A winery has opened in a rural New England village in an effort to revive rustic goat farming, but it’s a rare winery in a state known for its heavy reliance on the fossil fuel industry.
The Golden Goat Winery and Brewing Company will be located on the shores of the Wampanoag River in Wampana, Massachusetts.
The company’s founder, Andrew Ritchie, says he’s been a goat farmer for years, but the new venture aims to restore his traditional way of life to the Wampsanoag.
Ritchie says he wanted to start a winery that wasn’t dependent on fossil fuels.
But the challenge was finding a community to build it in.
He and his wife, Amy, have been working for nearly five years to get a community center up and running, and they’ve gotten to this point.
The new facility, located near the small town of Wampan, will be the first in a wave of new wineries opening in Massachusetts.
New breweries are starting to spring up, and Ritchie is hoping the new brewery will help bring back a tradition that has been lost to the past.
“We wanted to create something that wasn, in the truest sense, rustic, and not rely on fossil fuel production,” he says.
“It’s going to be a place where people can be exposed to and understand the traditional values that are in our community.”
The brewery will be able to tap into the traditional goat drinking traditions of the region, like goat cheese and goat lamb, which were all imported from the Middle East.
But Ritchie says they’re not just looking for a brewery, they’re looking to make a beer that’s unique to the region.
“It’s just something we’re going to have to get to know in order to create it,” he said.
“There’s nothing that we can do with it except brew it.”
The Winery will be named after Ritchie’s father, who was a goat breeder, but Ritchie hopes to use the winery to give back to the community.
“We want to create a place that is more open to the people of the area,” he explained.
“We have a community that is already a part of this community, but we wanted to take this opportunity to start something with a whole new dimension.
This is not just a wineries, it’s something we want to be proud of.”
For Ritchie and Amy, the challenge of finding a viable location was no obstacle.
Ritchie said the family was thrilled with the idea and the wineries potential to create the next generation of artisanal wineries.
“You could do a lot of things with this property, but I think this is the one that I can make it the most fun and I can put my kids through college,” he explains.