Winter Wine Tasting Weekend

Connecticut wineries offer breathtaking views and the chance to taste wines from one of the most exciting and fastest growing wine regions in the country.  Many wineries are open weekends year round and have fewer visitors in the winter months, providing guests with an intimate experience. Here are a few wineries for you to explore on your next winter visit to the Manor House Inn:

 

Sunset Meadow Vineyards (Goshen)

Located in the scenic town of Goshen, CT and originally a working farm purchased in 1996, Sunset Meadow Farm, as it was known, raised beef cattle and hay. In 2003 Sunset Meadow Vineyards was established. Taking years of farming experience and making the transition to grape growing and the producing of award-winning wines, the vineyards were planted on sloping, westerly and southern exposed fields, creating an ideal setting for prime sun exposure and constant airflow necessary for vine health. Today Sunset Meadow Vineyards is among New England’s largest producing vineyards.

Overlooking the captivating sunsets of the Litchfield Hills, the vineyards lie on 50 acres of rich and fertile soil which has a long tradition of agriculture dating back to the 1800’s. Sunset Meadow Vineyards respects the beauty of nature and the health of the environment. They  practice sustainable methods of farming while growing and harvesting grapes. The vines are hand pruned, hand harvested and maintained with extreme precision.

Visitors can take a step into the past while enjoying the warm and friendly atmosphere of a historic tasting room, located inside a 1800s German Bank Barn which has been used to support the properties numerous agricultural operations over the years. The tasting room has been crafted using estate antiques and original hand-hewed beams. The rich history and picturesque landscape of the beautiful Western Connecticut Highlands provides a breathtaking ambiance.

Sunset Meadow Vineyards was voted New England’s Best Family Winery by Yankee Magazine and has been featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.  7 different wines have won Gold Medals including our 2010 Chardonnay which took home the Gold in the 2012 International Eastern Wine competition.

 

Miranda Vineyard (Goshen)

Generations of experience go into every bottle of Miranda wine. Perfecting the art of winemaking takes a lifetime. Sometimes several. This is what separates Miranda Vineyard from other wineries – tradition, passion, experience – generations of it. Since he was a small boy in Europe, Manny Miranda dreamed of planting his own vineyard and building his own winery. In 2001, the Mirandas planted the first vines and built the winery modeled after the old family winery in Portugal. In 2007, Miranda Vineyard opened to the public. For more than a decade, Manny and his sons have been busy perfecting those Old World techniques passed down from generation to generation. They’ve been mixing heritage with science, and they’ve created some very special wines they hope you will enjoy as much as they do. The wines at Miranda Vineyard begin as superior grapes from excellent stock, strategically positioned to take advantage of the natural terroir. The Mirandas chose the location for the vineyard for its unique microclimate with rocky New England soil and cool breezes flowing down from Mohawk Mountain, across Woodridge Lake. The four elements – wind, water, earth and sun – combined with sustainable growing operations, ensure vine health and flavor qualities that cannot be found anywhere else.

 

Haight-Brown Vineyards (Litchfield)

More than two decades ago, Haight Vineyard planted Chardonnay and Riesling on the slopes of the Litchfield Hills, near the historic town of Litchfield. In 1978, the State Legislature passed a Farm Winery Act and Haight Vineyard became Connecticut’s first established winery.

Haight Brown Vineyard is situated on ten pastoral acres, representative of a New England farm winery. The Tasting Room includes several wine bars pouring portfolio and reserved wine selections as well as conducting artisanal cheese and chocolate pairings, an upstairs patio and downstairs terrace for sipping wine on lazy summer days, and two stone fireplaces for lingering during chilly ones. There is also a picnic grove for enjoying your own food with Haight Brown wines and a retail store.

 

Hopkins Winery (Warren)

Set on the northern shore of Lake Waramaug, Hopkins Vineyard, a family-owned Connecticut Century Farm, proudly maintains a tradition of making fine wines of award-winning quality. In 1787 Elijah Hopkins, returning from the Revolutionary War, chose this rich and fertile site on Lake Waramaug to settle his family and start the Hopkins Farm.

The farm has witnessed many diversified forms of agriculture over the years including the raising of sheep, race horses, grain crops, tobacco, and in the more recent past dairy farming. In 1979 the first vines were planted and our 19th century barn was converted into a state-of-the-art winery.

The unique location of Hopkins Vineyard makes it the only vineyard in Connecticut with a micro-climate influenced by an inland lake; this allows an extended growing season and successful growing of grape varieties which ordinarily would not thrive in our northeastern climate. Classic grape varieties are grown on 30 acres adjacent to the winery.