Fiddler's Reach: What's in a name?

Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2011 in Features

Fiddler's Reach: What's in a name?

by Avery Hunt

Why the name Fiddler’s Reach?  As Rob tells it, he loved the idea of a strong Bath connection for his wines, and Fiddler’s Reach fit the bill.  It’s catchy and local.  Not only that, the name was available for incorporation.   

Fiddler’s Reach is a mighty bend in the Kennebec just before it reaches the City of Ships.  It is so named, goes the lore, because there is an unusually dicey double bend in the river, with a sharp 90 degree turn to the left and then the right, just before Bath.  The great sailing ships had to rely on favorable winds and an incoming tide to sail up the river from the open seas.  But before they could safely come into port, they had to contend with the reach.  There, the tide slows and the winds die.  Negotiating that stretch of river is tricky, as incoming ships ghosted around the treacherous turns.  Ships often had to be helped along with a vigorous tow by a band of hearty sailors who rowed the reach.  It was a slow time for the rest of the crew on board. To pass the time, and knowing they were so close to home port, sailors would often stand on deck, fiddling and dancing in their joyous anticipation. Hence the name for Rob’s premium brand.

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