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8934
Vermont

Experience Farm-Fresh Flavor in Vermont

Taste the flavors of Vermont on an appetizing adventure with cooking demonstrations from local chefs, visits to local farms and discoveries of the state’s impressive history with food.
Rating (5)
Program No. 8934RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,099
Vermont

Experience Farm-Fresh Flavor in Vermont

Taste the flavors of Vermont on an appetizing adventure with cooking demonstrations from local chefs, visits to local farms and discoveries of the state’s impressive history with food.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,099
Program No. 8934 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 12 - Sep 17, 2021
Starting at
1,099
Itinerary Note

Due to Covid restrictions and protocol Shelburne Farms, Lincoln Peak Vineyard will not be welcoming groups this season. We will instead visit Champlain Orchards for an informative and expert led tour and presentation on varieties of apples native to Vermont, and we will visit Shelburne Vineyard for an expert led tour of their vineyard followed by a tasting of their unique wines. The Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour has been discontinued for the 2021 season but a stop will be made for a visit to the "flavor graveyard" followed by a tasty treat.

Oct 17 - Oct 22, 2021
Starting at
1,099
Itinerary Note

Due to Covid restrictions and protocol Shelburne Farms, Lincoln Peak Vineyard will not be welcoming groups this season. We will instead visit Champlain Orchards for an informative and expert led tour and presentation on varieties of apples native to Vermont, and we will visit Shelburne Vineyard for an expert led tour of their vineyard followed by a tasting of their unique wines. The Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour has been discontinued for the 2021 season but a stop will be made for a visit to the "flavor graveyard" followed by a tasty treat.

Oct 24 - Oct 29, 2021
Starting at
1,099
Itinerary Note

Due to Covid restrictions and protocol Shelburne Farms, Lincoln Peak Vineyard will not be welcoming groups this season. We will instead visit Champlain Orchards for an informative and expert led tour and presentation on varieties of apples native to Vermont, and we will visit Shelburne Vineyard for an expert led tour of their vineyard followed by a tasting of their unique wines. The Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour has been discontinued for the 2021 season but a stop will be made for a visit to the "flavor graveyard" followed by a tasty treat.

Jul 10 - Jul 15, 2022
Starting at
1,179
Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2022
Starting at
1,179
Sep 4 - Sep 9, 2022
Starting at
1,179
Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2022
Starting at
1,179
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 12 - Sep 17, 2021
Starting at
1,429
Itinerary Note

Due to Covid restrictions and protocol Shelburne Farms, Lincoln Peak Vineyard will not be welcoming groups this season. We will instead visit Champlain Orchards for an informative and expert led tour and presentation on varieties of apples native to Vermont, and we will visit Shelburne Vineyard for an expert led tour of their vineyard followed by a tasting of their unique wines. The Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour has been discontinued for the 2021 season but a stop will be made for a visit to the "flavor graveyard" followed by a tasty treat.

Oct 17 - Oct 22, 2021
Starting at
1,429
Itinerary Note

Due to Covid restrictions and protocol Shelburne Farms, Lincoln Peak Vineyard will not be welcoming groups this season. We will instead visit Champlain Orchards for an informative and expert led tour and presentation on varieties of apples native to Vermont, and we will visit Shelburne Vineyard for an expert led tour of their vineyard followed by a tasting of their unique wines. The Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour has been discontinued for the 2021 season but a stop will be made for a visit to the "flavor graveyard" followed by a tasty treat.

Oct 24 - Oct 29, 2021
Starting at
1,429
Itinerary Note

Due to Covid restrictions and protocol Shelburne Farms, Lincoln Peak Vineyard will not be welcoming groups this season. We will instead visit Champlain Orchards for an informative and expert led tour and presentation on varieties of apples native to Vermont, and we will visit Shelburne Vineyard for an expert led tour of their vineyard followed by a tasting of their unique wines. The Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour has been discontinued for the 2021 season but a stop will be made for a visit to the "flavor graveyard" followed by a tasty treat.

Jul 10 - Jul 15, 2022
Starting at
1,519
Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2022
Starting at
1,519
Sep 4 - Sep 9, 2022
Starting at
1,519
Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2022
Starting at
1,519

At a Glance

Learning in Vermont can be delicious! With local chefs, small-scale cheese makers, maple tappers and entrepreneurs, experience firsthand the Vermont farm-to-plate way of life during hands-on classes and field trips to working farms. From a lesson in scone baking at the Brandon Inn, to an expert-led demonstration on the process of creating maple candy, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how some of your favorite New England fare is made. Sip and savor at Shelburne Vineyard as you learn about vitis Vinifera and vitis Riparia, hearty grapes which grow well in winter conditions. Journey through some of Vermont’s culinary wonders on this immersive learning adventure.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Minimal walking and standing; some stairs.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Discover the traditional way apple cider is produced with a Road Scholar-exclusive demonstration and tasting at Cold Hollow Cider Mill.
  • Delight in a presentation from the owner (and her goats) from High Pond Goat Farm and learn the techniques on milking and goat cheese making followed by an expert-led tasting.
  • Enjoy a staff-led exploration of the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks followed by a flavorsome tasting of their renowned sugar on snow.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Fred Putnam
Fred Putnam is the owner of Busy Bee Honey, a local Brandon, Vermont, apiary. With an extensive background in beekeeping, he loves to entertain visitors while dressed in his beekeeping clothes. Known as a “honey” historian, his presentations outline the history of bees. Fred demonstrates the different equipment required to extract honey from his hives, describes the different flavors and qualities of honey, and usually can be found with a tasty sample in his pockets.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Robert Barral
Robert Barral View biography
Robert Barral is the executive chef and owner of Café Provence in Brandon, Vermont. He attended culinary school in Montpellier in the Languedoc region of France, then continued his training as a chef at some of the finest establishments in Europe. He crossed the ocean in 1976, cooking in Montreal, Edmonton, Chicago, and Boston. Formerly a faculty member at the New England Culinary Institute, Chef Barral is known as a great teacher of classic French techniques as well as for his award-winning Chocolate Bombe.
Profile Image of Louis Pattis
Louis Pattis View biography
Louis Pattis is the former innkeeper and chef of the historic Brandon Inn in Brandon, Vermont. From 1988-2021, he and his wife Sarah owned the inn that was founded as a simple one-story tavern in 1786. Louis was born and raised in Austria, where he trained to become a chef before working at many top hotels throughout Europe and the U.S. The prestigious Taste of Vermont awards have honored Chef Pattis and the Brandon Inn for everything from entrées to desserts and butter sculptures.
Profile Image of Wendy Cijka
Wendy Cijka View biography
Wendy Cijka is the owner of High Pond Goat Farm in the town of Brandon, Vermont. High Pond Goat Farm is a small, family run farm creating and selling raw goat milk, fresh chevre, and yogurt.
Profile Image of Lilian Sheren
Lilian Sheren View biography
Lilian Sheren has led groups for 30 years. She moved to Vermont more than two decades ago and has been a Road Scholar Group Leader for the past five years. Lilian began her experience while living in New York state, leading groups to New York City, through the Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes, New England, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington DC as well as Montreal and Quebec City, Canada. Lilian embraces her Scottish heritage and loves meeting Road Scholar participants from all over the country.
Profile Image of Fred Putnam
Fred Putnam View biography
Fred Putnam is the owner of Busy Bee Honey, a local Brandon, Vermont, apiary. With an extensive background in beekeeping, he loves to entertain visitors while dressed in his beekeeping clothes. Known as a “honey” historian, his presentations outline the history of bees. Fred demonstrates the different equipment required to extract honey from his hives, describes the different flavors and qualities of honey, and usually can be found with a tasty sample in his pockets.
Profile Image of Greg Cox
Greg Cox owns and operates Boardman Hill Farm in West Rutland, Vermont. His farm includes 10 acres of organically certified fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Greg co-founded the Vermont Farmer’s Food Center as well as the Rutland Farmer’s Year Round Market that is now one of the largest and most diverse in the state. He has worked with conservationists at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and was recognized with a Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award. Greg has also taught agriculture at Green Mountain College.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Sugar Words: Musings from an Old Vermonter
by Burr Morse
Sugar Words nicely blends Burr’s most recent tales with a look at the Vermont “vesta”.
Sweet Days and Beyond: The Morse Family - Eight Generations of Maple Sugaring
by Burr Morse
In his charming account of growing up in a maple sugaring operation in Northern Vermont, Burr Morse, a seventh generation maple sugar farmer, shares wonderful stories and folk tales that offer a deeper understanding of the hard work and dedication it takes to live such a lifestyle. Delightful images bring to life the four seasons, animals, and other characters who share his world. The result is a five season Vermont experience full of sweet and sometimes bittersweet tales.
Sails and Steam in the Mountains
by Russell Bellico
Anyone (like myself) who finds early American history interesting (colonial, revolutionary, war of 1812) will love this book. It gives many historical quotes and accounts of events. It is also easy to understand and explains what 18th century terminology it uses. It also does a good job with the ship models and pictures. It is also very good with explaining first hand accounts of the forts on the lake and the conditions they were in at the time. Highly recommend for anyone who is interested in the colonial period or ships and forts of the 18th century.
Maple Sugarin' In Vermont: A Sweet History
by Betty Ann Lockhart
Come along for a trip through maple time in Vermont, from the 1600s to the mid-twentieth century. Betty Ann Lockhart introduces the origins of the 'Flavor of Vermont', the tools of the sugaring trade and the personalities who launched maple sugar to world fame. The Abenakis were discoverers of the sweet sap that flowed from Vermont's trees, and Thomas Jefferson was an early promoter of it. During the Civil War, maple sugar was cheered as the moral alternative to cane sugar- the latter having been produced by slave labor- and in subsequent wars, it was shipped to U.S. troops around the world. Enriched with maple-inspired songs, recipes and legends, Maple Sugarin' in Vermont illuminates not just the industry, but also the culture of maple sugar in the Green Mountain State.
Seasons in a Vermont Vineyard: The Shelburne Vineyard Cookbook
by Lisa Cassell-Arms
Vermont is a food lover's paradise. From its verdant and fertile farmland, regional specialties are emerging. We have an abundant selection of locally raised meats, poultry, produce and fruits, as well as world-class artisanal cheeses, award-winning spirits, ciders, beers and, of course, wine. Shelburne Vineyard is recognized as a pioneer in cold-climate winemaking, producing expertly crafted wines from Vermont and regionally grown hybrid grapes. With original mouthwatering recipes crafted especially for this new edition, this book celebrates a generation of outstanding wines and the affinity of food and wine produced from the same northern terroir.
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Brandon, VT
D
Brandon Inn

Activity note: Inn check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the living room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously) with you.

Dinner: At the inn, a 3 course plated meal will be served. Choices will be pre-selected prior to arrival at the program.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Maple Candy, Cooking Demonstrations, Farmer's Market Talk
Brandon, VT
B,L,D
Brandon Inn

Activity note: Walking and standing at the inn; some stairs and periods of standing during class instruction.

Breakfast: At the inn, the breakfast buffet includes hot and cold choices including homemade granola, cereal, fruit, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Vermont is famous for maple sugaring and one of its tastiest products: maple candy. We’ll be joined at the inn by local Vermont maple syrup producers who will take us through the process of making delicious candies as we watch their demonstration. Maple sugaring has been an early spring tradition in Vermont ever since the Eastern Woodland Native Americans discovered that maple sap cooked over an open fire produces a sweet sugar. Next we are joined at the Inn by French Chef Robert Barrall, owner of Cafe Provence and former Executive Chef for the Four Seasons, cruise lines, and instructor at the New England Culinary Institute. We’ll gather round to meet him and observe a cooking demonstration. Our morning concludes with another cooking demonstration using Vermont products with Executive Chef, Louis Pattis,

Lunch: At the inn, lunch will feature items prepared by Chef Pattis during the preceding demonstration, plus coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: This afternoon at the Inn, we’ll have a presentation, demonstration, and hands-on activity making scones with Chef Pattis. We’ll then be joined by Chef Louis' wife, Sarah Pattis, for an English Tea demonstration. As we enjoy tea, we’ll snack on the scones we helped make.

Dinner: Inn plated meal.

Evening: This evening we will be joined by Greg Cox, owner of the Boardman Hill Farm and co-founder of the Vermont Farmer's Food Center and the Rutland Farmer's Year Round Market, for a presentation on the values of farmer's markets within the community.

DAY
3
Champlain Orchards, Shelburne Vineyard
Brandon, VT
B,L,D
Brandon Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 53 miles one way to Burlington; approximately 2.5 hours roundtrip. Walking less than 1 mile total throughout the day; periods of standing up to 1 hour; some grass and dirt parking lots.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: After boarding the motorcoach, we’ll travel to Champlain Orchards, which was purchased by Bill Suhr in 1998 with help of the Vermont Land Trust. During our visit to the 300-acre orchard, which is almost entirely solar powered, we will learn about the 146 varieties of apples, and the various other fruits grown on site.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with soft drinks and water included. Choices will be pre-selected prior to arrival at the program.

Afternoon: We’ll finish our day with a visit to the Shelburne Vineyards. The staff will teach us about their hearty grapes including Frontenac and Marquette, which grow well in harsh conditions. A wine tasting concludes our visit.

Dinner: Inn plated meal.

Evening: Tonight we play Bingo in the Living Room with New England prizes given out to the winners.

DAY
4
Goat Milk Demo & Tasting, Cooking Demos, VT Food Producer
Brandon, VT
B,L,D
Brandon Inn

Activity note: Walking less than 1/2 mile total throughout the day; periods of standing; mostly indoors; short walk to lunch class.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: This morning we are joined at the Inn by Wendy Cijka, owner of the High Pond Goat Farm and one of her goats! During an indoor and outdoor presentation at the inn, we’ll learn about goat milking and making goat milk products, plus try a tasting. Then, Chef Pattis will engage us in another demonstration involving some hands-on activities. Afterwards, we’ll stroll to Café Provence, and meet once again with Chef Robert Barral, for a delicious cooking demonstration.

Lunch: At Café Provence after the cooking demonstration, we’ll enjoy a delicious plated lunch with coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: Upon return to the Inn we will be joined by Fred Putnam, Jr. owner of Busy Bee Honey. Fred will teach us all there is to know about bees, making honey and will also bring along some of the unique tools needed to collect the tasty treat from the hives. The remainder of the afternoon will be yours to enjoy as you wish.

Dinner: Inn plated meal.

Evening: This evening is on your own.

DAY
5
Cider Mill, Ben & Jerry's, Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
Brandon, VT
B,L,D
Brandon Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 55 miles total; approximately 3 hours total aboard vehicle, with stops for field trips. Walking up to 1/2 mile total throughout the day; some uneven ground on dirt and grass.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: For our first field trip of the day, we’ll travel to Waterbury and the Cold Hollow Cider Mill where apple cider is made the old-fashioned way—with a traditional rack and cloth press built in the 1920s. We’ll have a behind-the-scenes visit conducted especially for Road Scholar and learn how everything works from tree to bottle to distribution. We’ll also enjoy tasty samples of cider and other apple products.

Lunch: At the cider mill, we’ll have a choice of deli sandwiches and wraps served with fresh apple cider and cider doughnuts, a local specialty. Choice will be pre-selected prior to arrival at the program.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll make a stop at Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory for a delicious ice cream. Afterwards, we’ll travel to Montpelier, Vermont's state capital, where we’ll visit the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, sixth generation sugar makers. Here, we’ll enjoy a presentation in the sugarhouse to learn all about how maple sap is gathered and turned into delicious maple syrup. Our visit ends with a traditional sugar-on-snow experience.

Dinner: At the inn, we’ll have a delightful farewell plated dinner. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: To round out our program, we’ll enjoy a performance of light music in the living room given by local musicians. Then, be sure to prepare for check-out and departure following our closing activity in the morning.

DAY
6
Vermont Food Demonstration, Program Concludes
Brandon, VT
B,L

Activity note: Inn check-out by 10:30 a.m.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: In the dining room at the inn, we’ll have one more session with an expert to learn about jelly making.

Lunch: We’ll have boxed lunches to take away that include a sandwich, cookie, fruit, chips, water. This concludes our program.

Afternoon: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.