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The sugarhouse

Bourdon Maple Farm Sugarhouse
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maple Farm Tours & Tastings

Join our seasoned sugarmakers for a tour of the sugarhouse to learn how we make maple syrup, from tree to bottle, and how sustainable organic farming supports our wild forest ecosystems. Tours are about an hour long and include a maple syrup tasting flight to help you discover all the complex, nuanced flavors in pure maple syrup.

$15 per person, free for kids 10 & under

Making maple syrup

Innovations in maple production and technology over the years have refined the sugaring process. Instead of collecting from buckets, sap flows into the sugarhouse through a pipeline system and collects in tanks with help from a vacuum pump. We still collect from a few buckets near the sugarhouse in a nod to the past.

Maple sap flows right out of the trees when weather is favorable and consists of about 2% natural sugars from the trees and 98% water with a sprinkling of minerals and micronutrients that the tree has taken up from forest soils. After collection,  sap passes through a reverse osmosis machine (RO) to filter out much of the water before the boiling process. It takes about 40 gallons of pure sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup, so concentrating the sap reduces boiling time significantly.

From the RO, concentrated sap is pumped to the evaporator for boiling. The boiling process requires an expert hand with constant attention and adjustment to keep maple syrup flowing off the evaporator at the perfect consistency. Our experienced sugar makers triple test the quality of our maple syrup as it's produced and hand select the best tasting syrup for bottling.

Vermont maple syrup
Maple Syrup Grading Kit

Maple Syrup Grades

GRADE A GOLDEN DELICATE

Golden color with delicate flavor, previously called "fancy". Great for pouring on pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or fruit.

 

GRADE A AMBER RICH

Amber color with rich taste. A stronger maple flavor and a favorite of ours on breakfast or in a strong cup of coffee.

GRADE A DARK ROBUST

Dark color with robust flavor, previously called Grade B. Great for use in cooking or cocktails.

GRADE A VERY DARK STRONG

Very dark color with strong flavor. The strongest maple flavor, used often in cooking and baking.

How do I know which grade to choose?

Selecting the right grade of maple syrup is purely preferential, based on your individual palate and the way you'd like to use it, whether it be for pouring over pancakes, blending into a salad dressing or mixing into a cocktail. Each grade has its own distinct flavor profile with nuanced tasting notes ranging from delicate vanilla or toasted sugar to richer caramels and even chocolatey notes in the darker grades.

Our recommendation is to try all four grades before choosing your favorites. The darker the grade, the stronger the maple flavor. Lighter grades like Golden Delicate or Amber Rich have a more delicate maple flavor and may be overpowered by other ingredients in a complex recipe. If you want the maple flavor to shine, you may want to select a darker grade. If you're using maple syrup simply to sweeten a recipe and don't necessarily need the maple flavor to come through, you can use lighter grades just the same. All maple syrup has the same sweetness. The only differences between the grades are color and flavor.

Steam rising from a sugarhouse
Boiling maple syrup
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