Explore Napa-style vineyards on the Connecticut shoreline
If you’re looking for Napa-style wineries without the trip out West, explore the vineyards and wineries on the Connecticut shoreline. Experience the bistro inspired farm to table wineries to kid-friendly locations – there’s something for everyone.
Relax and take a tour, pack a picnic and experience Stonington Vineyards. Established in 1987, the carefully selected variety of grapes are grown in a microclimate that encompasses oceanic temperatures mimicking Bordeaux. The grapes are hand-picked from the acres of Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. Savor the favored Seaport White or the barrel-fermented 2017 Oak Chardonnay. Stonington Vineyards is one of the first Connecticut wineries on the Connecticut Wine Trail.
523 Taugwonk Rd. Stonington, Connecticut 06378
Bishop’s Orchards Winery
Bishop’s Orchards Winery is a family affair that was established in 2005. The 52-acres of farm land spans six generations, dating back to 1871. The winery is open all year long, with fruit picking from June until October. Visitors can pick anything from peaches to pumpkins. Bishop Orchards Winery is in the historic town of Guilford with shops, churches and homes surrounding it. The winery has won numerous awards including six double gold medals and two dozen gold medal awards.
Wine lists include anything from sweet Strawberry Delight to Farmhouse Style semi-dry hard cider. Tastings are scheduled all year in the original 1928 barn, and tasting tours are every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. This kid-friendly location has something for everyone. Little ones can watch the train and greet the animals on the farm.
Each specialty fruit wine is created by on-site by Winemaker, Keith Bishop, a fifth-generation family member in addition to Co-Owner and Co-CEO. He highlights the annual farm-grown fruits of apples, peaches, pears, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.
1355 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT 06437
Sitting snugly on the shoreline in Clinton, CT, Charmard Vineyards is rooted in European tradition producing 10-thousand cases per year. The vines take up 20 acres on the 40-acre property. Chamard became licensed in 1988 and released their first Chardonnay in 1989. Now the wine list boasts nearly 20 varieties of white, red and estate wines from Stone Cold White crisp citrus & honeysuckle to fuller bodied Héritage 70/30 Cabernet Merlot 2015, bouquet of plum, tobacco & vanilla. Chamard Vineyards tasting room is open to the public.
115 Cow Hill Rd. Clinton, Connecticut 06413
Jonathan Edwards Winery
The winery has the simplified goal—to make great wine—and enjoy life more often. The former Crosswoods Vineyards was bought in the year 2000 and the Napa Valley wine was brought east. The rehab of what is now the Jonathan Edwards Winery began.
The estate is open 7 days a week for tastings and accommodations for group tours, with reservations. The daily winery tour is complimentary, starting at Noon. Visit the tank and barrel rooms and walk along the vineyard. Take a chair and blanket for a picnic in the lawn. Jonathan Edwards winery can even create custom labeling for clients.
Jonathan Edwards Winery
74 Chester Maine Road N. Stonington, CT 06359
Saltwater Farm Vineyard
With roots dating back 350 years ago, Saltwater Farm Vineyard has an agrarian foundation going back to the founding of Stonington in the mid-1600s. Surrounded by the tidal marshes of Wequetequok Cove, the land functioned as an airport until the start of World War II. Rhode Island native Michael M. Connery bought 108 acres in 2001. He converted the old airfield into a vineyard, at the same time maintaining a grassy landing strip. The vintage hangar was preserved and reimagined as a winery. You’ll discover small production, estate-based wines when you tour Saltwater Farm Vineyard. Aged in both French oak and steel, taste anything from the 2014 Cabernet Franc – Merlot Blen to the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc.
349 Elm St. Stonington, Connecticut 06378
Maugle Sierra Vineyards
Single wine tastings or group wine tastings are available that include six wines, House White, Sunset White, Rendezvous, House Rose’, St. Croix and House Red at Maugle Sierra Vineyards. Paul and Betty Maugle established the eleven acres in 2002. Maugle Sierra Vineyards is dedicated to producing premium Connecticut and New England grown wines. Whether you choose crisp and fruity, aged in stainless steel or fruity intensive aged in French oak, you’ll find everything here your palate pairings. You won’t want to miss the chocolate wine shooters, either: locally made chocolate cup, filled with Espiritu de St. Croix dessert wine.
825 Colonel Ledyard Hwy (Ct. Rt.117) Ledyard, Connecticut 06339
Holmberg Orchards & Winery
Expect seasonal varieties when it comes to choices at Holmberg Orchards & Winery. They believe that the perfect bottle of wine starts with the farmland. The wine barn was built in the 1850s and is the oldest structure on the 150-acre property. The land produces more than 25 varieties of apples, two varieties of grapes (Pinot Blanc and Gewurztraminer) along with peaches, pears, berries and other small fruits. Choose from Bubbly Blanc to Thamesview White. Flights of four are also available to satisfy the senses. You can even branch out into the ciders that are created in the English tradition, making them slightly more alcoholic than beer. For seasonal events, grab a flashlight for the grownup wine maze, a corn maze adventure during August and September.
12 Orchard Ln. Gales Ferry, Connecticut 06335
Preston Ridge Vineyard
Delight in impressive views as you take short jaunt through the 60 acres of Preston Ridge Vineyard, located just 15 miles from the Long Island Sound. Listen to live music during weekends and choose cuisine from local food truck vendors on site. Book a reservation in the tasting room open weekends. Assortments are available from the estate staples to the vintage selections. The earthy red Cabernet Sauvignon is aged more than two years in American Oak. Something lighter for the taste buds is the sweet Estate Harvest Blend with notes of peach and honey.
100 Miller Rd. Preston, Connecticut 06365
Jones Family Farms practices sustainable agriculture to produce. Groups can schedule to taste 7 varieties at the Tasting Bar which includes a logo glass on the guided tour. Sample anything from the sparkling Whimsical White to the Heritage Series red complete with suggested food pairings. Register for a “Sip and Savor” educational class to learn more about food and wine combinations. For more than 150 years, the Jones family has worked the 150-acre farm. The farm has been a dairy farm, Christmas tree farm in the 1940s, fruit fields in the a1960s and finally a winery in 2004.
606 Walnut Tree Hill Rd. Shelton, Connecticut 06484