Every year I say I am going to make the trek to Goshen for the Connecticut Wine Festival and every year something comes up (generally a horse show). BUT, this year Courtney and I decided to make a double-duo appearance! Without a doubt, I should have been carving out this weekend every year for this event as it did not disappoint.
The Connecticut Wine Festival is located within the beautiful hills of Litchfield County (northwestern CT) at the Goshen Fair Grounds. This was a bit of a hike for those of us in the Hartford area (just over an hour from Glastonbury), but as I said, completely worth it. This year, 16 wineries came together to celebrate and rejoice in CT grown wine with the added bonus of food trucks galore – you get to eat and drink your heart out by the end of the day!
While we were lucky enough to enjoy a beautiful summer day, don’t fret about the weather. This venue is set-up with ample indoor and outdoor stations in case of inclement weather and did I mention it’s free parking? Throughout the afternoon, you get to partake in 4 wine samples per winery with a select few providing only 1 sample due to production limitations (but how cool is it to sample something that is so coveted and limited). The wines ran the gamut from traditional Chardonnay’s and Cabs to more unique fruit based wines such as Paradise from Bishop’s Orchards Winery and the semi-sweet Apple Wine from Staehly Wines. Dessert and late harvest wines were also in the mix such as Harvest Spice from DiGrazia which would make any great addition to a fall meal (I’m thinking next year’s wedding???) – it smells like a fresh pumpkin spice latte. And yes, if your brain stopped reading and started to calculate how many wines we tried, the number is around 55 tastings! All of this for $35 (we bought our tickets day of at the gate) is an amazing deal.
With all of that wine, we were surprised to see how ‘tame’ the crowds were. Yes, the tasting stations were beyond packed, but everyone was polite and enjoying the day. Expect each station to take 20-30 minutes of waiting in line and completing your tasting. If you truly want to learn about each and every individual wine, this is probably not the event for you. It’s more about the unique opportunity to see what you like and star your favorite vineyards to visit the remainder of the season.
Our plan of attack was to go in reverse order from the crowds (at least that was our goal) starting at the far barn first and took a break for sustenance in-between the two. Vendors this year included food trucks such as KJ’s pizza, which we fully took advantage of and artisan-craft exhibitors such as Little Farms on Main and The Olive Oil Factory. While throughout the day they had
bands playing, it was positioned a bit farther away from the main events therefore we did not have a chance to listen to them. Hopefully next year they find a way to move them to a more central location (closer to the food and picnic tables).
If you’re participating in the Connecticut Farm Wineries Passport program, the Wine Festival has its own page. Even after a jam-packed day of tastings, if you’re not from the area, I suggest hitting up some of the nearby wineries for further wine enjoyment and checking off a few more spots on your passport. At the festival, the individual wineries are unable to stamp your passports for visiting their booths. Some of the wineries close by though are:
If I haven’t convinced you yet to visit the CT Winefest 2018, I’m not sure what will. As many say, this event attracts wine lovers from across the Nutmeg State (and beyond) with its promise of abundant wine tastings, noteworthy food trucks and the coveted stamp on your Connecticut Wine Passport. The CT Winefest does not disappoint as it makes sure there is something for everyone, even the DD!
Tips for Next Year:
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