Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cheers! Connecticut's Own Wine Trail

One doesn't have to travel to Napa County, California, nor even France to enjoy a wine-tasting adventure these days. As more vineyards and breweries crop up in local American towns, everyone has a chance to sample some fine and even award-winning wines- even in this little state of Connecticut.

The Wine Trail in Connecticut spans the whole state. My husband and I've only visited a few and hope to discover more next summer. But each excursion was a pleasant surprise not only for our palates, but that of friends we towed along with us. Although Connecticut climate leans towards producing better white wines, there are many that produce wonderful reds, Cabernets, burgundies, and more to delight your taste buds and warm your senses. Here are three favorites we've come by and highly recommend to the avid wine fan:

Connecticut Valley Winery-New Hartford CT: 
We aren't fans of sweet wines, or weren't, rather, until we visited this superb vineyard. The sweet wines here are produced naturally, the fermenting process is carefully stopped to retain the sweetness of the grape rather than dumping in sugar to add sweetness. The result? Wonderful, in fact indescribably fresh, rich wines that were a crowd-pleaser with our small group of varying tastes. "Just Peachy" is a favorite.  This vineyard has a delectable wine to please everyone in the crowd.

DeGrazia Vineyards-Brookfield, CT:
This is the perfect vineyard for a fall visit. Winemaker Dr. Paul DeGrazia is known for his unique and innovative wine-making flair. We sampled some of his late harvest wines, and we highly recommend one try the ports. His pumpkin wines were a favorite- rich, full bodied with unique undertones of honey and other spices.  This vineyard offers award-winning wines that also one just won't find anywhere else.

Goveia Vineyard-Wallingford, CT:
Goveia is a wonderful vineyard to meet up with friends. It's expansive tasting room invites visitors to bring a picnic lunch, buy a bottle, and sit down with friends for a leisurely gathering. The tall windows overlook the hills of Wallingford with nary a rooftop peeking among the trees. On one of our visits we sipped their Chardonnay- a favorite with us- and watched as a storm literally rolled towards the large windows, over the vineyard and disappeared as the sun re-entered the sky. Musicians often add to this vineyards relaxing atmosphere.

All across the Connecticut landscape one can spot signs with "Connecticut Wine Trail" inscribed on them and an arrow pointing to the nearest vineyard. There is even a Wine Trail passport one can pick up at any Connecticut Vineyard with each vineyard listed in the booklet.  As you visit each winery, the owner stamps it.  After fully stamped, hand it in for a chance to win a variety of exciting prizes!  Fine wine and good company make this little Nutmeg State an award-winning crowd-pleaser!

For more information and a complete list of wineries, visit CT Wine Trail online or on Facebook.

Feeling ambitious about your winery visits?  Check out the CT Wine Trail Passport- a few lucky visitors could win big!

Written by Suzanne Urban owner of Smirking Goddess and Suzanne Urban Etsy shops. Suzanne is an illustrator, gag writer, and graphic designer. She resides in an antique home in Windsor, CT with her husband- whose Etsy shop RetroUrban debuted this Spring– and her maltipoo Pieper and house rabbit Puma.

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