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Mineral Hills Winery

Wines Designed to Please All Palates

Article by Maureen Sullivan

Photography by Hannah Josephine Photography and Waite Creative

Originally published in Northampton City Lifestyle

Tucked away on a winding road in Florence, MA, not far from Northampton and Easthampton is a family-owned winery that produces “wines to please all palates,” from traditional estate grape varieties to fruit wine and mead.

Mineral Hills Winery at Godard’s Red Hen Farm is owned by mother and daughter Susan Godard and Anna Pearlman. Husband and dad Larry Godard is the founder and winemaker.

The origins of the winery go back to 1982, when Larry and Susan moved from the Hudson Valley in New York to Florence, where they built a house on part of 60 acres of land owned by Susan’s mother, and where Susan had grown up.

Larry was working in IT at MassMutual and Susan was a stay-at-home mom. They started planting apple trees and began beekeeping, which led to creating what Larry calls “a little farmstead.” They grew blueberries, made honey, sweet apple cider - and set up a roadside stand.

Larry, who grew up in a big Italian family with a grandfather who made wine, decided to try his own hand at winemaking by making apple and blueberry wines for friends. The wines were a hit, and in 2008, the Godards built the building to house the wine-making operation and Mineral Hills’ tasting room.

Larry left his job to concentrate on making wine in 2009 from grapes he planted in 2004. In 2010, Mineral Hills Winery, named for the Mineral Hills that are the backdrop of the property, opened. Soon Mineral Hills expanded their wine offerings to include dry whites and sophisticated reds. In 2023, they offer eight white wines and seven reds on their tasting list. Guests can opt for a tasting or a wine-tasting flight.

With a tasting, guests can try five, one-ounce pours, and keep the glass for $10. A wine flight is also $10. Guests can choose five wines from the flight list and take home a mini stemless glass. Wines can also be bought by the glass or bottle. Bottles can also be shipped to Massachusetts and states without licensing requirements.

The wine labels, which show the Mineral Hills in the background, convey “a sense of place” says Larry, and are designed by Anna, a graphic designer and photographer. She is also the winery’s operations manager and winemaker. Anna will take the reins at Mineral Hills in 2024. She plans to double the winery’s production space and build a larger event space.

The atmosphere at Mineral Hills is friendly. Says Anna, “Not everyone needs to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy wine.” Larry adds, “It’s an easygoing place, we’re unpretentious.”

In warm weather, people gather outdoors under the pavilion to enjoy wine, along with cheeses, crackers, and salami available at Mineral Hills, or they can bring their own picnics. There is live music a few times a month, including on Mother’s Day. There are even yoga classes on Sunday mornings once a month, followed by, of course, wine.

With so many wines to taste, are there favorites? Anna says the Cayuga White, a sweet wine, is a crowd favorite. She likes Le Tre Sorelle (Italian for three sisters). Each of the three Godard sisters is honored on the label by her favorite flower. The wine is an American Red blend. In a nod to the Godard’s son, there is Grande Fratello (Italian for big brother), a dry red blend.

What will your favorite wine be? Visit the Godards at Mineral Hills and find out.

Mineral Hills Winery at Godard’s Red Hen Farm
592 Sylvester Rd, Florence
(413) 586-2575

"Not everyone needs to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy wine. It's an easygoing place, we're unpretentious." - Larry Godard