Passport to Wine Trail in Connecticut
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