Our Mission

To produce excellent wines and spirits from local Maine agricultural products—and to have fun doing it!

In the beginning we just wanted wine we could afford…

After graduating from Colby College in 1976, Bruce Olson had spent his time building houses, installing radiant floor heating systems, becoming a licensed boiler installer and energy educator, taking ballroom dance lessons, and raising sheep. Karen Heck, who’d graduated from Colby in ’74 had worked in and started non-profits.

After 20 years of living in and around Waterville, they finally met in 1996. Shortly after that they moved in together and started drinking a lot of wine to wash down the sheep dogs and, much better tasting lamb chops, Bruce had stored in the freezer from his sheep-herding days. In their free time, they went sailing.

When their wine tastes began to require wines they couldn’t really afford to drink each night, Karen suggested Bruce start making wine. After 12 years of dazzling their friends with his fermenting skills, Bruce renovated the barn he’d bought to house the trimaran he’d built, and opened Tree Spirits with a partner in 2010.

Bruce bought out his partner in 2012, Karen and Bruce got married so he could have health insurance, they gave up some sailing time, and Bruce expanded the business to include new products. Tree Spirits offerings now include apple, pear, and maple picnic and sparkling wines and brandies, a maple port called Maple Storm, two brandy-based drinks we call subLimes Pear and Pom, Pomegranate Spritzer, Absinthe, and Limoncello.

Tree Spirits is located just minutes from Colby College and its amazing Museum of Art, the creative arts community of downtown Waterville, Railroad Square Cinema, and is easily accessed off I 95 exits 127 and 130. Come visit our tasting room and see why judges from both coasts agree that our locally sourced and produced wines and spirits are winners!

For those who’d rather watch than read, here’s a short story about Tree Spirits filmed by Colby College student, Will Kearney

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