The Connecticut Wine Trail: Eighth Stop
Our eighth stop on Connecticut’s Wine Trail, Saltwater Farm Vineyard, is located at this picturesque address, on 100 or so acres of tranquility bordering tidal marshes, a cove and Long Island Sound. The first thing that strikes you as you pull into the parking lot is that the building looks uncannily like a World War II aircraft hangar – because that’s what it is. Preserved and converted into a winery, the building is the natural centerpiece of the property, and it opens out onto a stone terrace, with the vineyards stretching off into views of the Sound in the distance.
We were greeted in the atrium by the tasting room manager, Paul, who directed us up the wide staircase to the tasting room. Located on the second level of the hangar, it was very bright and airy, and everything was clean and state-of-the-art. We tasted four wines: a Merlot, a Chardonnay, a Cabernet Franc and a Sauvignon Blanc. The merlot was bigger than most merlots we’ve had, with a lot of tannins and acidity. The chardonnay was probably the best of the four, very light and clean, rather dry but an all-around excellent wine. The cabernet franc was lighter and brighter than the merlot, with lots of cherry flavors and a hint of mocha and vanilla. Finally, the sauvignon blanc was very minerally and dry, with lots of citrus on the palate. Very light and dry, but a great example of the varietal.
This winery runs a close second as the most visually appealing location we’ve visited, after Wallingford’s Gouveia Vineyards. The views of the vines, the marshes and the Sound are gorgeous, relaxing, and not to be missed. A fine afternoon could be spent with good friends and a bottle of their chilled Chardonnay out on the stone patio. This is one place we will surely return to in the near future!
Saltwater Farm Vineyard is located at 349 Elm Street in Stonington (like I said, remember that address!). The tasting room is open February through December; on Wednesday and Thursday from 11 AM to 5 PM, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM to 3 PM. If you have a chance to get to the Stonington area, we highly recommend a stop at this fabulous winery!