Did you know Connecticut has over 30 wineries? Ok, so it’s not to the caliber of Napa Valley or Tuscany type wine, but I think it’s pretty amazing that we have that many wineries in our own backyard, especially for a small state. So, if you are looking for some weekend to-dos with your sweetheart, gal pals, or family as summer “wines” down and fall comes upon us, make a day of it and head to one or a couple of the wineries for wine tasting.
If you plan on having a wine adventure each weekend, then just know that Connecticut offers a Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries. (They offer it every year and usually starts in the beginning of May and ends in November.) You can pick up a passport at any Connecticut farm winery. There are 40 farm wineries that are participating where you can get your passports stamped. If you can hit all 40 wineries, you can qualify to win the grand prize. There are other prizes as well for this who obtain a specific number of stamps. Contest rules can be found on the inside back cover of the passport.
These are some of the wineries I have been to already that participate. Still so many more to go.
Arrigoni Winery (1287 Portland-Cobalt Rd., Rte 66, Portland, CT) I’ve gone to this winery several times, most recently a few weeks ago. My friends and I did the Classic Tasting option, followed by a definite must have–their world famous sangria. We brought a picnic lunch, got the sangria in the carafe and sat outside overlooking the grapes. Delish! I haven’t tried their other fruit wines, but several of my other friends have gone here in the past. They complimented their smashed pumpkin wine.
White Silo Winery (32 Route 37 East, Sherman, CT) My friends and I went here several years ago. We had a Groupon for a wine tasting/tour and lunch. They typically host art exhibitions from local artists and artisans, whose works are available for purchase. The draw for them is that although they do have grape wines, their specialty is really their wines from their own farm grown fruits–raspberries, blackberries, and rhubarb. Take a tour of their original dairy barn along with the fermentation, bottling, and corking rooms. Buy some of their wine and head outside to enjoy their outdoor garden.
Jones Winery (606 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Shelton, CT) Several years ago I went pumpkin picking at Jones Farm with my friends. After picking our pumpkins, we stopped at their winery nearby. Their tasting room is housed in a restored barn. They also have a patio for you and your crew to enjoy a glass or bottle of their wines. Unlike other wineries where you can bring your own food, this place does not permit outside food. They do offer regional cheeses, crackers, and other light fare for you to purchase.
This winery has the most picturesque view. Bring your family and friends to enjoy their wine tasting. Picnic here while enjoying a bottle of their wine. My friends and I stayed here for several hours doing just that.
Savino Vineyard (128 Ford Road, Woodridge, CT) This is a small family owned and operated vineyard. The interim principal at my school had treated all the staff members to a tasting there at the end of the school year. So everyone brought a snack and we spent our late afternoon there, relaxing over glasses of wine. What a great way to end the school year!
So if you are looking for something to do with family or friends on the weekend, make a decision to hit some of these wineries or check out the others on Connecticut’s Wine Trail.
P.S. Please drink responsibly.