Survivor: Second Chances, Odds of Winning

After 4 long months, the premiere of Survivor: Second Chances is finally here. For the first time since season 20 we have an all-returnee cast, so Survivor fans all around the world are predicting who, among the 20, will earn the coveted title, and finally get their redemption.

Survivor: Second Chances (least to most shot at winning the game)

 

20. Peih-Gee (Season 15, Survivor: China) 5th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

 

In order for Peih-Gee to have a snowball’s chance in hell at winning Survivor: Second Chances, she, like many of the returnees, will need to do exactly the opposite of everything she did her first go-around. And like the other castaways, she is aware of her rookie season flaws, and will begin this season trying to avoid making the same mistakes.

During Survivor: China, Peih-Gee was bossy, untrustworthy, and made very few friends, but she claims this time she will “try to keep her mouth shut.” IF, Peih-Gee has changed her ways, and is not bossy, and opinionated, I fear that she will be trying way too hard to fit in, and will end up annoying her tribe by trying to be everyone’s best friend.

The day that Peih-Gee will effortlessly fit in with the “Survivor Cool Kids” will be the day that she will win Survivor: Never.

Final Prediction: If Peih-Gee is not voted off the first few weeks, she will be dragged to the final 3, and receive zero votes from the bitter jury.

 

19. Kass (Season 28, Survivor: Cagayan) 3rd Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

 

It is difficult to feel bad for Kass about her astronomically low odds of winning Survivor: Second Chances. Kass was so brutal in Cagayan, that she could mimic Mother Teresa in Cambodia, and her competitors would still be gunning for her.

The thing that Kass does have going for her, however, is that the rest of the castaways will know where they stand with her, and may decided to target the “devil they don’t know” before her. In fact, if we do not hear the exact phrase “the devil you know, vs. the devil you don’t know”, referring to Kass, I will eat my socks.

Final Prediction: #ChaosKass will appear on the bottom of our screens 8 times before Kass is voted off pre-jury.

 

18. Woo (Season 28, Survivor: Cagayan) 2nd Place 

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

 

It seems as though Woo has not had a haircut since before his Survivor: Cagayan debut, and fans should probably expect for that to be the only change we will see from Woo this time around.

Someone as laid back as Woo, is going to have a very difficult time playing against such hard core game players. He may have wooed over the audience his first season, but in order to win Second Chances he will have to woo over 19 blood-hungry castaways that are much more eager to win than he will be.

Final Prediction: With 4 cast members from Cagayan on this season, the others will likely gang up on them until at least 1 or 2 are voted off. Woo, with the exception of Kass, will probably be the most disposable. It will be a massive feat for Woo to make the merge.

 

17. Abi-Maria (Season 25, Survivor: Philippines) 5th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

 

Abi-Maria is one of the most disliked female Survivor contestants of all time, and while she may have no chance of winning this season, I expect her to at least redeem herself in terms of being portrayed as an awful human being.

I don’t know if Brazil had The Facts of Life, but clearly Abi didn’t watch it, or was more of a Tootie fan, and had no love for Blair. Anyone that can be that mean to Lisa Whelchel, one of Mrs. Garrett’s girls should expect backlash from the millions of Facts of Life fans.

Final Prediction: Abi is probably nowhere near as much as a villain as she was portrayed in Survivor: Philippines, but her tribemates will still see her as a loose cannon, and it is doubtful that she will be anyone’s #1 as far as alliances are concerned. Abi-Maria will pull a Heroes Vs. Villains Jerri Manthey and will redeem herself in the eyes of the public, but will not win the game. Expect Abi-Maria to be a pre-jury boot.

 

16. Keith (Season 29, Survivor: San Juan Del Sur) 4th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

 

Typically the older members on a tribe are seen as a physical liability, but that is not the case with Keith. He was a challenge beast in San Juan Del Sur, winning more individual immunity challenges than anyone else.

The concern with Keith, however, is his ability to relate to the other castaways and form solid bonds with them. I can see him butting heads with some of the ladies on his tribe, particularly Kass and Kimmi, and if the girls can bond together, Keith will probably be their number 1 target.

In fact, I am anxiously awaiting the first time that Kass is appalled by Keith “hocking a loogie” at camp.  The argument will inevitable be dubbed #spitspat by CBS and the hashtag will magically appear on our screen in hopes that we all tweet about the dispute.

Final Prediction: Keith will probably fly under the radar for a while, but will be remembered for his impressive immunity run in his prior season, and will be voted off mid jury.

 

15. Shirin (Season 30, Survivor: Worlds Apart) 8th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

 

Shirin’s jury speech last season could end up biting her in the ass this season. Telling her competitors that you made your first million dollars at the age of 25 will not bode well for Shirin if she makes the final 3.

Typically returnees from back to back seasons do very well on Survivor (i.e. Rupert, Amanda, Russell) and I expect Shirin to continue the streak; IF she can survive the first few weeks. Shirin has established herself as trustworthy, and loyal: two traits that can go a long way when forming alliances early in the game. People will, and should, want to align with her immediately, as it is unlikely that the jury will want to reward a millionaire with another million.

There are so many huge threats this season, that if Shirin can stay calm, not annoy her tribe, and most importantly, keep her bathing suit on, she should make it deep in the game.

Final Prediction: Shirin will make it the final 3 and receive 1 vote from whoever her new Max Dawson is.

 

14. Kimmi Kappenburg (Season 2, Survivor: Australian Outback) 11th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

 

If Kimmi Kappenberg does not survive until there is a reward challenge that involves the tribes receiving chickens, I am rioting. After 14 years, Kimmi is back and we may finally get to see her play the game. Back in the Australian Outback we only saw Kimmi survive 1 tribal council, in which the tribe unanimously voted off Debb in the first episode. As a result, we never really got to see Kimmi play the game.

Kimmi has the potential to be a mastermind strategic player, and I desperately hope that she sticks around long enough for us to see her plot and scheme.

Like Shirin, there is a chance she could be seen as a challenge liability, which, on any other season, would make her an early target. This season, however, may have just the right amount of bigger early targets, which could help Kimmi fly under the radar right to the merge.

Final Prediction: She almost gets voted off many times before the merge, but manages to survive. Once the merge happens everyone forgets about her, and she cruises to the end of the game. She will be much more mature and likable than she was 14 years ago, and will be voted off in 4th place, due to the fact that she is well liked by the jury. She doesn’t win, but at the reunion she is so grateful for being able to actually play the game, and making it to the end. And Jeff Probst says the word “redemption” 6 times when referring to her.

 

13. Kelly Wiglesworth (Season 1, Survivor: Borneo) 2nd Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

 

Kelly Wiglesworth, the “Rafting Persona Queen” is back, and I can say with 100% certainty that this is the ONLY time I will ever wish Sue Hawk was back to play. Imagine a final tribal council in which the roles are reversed and Kelly, (along with the help of CBS writers), piece together a speech that tops Sue’s infamous season 1 speech, and Sue loses the game by one vote.

Yes, this would require a universe in which Sue Hawk could possibly be invited back, and wouldn’t possibly be voted off immediately, but a guy can dream, can’t he?

Back to reality… Wiglesworth should be used for a number in pre-existing alliances because she is 100% alone, and has no idea how to play modern day Survivor.

Kelly would be the most satisfying winner of all time, and the producers wet dream scenario. However, if Kelly can not adjust to communicating with humans (I’m assuming she lives in a Mexican jungle somewhere) she could be an early easy target, and super fans like Spencer, Shirin, and Kelley Wentworth would consider being able to vote off Kelly “The Rat” Wiglesworth as a dream come true.

Final Prediction: Unfortunately, I do not think Kelly will make the merge, but I have never hoped I was more wrong.

 

12. Joe (Season 30, Survivor: Worlds Apart) 10th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

 

The golden boy from last season will have his work cut out for him if he wants to win Second Chances. Anyone that is not closely aligned with him will see him as a huge target and jump at the chance to vote him out. The good thing for Joe, however, is that a majority of the cast comes from recent seasons. If he can form a solid “New School” alliance, he can lead his troop to the merge by picking off all the old schoolers.

Regardless of new/old school though, Joe will be targeted once the individual portion of the game arrives. He may make it further than he did last season, but unless he wins 8 individual immunities in a row, he will not be vying for the prize once finale night rolls around.

Final Prediction: Joe will place mid jury and play a similar game to Malcom Freberg’s second season. In fact, I am still not convinced that Joe is not just Malcolm in disguise.

 

11. Terry (Season 12, Survivor: Panama) 3rd Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

 

Terry Deitz finally gets his second chance after dominating post merge in Survivor: Panama. Terry was one immunity challenge away from winning a million dollars, and the title. Like Keith, age will not be a factor for Terry as far as challenges are concerned. In fact, if he makes the merge, he will be a frontrunner for individual immunities. Because of this, Terry will likely be the merge boot, which should be an honor, because at 55 years old, he can still kick just about anyone’s ass out there.

It just so happens that Terry is on the same tribe as his former rival’s brother. His beef with Aras was a late game issue in Panama, and now Terry will start the game with his brother, Vytas. Throw in a new school / old school disconnect, and we could see Terry and Vytas going after each other from the get-go.

Final Prediction: Terry will emerge as the leader of his original tribe, and a tribal switch/swap/merge will knock him out of his leadership position and promptly voted out of the game.

 

10. Vytas (Season 27, Survivor: Blood Vs. Water) 10th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

Vytas, the elder Baskauskas bro, has the potential to follow in his brother’s footsteps and win Survivor. Vytas, however, also has the potential to taint the Baskauskas family legacy of being 3/3 with making the jury/winning.

As stated with Terry, there is a possibility that Vytas and Terry could be gunning for each other due to previous Baskauskas-Deitz feud. I suppose it is also possible that they could bond over their love-hate relationship with Aras and they could become best friends. Either way, I think that Vytas could be a huge target for the first few weeks, but if he can form a solid alliance that stays in tact until the merge, he could have the goods to schmooze the jury and convince them to award him with a million dollars.

Final Prediction: If Vytas survives the first four episodes he will win the game. But, it will be a longggggggggg first four episodes for Vytas. If I was a betting man, which I am, my money is on Vytas’ stay in Cambodia being nothing more than a week long yoga retreat.

9. Stephen (Season 18, Survivor: Tocantins) 2nd Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

To the casual viewer, Stephen is nothing more than a long forgotten runner-up that will forever be in the shadow of the winner. JT has gone down as one of the most popular winners in the show’s history, and Stephen has been quickly forgotten.

But, to loyal fans of the show, and especially “superfans,” Stephen is a Survivor genius and student of the game. He is often mentioned as one of the greatest players to never win the game, and his fellow contestants are aware of this.  Much like Vytas, if Stephen can make it to the end of the game, he is smart enough to win the jury’s votes. But, Stephen will be a huge target early and often; not for being a physical threat, but for being so strategic.

Final Prediction: Stephen will be an early boot, much like one of the other “Best Players to Never Win the Game,” Rob Cesternino. Stephen will be a very early boot. The reason he is so high in the rankings is because of the slim chance the castaways let him make the merge, this game will be his to lose.

8. Ciera (Season 27, Survivor: Blood Vs. Water) 5th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

Many castaways will want to align with Ciera. She is strong, strategic, sexy and not afraid to make big moves. The problem Ciera will run into, however, will be the people that she is not aligned with will want to target her as soon as possible. She is a great game player, and it will be difficult for her to hide under the rader for the first half of the game (the way she did in Blood Vs. Water.) 

Since she knows it will be difficult for her to fly under the radar, I expect her to come out of the gate with her fists swinging. If things fall into place for her early on, she can easily win. Ciera, however, will be a target all season, and will have to work her magic starting day one if she wants to win the game. Impossible? No. Improbable? Yes.

Final Prediction: Ciera will be in charge for the first half of the season, and just when she is sure she has the game in the bag, she will be blindsided mid jury.

7. Spencer (Season 28, Survivor: Cagayan) 4th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

I predicted Spencer to win his first season from episode 1 and he made it to 4th place. Spencer has everything you need to win this game: he is likable, athletic, intelligent, and strategic. The problem with that is he also has everything you need to be voted off immediately in an all-stars season: he is likable, athletic, intelligent, and strategic.

On top of that, he is also one of 4 returning Cagayan cast members, and you can be assured that the other 16 players are very, very aware of that.

Final Prediction: Spencer will be a huge asset to any tribe he in on pre merge. Once the merge happens, he will be toast once he loses individual immunity. 9th place

6. Tasha (Season 28, Survivor Cagayan) 6th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

Tasha has decided that this time, instead of playing nice, she will simply “ask God for forgiveness” when the game is over. Tasha means business and has come to win this game. She was on the “brains” tribe in Cagayan, but she is also a physical force to be reckoned with; winning the second most individual immunities of any female contestant ever.

Once again, Tasha is starting the game with Kass, the woman who was mostly responsible for Tasha being voted out of her original season. Not only will she not let Kass screw her over again, I expect Tasha to completely own this game, voting out Kass, and just about everyone else along the way.

Final Prediction: Tasha will make the final 3, but will have pissed off too many people to get their jury votes at the final tribal.

5. Andrew (Season 7, Survivor: Pearl Islands) 10th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

Not only is Andrew Savage my favorite Survivor of all time (besides Colleen Haskell, of course) he is also by far the most deserving castaway to get offered a second chance. I just don’t understand why it took so long to invite this guy back. He was screwed over by the worst twist in the show’s history, just as he was well on his way to winning the season.

My personal feelings aside, Andrew Savage is a no-nonsense guy that will do whatever it takes to win. He is over a decade older than he was in Pearl Islands, but I will still put my money on him being the most overall athletic castaway out there.

The thing that could hurt Savage though, is his leadership. With a cast chock-full of leaders, he needs to take a back seat and not be as in-your-face as he was the first time around. If Savage can get in a solid majority alliance, and keep his desire to lead under wraps, he has a strong chance of finally winning his well deserved million dollars.

Final Prediction: Savage will go deep in the game, but will be on the outs of his alliance and land somewhere near 5th place. 🙁

4. Monica (Season 19, Survivor: Samoa) 7th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

If Monica does not lose any challenges for her tribe, she will make the end of the game. And if Monica does not piss off any of the jurors, she has a very solid chance at winning Second Chances. She will not be on anyone’s radar, and should be a welcomed addition to anyone’s alliance.

Monica is athletic, but not too athletic, hot, but not too hot, (actually, scratch that, she is unbelievably hot) and seems to be an overall cool girl. Therefore, unless she messes up an important challenge, or she makes some ladies on her tribe jealous, her tribe should have no reason to get rid her.

Final Prediction: Monica will make the end game, but will not get jury votes because she will be portrayed as riding “coattails” to get there.

3. Jeff (Season 2, Survivor: Australian Outback) 10th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

It has been 14 years, but Jeff Varner could finally get what he deserves: a Survivor title. Other than Savage, Varner may have been screwed over the most, and deserve this chance more than anyone else. If Mike Skupin never fell into the fire, Jeff Varner would have made the end game of season 2, and would have had a very solid chance to win the game.

Jeff is likable, hysterical, intelligent, and a mastermind manipulator. His downfall could be getting caught between two (or more) alliances and everyone finding out. If he chooses his alliances carefully, and doesn’t get caught with his hand in too many cookie jars, he could easily be the 3rd Australian Outback cast member to take home the million dollar prize.

Final Prediction: Mid-Late jury

2. Kelly (Survivor 29, Survivor: San Juan Del Sur) 14th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

Before the season starts, this game is Kelley’s to lose. With her father, Dead Weight Dale, safely being miserable on his couch at home, she can easily fly under the radar. She is a super fan of the show, and she is physically and mentally capable of winning challenges.

I predict Kelley to be the head of an all girls’ alliance, and call all the shots. Kelley is ready to play a ruthless game, and has the potential to be a break out star of this legendary season.

Final Prediction: She will deserve the win, but will fall short and come in 2nd place.

1. Jeremy (Season 29, Survivor Cagayan) 10th Place

(photo credit: cbs.com)

(photo credit: cbs.com)

If Jeremy had started San Juan Del Sur on the other tribe, he could ha

ve won the game. He had the unfortunate luck of being placed on a tribe (and on a season) with little game play. Jeremy was ready to play the damn game, but he didn’t have the opportunity. This time around Jeremy will be with 19 other players that are ready to play, and he will have all the tools he needs to win Second Chances. 

Final Prediction: Jeremy will once again form an alliance with the ladies of the tribe, and I expect him to take those ladies to the final four with him. He will then do what Russell Hantz failed to do, and win the million dollar prize.

 

 

 

Connecticut Wine Trail

Connecticut Wine Trail Unveils State’s Best Kept Secret

 

Nestled in between two of America’s most influential and frequently visited cities, Boston and New York City, rests Connecticut, the country’s third smallest state. But other than Yale University, and being the home of the “Jerry Springer Show,” two polar opposite claims to fame, Connecticut is primarily known for being a three hour, traffic-nightmare, linking two of America’s most beloved cities. Recently, however, Connecticut has been making tremendous strides to stand out in one category in particular; the world of wine. Just about every “Best Things to do in Connecticut” list published today, has the “Connecticut Wine Trail” as a must-see, Connecticut highlight.

 

The idea for the Connecticut Wine Trail came from Sherman P. Haight, of Haight Vineyard, in Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1988. It wasn’t until 1992, however, that the state dedicated the trail, and five wineries became official members. As the years went on, more wineries and vineyards have joined the “trail of happiness”, and now the Connecticut Wine Trail is home to 25 unique wineries/vineyards.

 

So, why is the Connecticut Wine Trail so valuable to the state?

 

According to the University of Minnesota’s Status and Economic Contribution Report on Vineyards and Wineries in the New England States, in 2011 the economic contribution of the grape growing and winery industries in New England was 70.1 million dollars, including 3,260 jobs. According to the same report, 76% of responding vineyards and wineries were founded between the years of 2002-2012, indicating a substantial rise in the industry. Additionally, a whopping 91% of the wineries indicated that they plan on expanding within the next five years. In fact, Connecticut is becoming one of the fastest growing wine regions in the United States, and even in its earliest years was being compared to well established vineyards in California. 

 

The 25 participating vineyards have also joined with a few other farm wineries in the region to form the “Connecticut Farm Wineries Passport Program.” Visitors to the wineries can obtain their passport at the beginning of May from any of the participating locations. As they visit each of the wineries, they get their passport stamped. At the end of the season, prizes will be awarded to those who have filled up at least 16 of the 33 possible stamps. Prizes include two two-week trips to Spain, a Cape Cod getaway, and gift certificates to all of the participating wineries. Last year, Jennifer Crews, and her fiance, Eddie, were one of the lucky winners, whose prize was an overnight stay at a local hotel. “We enjoyed the overnight experience, and I would be thrilled to win again this year” says Crews. “But Eddie has his sights set on that trip to Spain, so we are working hard to fill up the passport again.”

But, with New England weather being so temperamental, and wineries in the region having limited hours and dates of operation, not many wine lovers will be able to visit all 25 wineries in a season.

After 4 months of visiting beautiful wineries, and tasting all the delicious wines they have to offer, the following is an extensive list of the key players on the Connecticut Wine Trail, and why any wine lover needs to make them a high priority when visiting the wine trail. It was a terrible job, but somebody had to do it.

 

Upon visiting each of the vineyards, visitors were approached to share their opinions of the vineyards wines, atmosphere, and overall experience. Much like the Connecticut Passport themselves, they were asked to rank the vineyard on a 1-10 scale in each of the categories. If the visitor did not have a passport, they were given a small piece of paper that asked for the same information. 

 

survey

13 day and weekend trips, hundreds of glasses of wine, and countless new wino friends later, the people of the CT Wine Trail have spoken.

 

The five vineyards with the “Best Wine” on the Connecticut Wine Trail are as follows:

5. Jonathan Edwards Winery, North Stonington, CT

The wines at Jonathan Edwards Winery, in North Stonington, CT, are unique in the fact that the winery has a “Bi-Coastal” relationship with Napa Valley. Each year grapes are brought from Napa Valley, and made into delicious Jonathan Edwards Wine.

“Here at Jonathan Edwards, we have the opportunity to make wine from both the West and East coast, which helps to distinguish our wines from many of the other wines on the trail” says Daniele Brandt, tasting room operator at the winery.

“All of our wines are popular, says Brandt, but in the summer months, our Sauvignon Blanc is probably our biggest seller. It is light, crisp, refreshing, and cools you off of hot New England summer days.

Jonathan Edwards' Sauvignon Blanc, one of their most popular wines, and a favorite among Jonathan Edwards poll takers.

Jonathan Edwards’ Sauvignon Blanc, one of their most popular wines, and a favorite among Jonathan Edwards poll takers. (photo credit: R. Jacobson)

 

4. Sharpe Hill Vineyard, Pomfret, CT

Receiving over 350 awards for their delicious wines, Sharpe Hill Vineyard has over 14 unique wines to choose from. Their ‘Ballet of Angels’, which is a fruity, semi-dry, refreshing white wine, was the biggest hit among poll takers. In addition to their extensive wine list, Sharpe Hill is also a fine dining establishment, and was included in Connecticut Magazine’s “50 Dishes to Try Before You Die” countdown.


 

3. Sunset Meadows Vineyards, Goshen, CT

Sunset Meadows Vineyards strives to make their wines enjoyable and memorable for both the wine connoisseur, as well as those with a more casual appreciation for wine. With many awards under their belt, and plenty of wines to choose from, Sunset Meadows Vineyards scored an impressive 9.6 on the combined surveys. Also a sign that their wines were fantastic, was the amount of empty bottles the group of ladies sitting next to me had on, and under, their table.

According to the poll takers, the Cayuga White, a crisp, clear, fruity wine, was by far the favorite wine from the vineyard.

2. Preston Ridge Vineyard, Preston, CT

Not only does Preston Ridge offer a unique array of delicious, well-balanced wines, but their tasting room was full of visitors asking for more. The Fieldstone White was mentioned by just about every visitor as being their favorite wine, and nearly every group had a bottle (or two) on their table. Whether you want a crisp white, a refreshing rose’, or a full bodied red, you will be able to find what you are looking for, and much more, at Preston Ridge.

The most popular wine at Preston Ridge Vineyard, the Fieldstone White.

The most popular wine at Preston Ridge Vineyard, the Fieldstone White. (photo credit: R. Jacobson)

 

1. Chamard Vineyards, Clinton, CT

Voters chose Chamard Vineyards as having the best wine on the Connecticut Wine Trail. Established in 1983, Chamard has the art of winemaking down to a science, and continues to make strides in the world of wine. Now open year round, Chamard Vineyards is the number one stop if you want to taste the best wines that Connecticut has to offer. Their five estate wines, particularly their Cabernet Sauvignon, are a perfect example of the potential that Connecticut has to become one of the leaders of wine making in the United States. If you are going to join any Connecticut wine club, make it Chamard.

Chamard's Classic Heritage 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, the creme de la creme at Chamard Vineyards in Clinton, CT.

Chamard’s Classic Heritage 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, the creme de la creme at Chamard Vineyards in Clinton, CT. (photo credit: R. Jacobson)

 

The five vineyards that earned the voters choice as having the “Best Atmosphere” on the Connecticut Wine Trail are as follows.

5. Jones Winery, Shelton, CT

As their website claims, Jones Winery is a “true treasure for all Connecticut residents and visitors to cherish and enjoy” and voters agreed. Of the 12 people that took part in the poll, eight of them gave Jones Winery a “10” when it came to their scenic environment.

If you are a fan of the Fall, Jones Winery should be your number one CT Wine Trail destination. (photo credit: R. Jacobson)

If Fall is your favorite season, Jones Winery should be your number one CT Wine Trail destination. Have some delicious wine, and pick up your pumpkins all at the same time. (photo credit: R. Jacobson)

 

4. Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford, CT

“The view from outside the tasting room at Gouveia Vineyards” is breathtaking”, says John Andrews, Gouveia Vineyards visitor, and wine aficionado. “I have been to every vineyard on the trail, and hundreds of other vineyards around the country, and world, and you would be hard pressed to find many other vineyards with such a beautiful view as Gouveia” says Andrews.

Gouveia Vineyards in Wallingford, CT (photo credit: R. Jacobson)

 

3. Miranda Vineyard , Goshen, CT

Their motto is “arrive as a visitor, return as a guest.” Voters in the poll agreed that they felt like a welcome guest, as Miranda Vineyards received the third best rating out of all 25 vineyards on the trail. Their outdoor deck overlooking the vineyards makes for a relaxing environment, and nearly every visitor spoke highly of their warm hospitality and pleasant staff.

https://www.facebook.com/MirandaVineyard/photos_stream

 

2. Haight-Brown Vineyards, Litchfield, CT

The goal of Height-Brown Vineyards is to “erase the intimidation factor of wine, and make it a drink that everyone can enjoy.” To help them in this feat, they have wine classes, rather than just tastings. Also, their staff is extremely helpful, educated, and friendly, making Haight-Brown almost feel like” a gathering with friends rather than strangers” according to one poll taker.

 

1. Saltwater Farm Vineyards, Stonington, CT

One of the newest vineyards on the trail, is also the most stunning of all the vineyards and wineries in Connecticut according to the poll. Beth Abbiati, tasting room manager at the vineyard, says

“We often have people come from hours away just to visit our winery, because they have heard such amazing things about our scenery. We also have been voted one of the “50 Most Romantic Wedding Venues” in the entire U.S. according to Brides Magazine.

The venue, which served as an old World War II era private airport, still looks like an old airport hangar from the outside. And outside, the acres of perfectly attended land makes for an unforgettable visit to the most scenic vineyard in the state.


 

Overall Experience

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/7874567-Connecticut-wine-trail

It should be noted, that of the 25 vineyards, only 2 received an overall score of less than 6.5, and seventeen vineyards/wineries had an overall score of 7.5 or better.

 

Court of Masters Sommeliers level 2 candidate, Erin Burke, who has been visiting the wine trail for years, offers her opinion of the trail, and lends some expert advice for getting the most out of your time on the trail.

No matter whether you are a sommelier in training, like Burke, or someone that is new to wine drinking and visiting vineyards, the Connecticut Wine Trail offers a unique blend of fine wines that should be savored, and drinkable wines that will have you out of your seat and getting in line for another glass (or bottle.) As summertime in New England draws to a conclusion, and Fall approaches, the Connecticut Wine Trail should be something that all New Englanders are aware of, as it brings family and friends closer together while enjoying some of the best wines that New England has to offer.

 

To stay connected to the Connecticut Wine Trail and to participate in the survey, or offer your thoughts on whether or not you agree with the wine drinkers that took part in the survey, follow this Pinterest page. Here you can add your own photos and share your experiences with each of the vineyards on the Connecticut Wine Trail that you visit.