Vineyard Hopping on the Coastal Wine Trail in CT!

On Sunday, May 24, Dennis and I decided to visit some Connecticut wineries on the Coastal Wine Trail we hadn’t been to before. Vineyard hopping is something we really enjoy doing, and it was a gorgeous, sunny, eighty degree day here in New England, so what could possibly be more fun?

We drove a little over an hour from Worcester, MA and arrived at the first winery of the day, Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, CT.

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It is $15 per person to taste seven of their wines. We ended up getting the tasting for free because I work for a local winery in Massachusetts, and they extended an “industry courtesy.” Awesome! So we selected our wines and got to tasting!

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We started with the 2012 Estate Pinot Gris. This was a really nice wine with plenty of pear and apple on the palate. Next up was their 2012 Estate Chardonnay. It was very strong with oak, which is fine with me. I like a well done oaked Chardonnay! There was still plenty of lemon citrus on the palate. Next we tasted the 2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay. This wine was fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak. I loved this wine. It had plenty of green apple notes and was quite smooth. Much less oak was apparent than the Estate Chard. The fourth wine we tasted was the 2013 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. This I loved! It showed a nice amount of citrus on the palate, but a lighter more subtle style of grapefruit, not the New Zealand style. Moving onto the reds, we next tasted the 2012 Napa Valley Merlot. This surprised the heck out of me. It was much more tannic than your typical Merlot and had a great deal of oak. I’m not a big fan of Merlot, but this I liked because it was much more powerful than your typical Merlot. To finish off the dry reds, we tasted the 2013 Lodi Zinfanel. I have to be honest, I didn’t like this one at all. I am a HUGE fan of Lodi Zin, but this one was very bitter for the varietal and lacked the jamminess typical of a Zin. Finally, we finished the tasting with their dessert wine, called Dark. This was their 2012 vintage from Napa Valley, and is a Petite Sirah infused with brandy and aged for 3 years. This was pretty nice for an infused dessert wine, which I’m not usually a fan of.

We decided to each get a glass and wander around the vineyard to enjoy the beautiful weather. I got a glass of Pinot Gris, and off we went!

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Next stop… Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington, CT.

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This is such a pretty winery and vineyard. The winery part is an old restored WWII-era private airport. We each did a tasting (which they also gave us complimentary because I work for a local vineyard) of their four wines. The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc was absolutely lovely. It is half estate grown, half Long Island grapes. It had a really nice crisp citrus flavor with a finish of tropical fruit. The second wine we tasted was the 2013 Estate “Gold Arc” Chardonnay. These grapes were fuly estate grown and aged in French Oak. Next, the 2013 Cabernet Rose, which is 100% Cabernet Franc. These grapes are partially sourced from Palmer Vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island in Riverhead, NY. This tasted extremely watered down. I expected more from a Rose Cab Franc. Finally, we tasted the 2013 Pinot Noir. This was Dennis’s favorite of the four. Some of these grapes were also sourced from Long Island. There were very obvious notes of leather (which I love in a red), but it was extremely acidic for a Pinot Noir. It was barrel aged for one year. Once again, we bought a glass of wine each and went to explore this stunningly beautiful vineyard!

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Our last winery of the day, we headed to Stonington Vineyards in Stonington, CT, which sits on 58 acres of beautiful land.

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By this point, we had already visited 2 other wineries, tasted 11 wines, and had 2 full glasses of wine each. The palate was a bit compromised at this point, lol. We tried each of their wines, but I’ll be damned if I remember any of them! Apparently I didn’t even take notes here, like I did at the other two vineyards! LOL I do recall them being pretty good, and I especially recall the staff at the tasting bar being incredibly nice. Sorry I don’t have more detailed info reviewing this vineyard, but I guess that’s an occupational hazard. lol

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To wind up our day, we dined out for dinner and enjoyed some fantastic New England seafood before we headed back home. These vineyards were all beautiful with great wines, and we look forward to going back this summer to enjoy some live music and/or a picnic! If you live in the CT/RI/MA area, I highly suggest visiting these beautiful vineyards!

Cheers!
Missa
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