Harvest Time at Connecticut’s Vineyards Last Updated 12/18
We’re thrilled to welcome a new CT Ambassador to the site! Christina from Threads & Vino visited a few of Connecticut’s farm wineries for a closer look at the harvest process (and the tasting process too!)
By November, many wineries have just finished harvesting their grapes. They load their grape crushers and getting ready for fermentation to begin. A lot of work goes into each and every bottle of wine they create. George Motel Jr., Winemaker at Sunset Meadow Winery in the Litchfield Hills says that the reason they planted their vineyard in Litchfield, was because of the “high elevations and southwesterly sloping vineyards. They make for an ideal setting for grape growing due to the constant airflow and warm afternoon sun needed for vine health and adequate ripening.”
Rosedale Vineyards of Simsbury say that they’re “fortunate to abut the Farmington River, which creates different sedimentary layers of soil that our vines pass through in search of water. Those mineral rich layers allow for unique and complex components to flourish in our wines,” says Assistant Winemaker Morgan Wilsome. Who knew that vineyard slopes and multiple layers of soil could affect the wine we drink?!
Wines for All Seasons
So the next time you are in the mood for a glass of vino, you’ll find a great wine trail just a short ride from New York and Boston. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway. You’ve got five mini Connecticut wine trails to choose from—Fairfield County, Greater New Haven, the Litchfield Hills, Mystic Country, and the Greater Hartford/River Valley. Each wine region boasts delicious wines, great restaurants, and other great reasons to explore and support your local vintners and farmers with friends and family.
Don't Forget Your Passport!
A great way to get a taste of our local AVA (American Viticultural Area) is by participating in the CT Passport To Farm Wines program. “All wineries who participate in the Passport program grow at least 25% of their own wine grapes, and nearly half of the wineries boast the Connecticut Grown logo indicating they grow 51% or more of their own fruit. Eligible Passport participants are entered to win a fantastic array of prizes too!” says Rebecca Eddy of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, which administers the Farm Wine Development Council.
If you get your passport stamped by 35 out of the 40 participating wineries you can be entered into the running for the grand prize – 2018’s prize was a two week trip to Spain! (A-MAZING) Also, there were a bunch of cool prizes if you got 18 stamps or more, and 12 stamps or more. Click here for more details. The next Passport Program starts in the Spring of 2019 and they are giving away TWO two-week trips to Spain – one for the pool of 18+ stamps and one exclusive to the 35+ stamps winner.
Wineries included in the CT Passport Program are very proud of their grape growing skills and the estate wines they produce. Hillary Criollo of Hopkins Vineyards says that they are known for their diverse wine portfolio. “We have an Estate Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Traditional Ice Wine, and Traditional Method Sparkling wine. One of our passions at Hopkins Winery is preserving Connecticut farmland and showcasing the delicious wines Connecticut can produce!” Sustaining Connecticut farmland while drinking delicious wine? Sounds like a win-win!
It's safe to say that Christina of @threadsandvino loves wine! Christina graduated from Sonoma State University with a Masters in Wine Business, is a certified Sommelier (WSET Level II), and has been working with wine grapes since she was 11 years old. She is very involved in the local wine and winemaking community as a founder of the Women Winemakers of Connecticut, a long-term member of the American Wine Society, and working at Musto Wine Grape, LLC. in Hartford, CT. She's all about sharing her winemaking and wine tasting experiences with other wine lovers. Check out her blog www.threadsandvino.net or her Instagram account @threadsandvino for more of her wine focused adventures.