Set in historical buildings along Long Island Sound or Connecticut’s rolling hills, vineyards and wineries are a must-visit across the state. Stop by for a tasting, and stay for a meal and a bottle at one of Connecticut’s more than 25 vineyards. With the ever-growing Wine Trail and numerous events, you are sure to find a great winery or vineyard near you.
With stunning views of tidal marshes and the Long Island Sound, Saltwater Farm Vineyards is a favorite among locals. The beautifully remodeled aircraft hanger from World War II is the location for wine tastings and is a marvelous backdrop for weddings. A favorite wine is the 2013 Estate Merlot with notes of smoke, clove, and blackberries.
Maugle Sierra Vineyards offers delicious tastings of their six homemade wines for $12. Taste their two white offerings, full-bodied reds, or semi-dry rosé. Maugle Sierra Vineyards is open Thursday through Sunday and has bands and events several days per week. Food is not served at Maugle Sierra Vineyards, so you are encouraged to bring your own.
For an especially tasty experience of chocolate and wine pairings, visit Sunset Meadows Vineyards, offering wine and chocolate pairings several days per week throughout the year. The chocolate pairing features five specialty chocolates for Sunset Meadows’ white wines or a similar pairing with Sunset Meadows’ red wines.
Open seven days per week, a visit to Stonington Vineyards will fit in with anyone’s schedule. Stonington Vineyards offers comprehensive winery tours to teach visitors about the wine making process as well as wine tastings. The tastings are a great deal and feature six different house wines for $12 per person and detailed descriptions of each wine, from dry to sweet, are presented by the knowledgeable staff.
Set on 40 acres of rolling Connecticut countryside, with 20 of those acres planted with wine grapes, Chamard Vineyards is stunning property, bistro, and vineyard to visit. The Bistro offers a farm-to-table menu that is specifically designed to compliment their wines. Chamard Vineyards’ white wines are known for their hits of citrus and all wines can be purchased by glass or bottle.
Land of Nod Winery should be at the top of your list to visit come springtime. The Land of Nod is located on a 200-year-old farm dating back to before the Revolutionary War and the grounds also feature the Beckley Furnace, which is included on the Iron Heritage Trail as was a colonial iron works. Wines include several unique options: peach wine, chocolate raspberry fruit wine, and blueberry-raspberry medley.
Hopkins Vineyard is unique in Connecticut due to its location near an inland lake, producing a special microclimate that allows for a longer growing season and virility of tender grape varieties. Wines produced by Hopkins Vineyard include sparkling wines, dry Red Bard red, semi-sweet apple cider wine and peach wine, and sweet Night Owl and Ice Wine. Wine tastings and tours are available and are offered several days per week year-round.
Showing a dedication to the land for over 100 years, the farm’s founder, Philip James Jones, stated, “Be good to the land and the land will be good to you.” With their tasty bounty, it is clear that the Jones’ are good to the land. Jones Winery features traditional grape wines and specialty fruit wines produced from fruits grown on their farmlands. Tastings of six or seven different wines are available in their historic, converted dairy barn daily. In addition to the winery and tastings, Jones Winery also features a farm-to-table cooking studio and wine-food paring classes.
Using techniques from Portugal’s winemaking practices, Miranda Vineyard is pleased to serve refreshing whites, traditional Portuguese dessert wines, dry reds, and more. This winter, Miranda Vineyard is open for tastings on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and frequently features wine and chocolate pairings.
With two different wine tasting offerings available year-round on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, Sharpe Hill is popular option in northeastern Connecticut. For $15 per person, you can opt for a full flight wine tasting, which includes a tasting of all wines and a souvenir glass. A wine sampler tasting of six wines is also available for $10 per person. Enjoy an award-winning meal at their on-site restaurant called Fireside Tavern, but be sure to reserve a table in advance.