and bad weather challenged crops. Spooky wine enthusiasts can still purchase wines made from the grapes grown on those hallowed soils. In 2013, Sotheby’s auctioned off selected bottles from Moët’s Grand Vintage Collection, which included vintages as far back as 1914. Women and children picked the grapes that year because the men were fighting on the front lines. Many of these young or frail workers died in the fields that year, picked off by sniper fire. Today, some of Bollinger's 1914 reserve wine, stored en magnum, still survives immaculately, as does 1914 Pol Roger.
This Halloween, skip the local packaged goods store and purchase your spirits from the Haunted Winery for a thoroughly ghoulish holiday. The Haunted Winery had to close its doors in the late 1960s after the wine makers went quite mad. Unwilling to let the horrors within its walls go untold, the current owners now give tours of the grounds where such madness occurred. The original owners of the LaSalle Winery converted the Detroit United Railway Powerhouse in Farmington, Michigan, where they sold LaSalle brand wines. Later, St. Julian Winery purchased the LaSalle brand. During Halloween, you can take a tour of the Haunted Winery to see where madness for wine ferments in the souls of men. Boutari’s Fantaxometoho Estate Winery
For a very scary wine experience overseas, visit Boutari’s Fantaxometoho Estate Wineryin Crete. Fantaxometoho, which means “Haunted Cottage”, is more than 300 years old. As legend would have it, a farmer reported disembodied spirits at Boutari’s Fantaxometoho Estate Winery in the small farming community of Heraklion. Some believe the farmer made up the story to keep people off his land while others swear the cottage is haunted. A few people even like to sip a glass of bubbly with their favorite phantom. The vintners at Boutari Fantaxometocho are resurrecting a different kind of ghost from the past – endangered native Greek grape vines that went largely ignored in the rush towards other commercial varieties. These vines have survived for thousands of years but now face extinction. Fortunately, wine enthusiasts can still enjoy the same great tasting wine as the early Greeks, and perhaps even catch a ghoulish glimpse at a few disembodied spirits on a tour of Boutari Fantaxometocho.
If you enjoy being petrified by poltergeists while drinking pinot, take a trip to the Winery at Marjim Manor. There, ghosts freely roam the hallways at nearly any time of day or night. Shubal and Sophia Merritt purchased the property in 1834 and built a brick home there in 1854. Sophia died in the home in 1864, a son by the name of Lewis died the following year there, and Shubal died at home in 1881. Dr. Charles and Hannah Ring purchased the home in 1895; both subsequently died there. Sisters of St. Joseph also ran a camp for girls, farm school for deaf boys and summer retreat on that property. The owners of the property, and many of its visitors, believe that members of the Merritt family, Mr. and Mrs. Ring and the Sisters of St. Joseph's dog Duke visit the winery regularly. Other souls who lived and died on the property visit the Winery at Marjim Manor on occasion, especially at Halloween. The Winery at Marjim Manor clarifies the difference between wine and spirits, “What is the difference between a wine and a spirit? At the Winery at Marjim Manor, wine is what you taste; spirits are who you meet.” Have an extra spooky holiday this year by taking a tour of haunted vineyards. Contact Cellaraiders to buy wine online & be sure to bring home a bottle of fine wine so you can enjoy the spirits of Halloween.