Find great wine in Connecticut with the summer passport program, sponsored by Connecticut Department of Agriculture. The goal is to visit at least 14 of the 30 vineyards participating from Connecticut’s wine trail. You get your blue passport stamped at each one, and then hand it in at the last vineyard you visit.
The program began May 1, 2010, and goes through the first weekend in November. Each winery charges a fee of about six dollars for a wine tasting, and some even include the logo glass in the deal.
This year the Connecticut Wine Festival (July 31 & August 1, Goshen Fairgrounds) will be participating in this program as well. What does that mean? It means your life just got a whole lot easier. If you don’t have time to make it around to all the vineyards, you can go to this festival where all of Connecticut’s vineyards are featured, taste their wines, and get your passport stamped all in one day.
However, if you do have a few weekends to spare over the summer, travel to the vineyards themselves because they all have so much to offer and the experience is priceless. Call or visit websites to plan out a multitude of relaxing, vino-filled weekends.
A passport with 14 or more stamps puts you in a raffle for 17 different prizes. Two first prizes are two-week stays in Benalmadena Costa, Spain, including airfare and your stay at the Hotel and Spa Benalmadena Palace. Other prizes are weekend getaways at the Courtyard Marriot in Norwich, Connecticut. Whether you are a wine-leg admiring connoisseur who dutifully spits your wine out, or a novice who eats all the French bread, your time on the Connecticut wine trail will be unforgettable.
Bishop’s Orchards Winery and Farm Market located in Guilford is open 7 days a week. They offer a vast amount of fresh produce, and during the summer you can pick your own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and more. For more information: bishopsorchardswinery.com or call 203-453-2338
Cassidy Hill Vineyard located in Coventry is open Friday to Sunday. They offer wine tasting in their pinewood tasting room and a classic New England countryside vista. For more information: cassidyhillvineyard.com or call 860-896-9144
Chamard Vineyards located in Clinton is open Tuesday through Sunday. They offer a vineyard tour, wine seminars, and music events. For more information: chamard.com or call 860-664-0299
Connecticut Valley Winery LLC located in New Hartford is open Thursday through Sunday May-November. They offer wine dinners, private events, and solar powered wine-making. For more information: ctvalleywinery.com or call 860-489-9463
Dalice Elizabeth located in Preston is open Friday through Sunday from June-October. They offer wine making courses, cooking classes, and private tasting and dinners. For more information: daliceelizabeth.com or call 860-930-9198
DiGrazia Vineyards located in Brookfield is open 7 days a week from April through December. Tours are on the weekends with the winemaker. There is a small gift shop and picnic area adjacent to the winery. For more information: digrazia.com or call 203-775-1616
Gouveia Vineyards located in Wallingford is open Thursday through Sunday year round. They offer a wine club membership, customized gift baskets, and picnicking. For more information: gouveiavineyards.com or call 203-265-5526
Haight-Brown Vineyards located in Litchfield is open 7 days a week from June-November. They offer weekly events, wine paired with cheese or chocolate, and a harvest festival. For more information: haightvineyards.com or call 860-567-4045
Heritage Trail Vineyards located in Lisbon is open Tuesday through Sunday. They offer tasting, a boutique, and a café. For more information: heritagetrail.com or call 860-376-0659
Holmberg Orchards and Winery located in Gales Ferry is open Friday through Sunday. They offer a variety of fruit wines from ciders to pear and blueberry. For more information: holmbergorchards.com or call 860-464-7305
Hopkins Vineyard located in New Preston is open daily. They have a Wine Bar Cafe that serves cheese platters Friday through Sunday. For events Hopkins has an annual barrel tasting and a harvest celebration. For more information: hopkinsvineyard.com or call 860-868-7954
Jerram Winery located in New Hartford is open Thursday through Sunday from May-December. They offer private barrel tasting, hiking, and picnicking. For more information: jerramwinery.com or call 860-379-8749
Jonathan Edwards Winery located in North Stonington is open Wednesday through Sunday. They offer an array of musical events, a gift shop, and an art gallery above the tasting room. For more information: jedwardswinery.com or call 860-535-0202
Jones Family Farm located in Shelton is open for wine tasting Friday through Sunday. They also have strawberry harvesting in June, blueberry picking in July and August, a Harvest Kitchen with cooking classes, and more. For more information: jonesfamilyfarms.com or call 203-929-8425
Land of Nod Winery located in East Canaan is open Friday through Sunday. They offer food and wine pairing events, along with many other events and local attractions. For more information: landofnodwinery.com or call 860-824-5225
Maugle Sierra Vineyards located in Ledyard is open Friday through Sunday, and beginning in June they will also be open on Thursdays. They offer private events, an a la carte menu to accompany your wine, and a case discount for military personnel and support personnel. For more information: mauglesierravineyards.com or call 860-464-2987
Mclaughlin Vineyards located in Sandy Hook is open Wednesday through Sunday. They offer year-round events from bald eagle viewing in the winter to jazz and bluegrass music every Sunday during the summer. For more information: mclaughlinvineyards.com or call 203-426-1533
Miranda Vineyards located in Goshen is open Friday through Sunday from April-December. They offer private parties, live music, and a Harvest Festival. For more information: mirandavineyard.com or call 860-491-9906
North Winds Vineyard located in Watertown will be opening in June on Saturdays only. This brand new vineyard offers a small boutique, tasting in an open air pavilion, and tours. For more information: northwindsvineyard.com or call 860-417-3704
Priam Vineyards located in Colchester is open Friday through Sunday from March-December. They offer a summer wine dinner series, tours, a farmers market and more. For more information: priamvineyards.com or call 860-267-8520
Rosedale Farms and Vineyard located in Simsbury is open Saturday and Sunday for wine tasting from July-October. They offer Chef to Farm dinners, Wine 101, private parties and more. For more information: rosedale1920.com or call 860-651-3926
Saltwater Farm Vineyard located in Stonington is open from Wednesday through Sunday. They offer a vintage hangar from WWII that has been transformed into a winery and private events. For more information: saltwaterfarmvineyard.com or call 800-818-7258
Savino Vineyards located in Woodbridge is open Saturday and Sunday. They offer a small family owned vineyard with American hybrids and Vitis vinifera grapes. For more information, e-mail email@example.com or call 203-387-1573
Sharpe Hill Vineyard located in Pomfret is open Friday through Sunday. They offer tastings in their wine garden and in their new lounge. For more information: sharpehill.com or call 860-974-2549
Stonington Vineyard located in Stonington is open 7 days a week, year round. They offer picnicking, a gift shop, and Gallery. For more information: stoningtonvineyards.com or call 860-535-1222
Sunset Meadow Vineyard located in Goshen is open Friday through Sunday from March-December. They offer private events, vineyard tours, and an indoor and outdoor tasting area. For more information: sunsetmeadowvineyards.com or call 860-201-4654
Taylor Brooke Winery located in Woodstock is open Friday through Sunday from May-December. They offer a gift shop, CT grown cheeses, and other specialty foods. For more information: taylorbrookewinery.com or call 860-974-1263
Walker Road Vineyards located in Woodbury is open the first weekend of each month May-October, Saturday and Sunday. One of the newer vineyards, Walker Road offers a small family owned winery and wine tasting. For more information: walkerroadvineyards.com or call 203-263-0768
White Silo Farm & Winery located in Sherman is open Friday through Sunday from April-December. They offer tasting and tours of the old barn where the winery is located. For more information: whitesilowinery.com or call 860-355-0271