Making the Most of the Wine Trail Last Updated 6/16
Connecticut vineyards and long afternoons fit together as snugly as corks do into bottles, and there are now more vineyards here than ever before for you to explore and enjoy. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture now lists dozens of vineyards and farm wineries on its website, including at least one in each of our eight counties. Here are some suggestions on how to best enjoy your visit. Check out a full listing of Connecticut's vineyards and farm wineries.
While it stands to reason that most vineyards provide pleasant views of vines, fields and surrounding hills, several truly stand out and are worth a look.
It has always been possible to find cheese, fruit and crackers or bread at most Connecticut vineyards, and a couple now offer fine dining and extensive menus as well.
The Wine Trail & Passport
The Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association’s blue signs help guide you to and among the wineries that now make up the Connecticut Wine Trail. Throughout the year, the Trail hosts tastings and events, as well as sample itineraries, to help you get the most of what Connecticut has to offer. Also of note is the Wine Trail’s Passport Program, for which members obtaining at least 16 stamps during the course of the year are eligible to win prizes.
But what about the wine itself? A couple of years ago, Connecticut Magazine invited judges to sample Connecticut wines and judge them in six categories. Their favorite wines were:
- Priam Late Harvest Riesling and Late Harvest Gewurztraminer from Priam Vineyards in Colchester.
- Jones Pinot Noir ’10 from Jones Winery in Shelton.
- Saltwater Farm Estate Chardonnay ’09 from Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington.
- Miranda Cayuga White from Miranda Vineyard in Goshen.
- Stonington Cabernet Franc ’08 from Stonington Vineyards in Stonington.
Sharpe Hill Reserve Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Select Late Harvest from Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret.
The Connecticut Wine Festival will be held July 23-24 at the Goshen Fairgrounds in Goshen. Many of Connecticut’s winemakers will be set up on site, and food and wine-related merchandise will be available.