Sip, swirl, swish, and savor your way to serenity at one of eastern Connecticut's fabulous wineries. Who knew that such good grapes could be grown in Connecticut's cold winters and hot summers -- not me, that is for sure! Connecticut is considered one of the fastest growing wine regions in the US, something the state's Tourism Department has taken full advantage of by creating a Connecticut Wine Trail.
Though I prefer beer to wine, over the past few visits back to Connecticut, I've had the chance to visit some of Connecticut's fine vineyards and wineries for tastings. There are certainly many more on my list that I'm dying to visit, but that will have to wait until a longer trip.
Wine Tastings in eastern Connecticut:
Maugle Sierra Vineyards, Ledyard
J, my sister, and I went to Maugle Sierra Vineyards for a wine tasting on a weekday afternoon right before Christmas. Despite it being the holidays, the hours were convenient and there was a steady flow of people coming in to purchase wines. In between helping customers, the kind bartender was knitting what looked to be a very nice Christmas gift.
After checking things out, we headed up to the bar for our tasting. For a reasonable price of $12 per person, we were able to try six pre-selected wines including three whites, a rose, and two reds. I know its trendy, but I really don't like roses, and no surprise here since that was my least favorite of the bunch. Though I typically go for smoky or chocolatey reds, I actually preferred the Ledyard Sunset White, which had a surprisingly creamy taste to it. It was also a big hit at Christmas dinner.
Saltwater Farm Vineyard, Stonington
Though I was heavily pregnant when J and I visited for a tasting, Saltwater Farm Vineyard has to be my favorite of the two. I've written a full review here, but in short, the grounds were stunning and their 2013 Estate Merlot was really amazing with notes of smoke and clove.
Before visiting, however, you should note that Saltwater Farm Vineyard is only open seasonally and will re-open on April 15. If you want to try Saltwater Farm's wines, they have recently opened the very Instagrammable M/Bar in downtown Mystic. I happened to pop by while I was in CT this past December to try a few things, but I can't say I was blown away by the food or coffee; it may be best to just stick to that merlot!
Where else to try?
Stonington Vineyard is number one on my list of places to try on our next visit to Connecticut. Their tastings are $12 per person and include six wines. Tours are also available.
Land of Nod Vineyards in East Canaan is also top on my list.
If you happen to be in Connecticut but prefer beer, let me suggest These Guys Brewing Co. in Norwich. It's a bit pricey, but totally worth it!
Have you been to any vineyards in Connecticut? Would you think of Connecticut as wine country?