Well, we found out last week that the time for getting our Connecticut Wine Trail passports stamped and turned in would end on Sunday the 11th, and we still had 3 vineyards left to go so we had to move fast! So, Saturday we took a drive up into the Litchfield Hills to visit two wineries we hadn’t been to before, Jerram Winery in New Hartford and Lost Acres Vineyard in North Granby. Here’s the lowdown:
Tucked away in the historic Town Hill section of New Hartford, Jerram Winery is designated as a “farm winery” and currently offers ten wines made from the varietals they grow, including Seyval Blanc, Vignoles and Marechal Foch, a rare grape among Connecticut wineries. We entered the quaint, shingled building they use for their tastings and settled in at the bar. Our server brought us two engraved glasses (which we got to keep, as is the case at most of Connecticut’s vineyards) and we proceeded with our tasting of a flight of six of the available ten wines:
- White Frost – light and delicate, made from Chardonnay grapes. Would be great with salads, chicken or any light fare.
- Gentle Shepherd – Refreshing, off-dry but fruity. Calls for a spicy dish, a creamy pasta or other casual meals.
- Aurora – Semi-sweet with just a hint of oak and citrus and fruit on the nose. Nice as an aperitif, fruity entrees or appetizers.
- Highland Reserve – Fuller bodied red blend consisting of Cab Franc and Marechal Foch grapes. Best with strong cheeses, or a veal or pork dish.
- Marechal Foch – a robust, dry red made entirely from its namesake grape. Well suited for a pate or herbed pork dish.
- Nor’easter – Semi-sweet red wine blended from Chambourcin and Marechal Foch. Thai, Mexican, and other spicy foods would go well with this versatile wine.
All had there own special character, but our favorites were the Gentle Shepherd and Nor’easter, quite opposite in both name and taste. Highly recommended!
Jerram Winery is currently open from 11AM to 5PM, Friday through Sunday until December 31st. Winter hours start in January, Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4PM. Tastings cost $6.00 and come with a complimentary wine glass, stemmed or stemless. Directions to Jerram Winery.
Lost Acres Vineyard
Lost Acres certainly lives up to its name, as we almost got lost on the way (stupid GPS!), but we finally found them and their big red barn tasting room with anticipation. The large, bright room was dominated by a big stone fireplace on one wall, and art from several local artists lined the walls. Our tasting consisted of five wines from their stock:
- Wedge White – A crisp, dry white with a long, refreshing finish. A blend of six grape varieties, it pairs nicely with fish, chicken and even Thai fare.
- Salmon Brook Rose – An interesting mixture of Riesling and Gamay grapes, with pepper and cherry notes. Would be a nice wine for summer sipping.
- Old Orchard Apple – Made entirely from apples from a local orchard, it’s a great addition to a pork dinner.
- Firehouse Red – A Zinfandel/Malbec blend, with smoky, peppery notes and a luscious finish.
- Rock Wall Red – Another blended wine with flavors of plums, spice and berry. Perfect with spicy sauces and game.
- Riesling – A “gift” addition to our tasting, the Riesling was off-dry but tasty with flavors of apples and pears. Another nice wine for pork or chicken.
Our favorites this time were the Wedge White and the Riesling, with the Firehouse Red just off the chart as a nice wine to sip with a charbroiled steak.
Lost Acres Vineyard has special hours during the holidays, so see their web site for details. A tasting is $6.00 and you keep the glass which, like Jerram, can be stemmed or stemless. Here are directions to the vineyard.
All in all, a great penultimate stop on the Connecticut Wine Trail. Stay tuned for our last stop of the year, Arrigoni Winery in Portland!
- Connecticut Wine Trail Redux (wallingfordwired.com)