Catherine Hill Winery in Cherryfield

Catherine Hill Winery

Catherine Hill Winery

Route 182, from Franklin to Cherryfield, is known as the Black’s Woods Road in Downeast Maine, with a long and mysterious history. It isone of those desolate country roads reminiscent of Sleepy Hollow, where you might expect to see Ichabod Crane. However, this road is said to be haunted by the lovely Catherine. The story begins with Catherine, who lived in this area in the 1800s. She and her fiancé were on the road to their wedding on a night in 1860 when she lost control of the carriage which flew down the hill, ending in a tragic crash. Some say she was decapitated in the crash. Since then, this route has had a dark force (Catherine) haunting it to this day. She is said to occasionally be spotted here at night on the side of the road, flagging drivers down for a ride, for help, or for reasons unknown…

As the story has been passed down from generation to generation, the details have changed from word of mouth. Catherine has been reported looking like a bright being on the side of the road in a white, sometimes blue, dress with jet-black hair and an angelic yet terrifying face. Few brave souls have welcomed her into their car to help, only for her to disappear immediately after opening the car door. Many believe that she only spares you if you show her kindness, and few are around to tell the tale of not doing so. Thus began the origin of the winery created in her name.    

Before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the world to halt, Deb and Walt Schwarz took a trip to Maine from their quaint town in Pennsylvania. While spending time Downeast, they fell in love with the culture, landscape, and all that Maine had to offer. After spending some time in Cherryfield and stumbling upon a winery for sale, the two drove home joking about “how fun would it be to own a winery”! Fast forward a few short weeks later, and they were the second owners of Catherine Hill Winery. Little did they know that they would be forced to learn everything about making wine and running a winery since Covid prevented the first owners from training them!

Catherine Hill Winery

Fast forward two years, and today, they have over fifteen varieties of wine that they produce in-house. Where else but here would you find their signature “Black Fly” wine, which is “is a perfectly smooth marriage of 50% Syrah and  50% Cabernet Franc. Black Fly offers inviting aromas, supple tannins, cherry, and dark chocolate notes.” Other reds include “King Tunk: with incredibly dark hues, smooth yet substantial tannins, and big flavor. A rich, powerful wine.” or “Cherryfield Blues:  Our original berry wine is wonderfully sweet with intense flavor, made with 100% Maine Wild Blueberries harvested right here in Washington County” or Cranberry IsleTart and spicy, perfectly balanced and  delightfully sweet – the distinctive character of 100% Washington County Cranberries bottled for you.”

They also host fun events periodically, with their most recent event being “Hallowine,” with guests tasting a variety of predetermined wines while hearing ghost stories from locals, which is done annually. Although their tasting room is closed for the season, they have their products for purchase online via their website and at twelve retail locations throughout central and eastern Maine.

Deb at Catherine Hill Winery

But what makes Catherine Hill Winery amazing is co-owner Deb, who makes the experience fun with her humor, wit, and charm. Everyone who visits Catherine Hill Winery leaves happy. 🙂


Explore Catherine Hill Winery website here.