The Connecticut Wine Trail: Second Stop
Last time, we told you about our first stop in our journey through the wineries of Connecticut, our hometown Gouveia Vineyards. The views at sunset from the outside seating area there are spectacular, and the Stonehouse White was a nice way to end the day. Our second stop on the Wine Trail took us to the historic coastal town of Guilford and Bishop’s Orchards Winery.
Nestled comfortably into 313 fertile acres and boasting a 7.7 acre green, Bishop’s Orchard has been serving Connecticut residents for six generations with their fresh farm products. They produce 13 different varieties of wines from their crops of apples, raspberries, peaches, pears, strawberries and blueberries. This is the main difference between Bishop’s Orchards and other farm wineries on the Wine Trail: they make wines out of all the fruits they grow, but no grape wine is produced. From the Stonehouse White with its fresh, fruity bouquet with a hint of oak, to their sweet richness of their Hyland Red Raspberry, nary a grape can be found it the production of the juicy wines, but the result is still delectably delicious!
On the day of our visit, we decided to partake of the tour through the wine room, where winemaker Keith Bishop explained in detail how the fruit is washed, pressed, filtered, aged in stainless steel and then sent out for bottling. The tour we were on just happened to be filmed using their trusty Flip video cam, so it may make it to their web site’s education page!
After the tour we adjourned to the upstairs tasting bar and partook of some of the baker’s dozen wine types the winery produces. Our favorites were the New England Hard Cider, a semi-sweet but light wine that reminds one of a sparkling wine in the mouth; the Blushing Beauty Peach Wine, a mouth-watering drink bursting with peach flavors, but not too sweet as to be overpowering; and finally the Celebration White, full of apple flavors and refreshingly off-dry on the palette. All three of these wines are award winners, having been recognized at wine competitions at either the Big E or the 2009 International Eastern Wine Competition.
Lastly, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Peach Wine Sangria. This juicy and refreshing drink was a hit with all of the tasters at the bar, bar none. A pitcher full of this heavenly concoction on a hot summer day would quickly make one forget about the heat and humidity! If anyone wants the recipe to try out, let me know and I’ll be glad to share! Overall, our visit to Bishop’s was an excellent wine experience despite the lack of a grape-based wine.
Bishop’s Orchards Winery is located at 1355 Boston Post Road in Guilford. They’re open Monday – Saturday from 10am to 7pm, and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. For wine lovers traveling the Connecticut Wine Trail, or someone just out looking for something different in wines, we highly recommend a stop at Bishop’s! And if you’re going after that 13-day trip to Spain, don’t forget to get your wine passport stamped!
Next stop on the Trail: Priam Vineyards