Opening Day

Marguerite Barrett
Contributing Writer

May 1st marks the official start of wine season here in Connecticut.  The Connecticut Farm Wineries’ 2010 Passport program kicked off with the release of the new passports on Saturday.   The passport includes pages for each Connecticut Farm Winery that is open to the public; as you visit each winery, have the corresponding page in the passport stamped.   At the end of the season (early November), turn in your passport for a chance to win one of two 10-day trips to Europe.

While a few wineries won’t open until June or July, most of Connecticut’s 30 wineries are now open for the season, with many offering weekday as well as weekend hours.  Several wineries are also gearing up for special spring events and festivals which can be a great kick-off for your own Win(e)ding Road adventures:

May 8-9:  Barrel Tasting @ Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT

May 15-16:    Barrel Tasting @ Hopkins Vineyards, New Preston, CT

May 15:   Barrel Tasting @ Miranda Vineyards, Goshen, CT

June 5-6:  Jonathan Edwards Winery Spring Festival, North Stonington, CT

June 19-20:   Haight-Brown’s Festival on the Farm, Litchfield, CT

Outside of Connecticut, the Coastal Wine Trail of Southeastern New England, which includes 9 wineries and extends 170 miles along both the Rhode Island and Nantucket Sound, from the Rhode Island/Connecticut border up into Cape Code, launched their passport program in February, which will run until December 31st.  Collect stamps from all 9 wineries and turn in your passport for a chance to win a Cruise to the Bahamas.

After stops at the final few wineries I’ve yet to visit in Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Coastal Wine Trail are next on the list.  Coastline drives under blue skies, the lush greenery of ripening vineyards and farmlands, a chance to discover new wines, and seafood dinners in Cape Code or Newport – that’s what summer’s all about…  Can’t wait!

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