Clem Blakney from Younity Winery
I talk about Clem Blakney from Younity Winery a lot in the tasting room. You see, when people come into the tasting room, I get a lot of the same questions:
How did you get into this?
Where should I go out to eat in Portland?
Is anyone else you know doing this?
In 2015 when I was really gearing up to make this business a real thing. I wanted to meet Clem Blakney as soon as I could. He was referred to me by the liquor inspector as not only a ‘guy I should know’ but he was also making wine from rhubarb.
Like many others who visited Younity Winery, I was in for a treat. Clem is so inviting and warm and funny. Like many others, what started as a wine tasting in his tasting room, turned into going up to the house and being in his kitchen.
He showed us his production area, his vineyard, and of course… his iconic labels. Each label had a story and puns and details that he found hilarious.
Clem tried some of my wine, I tried all of his. It was a wonderful afternoon.
I talk about him and Younity a lot.
Being an active member of the Maine Winery Guild, I also had the pleasure of talking with Clem on the phone and he was one of the members who actually responds to my group emails. Always with a joke or a ‘thanks for your hard work’ comment.
Last night Clem was crossing the road on his tractor with his 5-year-old granddaughter and they were struck by a car. He died from his injuries. From what I can tell his granddaughter is still in the hospital but may be ok.
When anything like this happens you feel helpless, sad, and take some time to think about what actually matters.
Clem was a huge part of his community and the Maine wine scene. He will be greatly missed. I think I am going to talk about Clem a lot in the years to come. He was a good man.
I will update this if we find something we can do to help or with any other information.