We like trails, hiking trails, biking trails, paddling trails, but now we are going to venture into a different type of trail, the Connecticut Wine Trail. This trail does require a car due to the 33 stops for 2013 spread across the entire state. Originally started in 1988, the Connecticut Wine Trail has become very popular with locals and tourists alike. If you want to really get into the CT Wine Trail you can pick up a Passport book at one of the participating farm wineries. Get 16 of the possible 33 stamps by November 10, 2013 and you can enter to win a two week trip to Spain along with other prizes.
I decided to pick up a Passport and get things rolling on National Wine Day with a trip to Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington. Jonathan Edwards Winery is located in a renovated dairy barn on 48 acres of vineyards. They grow four varietals here in Connecticut along with owning some farm vineyards in Napa, California. Back in the winter I had met Jonathan while he was hiking boot shopping. He was a nice, down to earth guy. Unfortunately on my visit he was not around but his staff was very friendly. The ladies answered all of our questions about the locations the grapes were grown and gave insight on different wine festivals that are fun to attend.
It was a cold, grey day so the tasting room wasn’t packed wall to wall. Jonathan Edwards offers two options for wine tasting. When you walk in you can pick up a paper with the options and a golf pencil to check off which wines you want to try. We decided to do the 7 wine tasting opposed to the 3. With the 7 wine tasting you also get to take home your glass. The options for the tasting include reds and whites with grapes from both the Connecticut farm and California. I am more of a white wine person but have started to appreciate reds a lot more. For me, I really enjoyed the locally grown whites. There is just something especially enjoyable about sipping some wine and looking out at the vineyard the grapes were grown on.
At noon we headed outside for a little tour. We were brought out into the vineyard to talk about the grape growing and harvesting process. Jonathan Edwards allows customers to come out and help with the hand picking of grapes. This defiantly sounded like something that would be fun, so I signed up for the mailing list later on to find out about events. Back inside we went into the barrel room. Here we learned some about the different types and ages of the barrels that are used.
Had the weather been better we would have sat out in the vineyard to enjoy a picnic lunch with a bottle of wine. Instead we enjoyed our sandwiches at an outdoor table protected by an awning from the pesky rain. Despite the weather it was a great experience. I look forward to going back on a nicer day, lounging around the vineyard enjoying one of their Sunday concerts or other events.
To find out more about Jonathan Edwards Winery visit their website.