The Blush Hour wine at Worthington Vineyards. Visitors enjoying wine and the scenery at Worthington Vineyards.
Reminder Publishing submitted photos

SOMERS — Celebrating its second anniversary this past May 1, Worthington Vineyards & Winery is a testament to the enduring spirit of perseverance and passion in adversity. Founded by Mark and Karen Murdoch, this family-owned establishment has become a beloved destination for wine enthusiasts.

The Murdoch family — Mark, Karen, and their two sons, Alex and Kevin — brings a unique blend of expertise and dedication to their craft. With backgrounds in engineering and a shared love for winemaking, each member plays a pivotal role in the business’s operations.

“Worthington Vineyards was created as a result of Karen and my dream to retire on a nice property where we could share our winemaking craft while relaxing in a serene and relaxing setting,” shared Mark Murdoch, general manager. “We enjoy meeting new visitors each weekend as we receive overwhelming positive comments about our beautiful gardens, lawns, vineyards and wines.”

Given the young age of the vineyard, the grapes and other fruits need more time to develop. Therefore, much of the wine Worthington Vineyards & Winery makes comes from other sources. However, the vineyard has a few estate wines grown from its vineyards.

“While our goal is to grow a majority of the grapes and fruits used in our winemaking operations, our vineyards and orchards are new and need time to develop. We, therefore, currently obtain most of our grapes and fruits from distributors and local farms, until such time as our farm can yield enough to meet our growing demand for our premium quality wines,” explained Mark Murdoch. “Despite a difficult season last year, we were able to produce some excellent wines from our vineyard, including our highly popular and award-winning Chambourcin wine, which is a 100% estate-made wine from the French American hybrid grape. The label of this wine shows our widely renowned wine dog Champ, as painted by a local artist, Eric Leigh Boughamer.”

He continued, “Our Blueberry Bliss has also been a popular wine among our customers, and our inventory has been depleted. We target July 4 as the release date for our next vintage of this semi-sweet and quite flavorful wine made from Massachusetts and Connecticut blueberries.”

Karen Murdoch, a chemical engineer with over three decades of winemaking experience, spearheads the winemaking process. Her creations, including the popular Zinful Pleasure and Worthington white wines, have garnered praise from guests and local establishments, cementing Worthington Vineyards’ reputation for quality.

Kevin Murdoch, a certified winemaker and chemical engineer, lends his expertise to both winemaking and managing the tasting room, ensuring that every visitor’s experience is exceptional. Meanwhile, Alex Murdoch, a mechanical engineer, oversees the maintenance and upkeep of the facilities, gardens, and lawns, ensuring that every aspect of the estate reflects the family’s commitment to excellence.

Mark Murdoch, also a mechanical engineer by trade, retired from operations and quality management last year to oversee and manage the business.

The vineyard hosts local musicians every Saturday and some Sundays throughout the summer. Food trucks are also scheduled each weekend for those who would like to enjoy food with their wine.

The journey to open Worthington Vineyards began eight years ago when the Murdochs started looking for the right property all over New England, New York and Pennsylvania.

“It was not until 2018 when we were introduced to the Worthington Pond Farm that we felt that we found the right place to host our dream — and it was only 3 miles from our home,” recalled Mark Murdoch. “We have since moved from the home we had at that time and moved into a nearly 200-year-old farmhouse on the Worthington property.”

Although the location is idyllic, the vineyard has faced legal challenges from one neighbor. However, the vineyard has persevered — even naming its first bottled wine “Perseverance.”

“[We] have received overwhelming support from the rest of our neighbors, community and our fans,” said Mark Murdoch. “We have over 2,400 Facebook friends/followers and have welcomed over 13,500 customers over the past two years. Our internet ratings are all incredibly positive, and we pride ourselves on having one of the best places in the area to visit for recreation and relaxation.”

Looking ahead, the Murdoch family remains steadfast in their dedication to crafting exceptional wines and providing unparalleled hospitality. As they continue to nurture their vineyards and orchards, their vision for Worthington Vineyards is one of growth and innovation.

“Worthington is unique in that we offer picturesque grounds for people to picnic, walk and recreate. We have several acres of grass picnic grounds that surround our entertainment gazebo and firepits and a plethora of gardens, flowers, trails, patios and even bocce courts to enjoy,” noted Mark Murdoch. “And beyond that, we offer fishing and boating on our ponds for an added fee. And occasionally, we break out our model G trains and run them on our model railroad. There is something for everyone to see and enjoy — not just adults.”

Worthington Vineyards & Winery is located at 359 Mountain Rd. in Somers.

For additional information, go to worthingtonwinery.com or follow them on Facebook.