Established in 1988, the Connecticut Wine Trail is a state approved winery and vineyard awareness program. Wine lovers can visit 25 unique vineyards on the CT Wine Tour, which is divided into two sections, east and west. In addition to the 25 vineyards on the official wine tour, CT is also home to many other farm wineries and vineyards throughout the state. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture has a detailed list of each of the vineyards, as well as links to permits and licenses for each. The CT Department of Agriculture also has information for each vineyard, such as hours, directions, and a brief description of each vineyards unique wines/menus.
“The Connecticut Wine Tour is a fantastic way to spend a beautiful summer’s weekend while spending quality time with family members or friends” says Danielle Brandts, tasting room manager at Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, CT, a must-visit location on the CT Wine Trail. “The wine trail brings all types of visitors, from wine connoisseur’s and dating couples, to bachelorette parties, and girls weekend getaways.
Due to recent change in many state’s wine shipping laws, vineyards along the CT Wine Trail are now allowed to begin shipping their wine to more visitors that purchase wine while on the trail. Just recently, Rhode Island began allowing it’s residents to receive wine shipments in the mail.
The CT Wine Trail also offers incentives for visitors to check out as many of the vineyards as possible. The CT Wine Trail Passport Program, available for free at any of the participating vineyards, offers wine-lovers a chance to win some amazing prizes for visiting at least 16 of the CT Wine Trail vineyards. Prizes include a two-week all inclusive vacation to Spain, a chauffeured limo ride on the wine trail for you and seven friends, overnight stays at local hotels, and of course, bottles of your favorite CT wine.
Rebecca Gallucci, self-proclaimed wine lover, and frequent visitor of the CT Wine Trail admits, “I fill up my wine passport every summer, but am still holding out hope for that trip to Spain. Even if there were no prizes available, I would still be sure to visit my favorite vineyards on the trail, just to catch up with old friends, and taste all the new offerings.”
When asked what her favorite part of the wine trail was, Gallucci said, “Getting to try so many new wines that I would not normally have tasted if I were to order them out at a restaurant. The samples are perfect for tastings, and helping you decide which bottles you would like to purchase.”
Summer in New England is quickly approaching, and after one of the worst winters in history, New Englanders will be itching to get out of the house. The CT Wine Trail is the perfect way to spend some time with loved ones, while experiencing the beauty of Connecticut and the delicious wines it has to offer.