The Connecticut Wine Festival

Wine Institute of New England

presents

A Free Wine Tasting & Seminar

at

The Connecticut Wine Festival

at

The Goshen Fairgrounds

Saturday, July 22, 2017

at 2:00 pm

2015 CT Specialty Food Association Wine Competition Results

IMG_3349-1On March 24, the CT Specialty Food Association held their annual CT Product Awards Competition, which included Connecticut wine. All wines were required to be made from 100% Connecticut grown fruit. I was pleased to put together an expert panel of wine judges, including several newcomers this year. We spent several hours in each other’s company contemplating 34 Connecticut wines, and engaging in a few lively debates. When the dust settled, some clear winners emerged. Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen had a very strong showing, placing first in 4 categories, and competition newcomer Preston Ridge Vineyard in Preston secured a second place finish in the Dry White category.

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L to R: Roger Collinge, CSW, Doug Croll, CSW, Renée Allen, CSW, FWS, Ken Turcotte, CSW, WSET Adv. Brad Haywood, WSET Adv.

And the winners are…

2015 Wine Product of the Year

Sunset Meadow Vineyard, Goshen, CT   Blustery Blend, 2014

Wine – Blush

1st Place           Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT   Sunset Blush, 2013

Wine – Dessert

1st Place           Hopkins Vineyard, New Preston, CT   Ice Wine, 2013

*This wine received high enough marks from all of the judges to be placed in the Exceptional category, the highest category in which a wine could place.

2nd Place          Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT   Midnight Ice, 2013

3rd Place           Jones Winery, Shelton, CT   Seven Generations, NV

Wine – Dry Red

1st Place           Jones Winery, Shelton, CT   Cabernet Franc, 2012

2nd Place          Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT   New Dawn, 2012

3rd Place           Hopkins Vineyard, New Preston, CT   Lemberger, 2012

Wine – Dry White

1st Place           Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT   Cayuga White, 2013

2nd Place          Preston Ridge Vineyard, Preston, CT   Estate Vidal Blanc, 2013

3rd Place           Hopkins Vineyard, New Preston, CT   Vineyard Reserve, 2013

Wine – Fruit

1st Place           Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT   Celebration, NV

2nd Place          Jones Winery, Shelton, CT   Harvest Time, NV

3rd Place           TIE

Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT   Apple Raspberry Blush, NV

Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT   Enchanted Apple, 2013

Wine – Fruit/Sparkling

1st Place           Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT   Rubus Nightfall, NV

*This wine received high enough marks from all of the judges to be placed in the Exceptional category, the highest category in which a wine could place.

2nd Place          Holmberg Orchards & Winery, Gales Ferry, CT   Macintosh Hard Cider, 2013

Wine – Other White

1st Place           Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT   Blustery Blend, 2014

*This wine received high enough marks from all of the judges to be placed in the Exceptional category, the highest category in which a wine could place.

2nd Place          Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT   Vidal Blanc, 2013

3rd Place           Hopkins Vineyard, New Preston, CT   Westwind, 2013

Wine – Rosé

1st Place           Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT   Rosé, 2013

Wine – Sparkling

1st Place           Hopkins Vineyard, New Preston, CT   Gold Label Sparkling Wine, NV

2nd Place          Holmberg Orchards & Winery, Gales Ferry, CT   Bubbly Blanc, 2013

A New England Wine Dinner

Wine Institute of New England

presents

A New England Wine Dinner

with

Chef Daniel Chong-Jiménez

dcjpic

Join us for an unforgettable wine dinner focused on the wines and cuisine of New England. Chef Daniel will prepare a delectable 5-course meal based on seasonal native foods. Each course will be expertly paired with regional wines by WINE’s director, Renée Allen, and presented with food and wine pairing tips and techniques.

Saturday, April 11th

6:30 pm

The Crush Club

65 South Colony Road

Wallingford, CT

Menu subject to change based on availability.

Menu

Domestic Cheese, Nut & Fruit Display

paired with Hopkins Vineyard Gold Label Sparkling Wine

New England Cheddar Apricot Tartlet

paired with Sunset Meadow Vineyards Blustery Blend

Stonington Scallops on a Bed of Brussels Sprouts Sauerkraut topped with Red Pepper & Bacon Relish served with Mini Arugula Salad with Egg Crumble

paired with Sunset Meadow Vineyards Cayuga or St. Croix

Tenderloin of Beef with Twisted Connecticut Butter Emulsion Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, Rosemary New Potatoes,  Connecticut Butter Cabernet Emulsion

paired with Jones Winery Cabernet Franc

~ Study in Chocolate ~

Mini Lava Cake with Pana Cotta Quenelle & Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Bark

Westford Hills Eau de Vie Chocolate Cherries

paired with Hopkins Vineyard Night Owl

$99.00/person

About the Chef

Chef Daniel won many awards and pleased many palates as the Executive Chef of the Norwich Inn & Spa for 11 years. One of his signature dishes made Connecticut Magazine’s 50 Dishes To Try Before You Die. In addition to his award winning cuisine and innovative approach to nourishment, Chef Daniel is well known for his entertaining hands-on cooking classes.

Happy Anniversary to a Local AVA!

LOCAL WINERIES CELEBRATE 30th ANNIVERSARY

WITH

WINE, CHEESE AND CHOCOLATE

 

The Southeastern New England American Viticultural Appellation (SENE AVA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Formed in 1984, this AVA brings together wineries from Cape Cod and the Islands, all the way through South Coast Massachusetts and down to coastal Rhode Island and Connecticut.  

As part of the celebration, the Coastal Wine Trail will be having a Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival this Saturday, June 21st, 2014, from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm at the Westport Fairgrounds in Westport, Massachusetts.

The Coastal Wine Trail is comprised of 10 wineries that span from Stonington, Connecticut all the way through the Newport, Rhode Island region up towards the South Coast of Massachusetts and down to Truro, Cape Cod.  Each winery is located along the scenic Atlantic shoreline, making the Coastal Wine Trail a great 2-3 day weekend trip for sightseers and wine lovers.

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Wineries currently in the Coastal Wine Trail include Connecticut’s Stonington Vineyards, as well as Coastal Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards, Langworthy Farm, Newport Vineyards, Running Brook, Sakonnet Vineyards, Travessia Winery, Truro Vineyards, and Westport Rivers Winery.  

“Although each winery is located within close proximity to the coast, they all have very unique identities” said Kaisa Holloway Cripps of Running Brook Vineyard.  “Each winery has a distinct atmosphere which makes the trail a diverse and interesting experience for travelers.”

All ten of the Coastal Wine Trail wineries will be serving wine tastings at the Festival. Tickets cost $25 in advance and $40 at the door. For tickets and more information, click here: Wine, Cheese & Chocolate

Sixth Annual Connecticut Wine Festival

Wine Institute of New England 

to present free wine appreciation seminar

at

The 6th Annual Connecticut Wine Festival

Goshen Fairgrounds

Saturday and Sunday, July 26th & 27th

Hands Holding Wine

"Have A Grape Day"

The Connecticut Wine Festival will be returning for a sixth year of showcasing Connecticut’s wines, a reflection on the growing popularity of our local wines. 

“From international gold medals to ‘people’s choice’ and ‘Best in Show’ awards, Connecticut wines continue to win fans and impress connoisseurs from around the world,” said George Motel, Festival Chairman and owner of Sunset Meadow Vineyards.  “The Connecticut Wine Festival is a true showcase for introducing wine lovers to much of our state’s home-grown offerings.  We look forward to another record year, and the opportunity to prove that our wines are truly the ‘hidden gems’ of the industry, as The Wall Street Journals calls them.”

The Festival will be staged again at the Goshen Fairgrounds in Litchfield County. Sponsored by the Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association (CVWA) and presented by the CT Wine Trail, the Festival features fine wines from a wide variety of local vintners, making it one of the “must attend” events of the summer.  The Festival also features wine classes, specialty food vendors, artisanal crafts, and a variety of live musical entertainment.

Renée Allen, Director of the Wine Institute of New England, will be conducting a free wine appreciation seminar at this year's Festival.  Renée, a Certified Specialist of Wine, will cover wine tasting techniques and varietal information, and will debunk some common wine myths.

The specialty food vendors are primarily members of the Connecticut Specialty Food Association, an association that is part of the Connecticut Food Association. They feature local foods made in Connecticut.  Adams Hometown Market, a Platinum Sponsor of the Festival, will also sell advance tickets at its stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Daily admission to the CT Wine Festival is $25 in advance, available through July 20th at any participating CVWA winery, online, or by phone, and $30 at the door.  These tickets include free wine tastings, a commemorative festival wine glass (for the tastings) and a tote bag.  Guests under 21 and Designated Drivers can attend for a reduced admission price of $10.  Photo ID with proof of age is required for the wine tasting.  Hours for the Festival are 12:00 Noon to 7:00 PM, Saturday, July 26; and 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM Sunday, July 27.  More information and a complete list of participating wineries can be found at www.ctwine.com.

Festival proceeds are used to promote the CVWA Wine Trail and the Connecticut wine industry.  The CT Wine Trail, a state approved winery and vineyard awareness program, features trails that wind their ways through some of the most scenic and historic regions of Connecticut.

“The Connecticut Wine Festival is a great place to come and enjoy the day, taste some local wines, some great food and relax,” said Sherrie Palmer, the festival director. “Cases of wine will also be available at a discount, so guests can easily make back the price of admission in great savings. What more can you ask for?”

For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.ctwine.com.  You can also email info@ctwine.com or call (860) 677-5467.

A Tasting of Wine & Chocolate

Knipschildt Chocolatier

and

Wine Institute of New England

present

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A Tasting of Wine & Chocolate

November 19th, 2013

7:00 – 9:00 pm

at

Chocopologie Cafe

12 South Main Street

Norwalk, CT 06854

Knipschildt Chocolatier, CT Magazine's Best of CT for chocolate, and Wine Institute of New England, CT Magazine's Best of CT for wine appreciation, join forces to bring you the best of both worlds. Accompany us on a gustatory journey to tantalize the senses. 

The evening begins with chocolate-infused hors d'oeuvres and sparkling wine, 

followed by a guided pairing of wine and artisan chocolate made in CT.

 

The Hors d'Oeuvres Menu

Seafood Ragout in Wonton with White Chocolate

Tortellini with Mushrooms Served on Dark Chocolate Truffle Sauce

Pheasant Rielette with Lingonberry & Mole Sauce

 

$59/person

This event is limited to 36 people. 

Advanced registraton required.

To register, please visit: 

www.wineinstituteofnewengland.com/wine-food-pairing-events/

or call 860-591-WINE

And The Winner Is…

The results of the 12th Annual Connecticut Specialty Food Product Awards Competition were announced this morning. We are pleased to report that Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen, CT was awarded 2013 Wine Product of the Year for their outstanding 2010 Midnight Ice.

"We are proud of our entire staff for all of their efforts and share with them the recognition for this achievement," stated George Motel, owner of Sunset Meadow Vineyards and vice president of the Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association. "This is confirmation of the ability to create a quality wine that is also a genuine Connecticut product."

This was only the third year that Connecticut wines were included in what was formerly a food and non-alcoholic beverage competiton. All of the wines submitted were required to be made from 100% Connecticut grown fruit. The Connecticut Specialty Food Association (CSFA) received 28 submissions from 5 wineries.

"We applaud the CSFA for conducting the state's only competition that requires every wine to be made from 100% Connecticut grown fruit," said Motel, "and for recognizing the contribution of those wineries that work to produce these wines."

After participating in the judging last week, Renee B. Allen, director of the Wine Institute of New England, shared the four wines from among her favorites that she picked as likely to appear in the winner's circle. All four of the wines chosen were awarded first place finishes in their respective categories. To read Allen's impressions of these wines, visit http://wineinstituteofnewengland.com/judging-connecticut-wines-for-the-ct-specialty-food-association/

Analiese Paik, founder of the Fairfield Green Food Guide, served as a specialty food judge and was happy to see all of her picks for best products receive an award. For a complete list of food winners from the competition and to read about Paik's favorites, visit http://fairfieldgreenfoodguide.com/2013/04/02/2013-ct-specialty-food-award-winners-announced/  

And the wine winners are…

 

THE CT SPECIALTY FOOD ASSOCIATION’S

2013 PRODUCT AWARDS COMPETITION WINNERS:

2013 Wine Product of the Year

Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT

Midnight Ice 2010

MidnightIce

 

Wine – Blush

 

1st Place             Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, Sunset Blush, 2010

2nd Place            Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Amazing Grace

 

Wine – Dessert

 

1st Place             Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, Midnight Ice, 2010

 

2nd Place            Taylor Brooke Winery, LLC, Woodstock, CT, Corot Noir, 2011

 

3rd Place             Taylor Brooke Winery, LLC, Woodstock, CT, Woodstock Valley Red, 2010

 

Wine – Dry Red

 

1st Place             Jones Winery, Shelton, CT, Cabernet Franc, 2010

 

2nd Place            Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, St. Croix, 2008

 

3rd Place             Jonathan Edwards Winery, North Stonington, CT, Cabernet Franc, 2011

 

Wine – Dry White

 

1st Place             Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, Cayuga White, 2010

 

2nd Place            Taylor Brooke Winery, LLC, Woodstock, CT, Wine Dog 1, 2011

 

3rd Place             Taylor Brooke Winery, LLC, Woodstock, CT, Woodstock Hill White, 2011

 

Wine – Fruit

 

1st Place             Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Hyland Red

 

2nd Place  TIE    Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Celebration

              Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Honey Peach Melba

 

3rd Place             Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Happily Impeared

 

Wine – Other White

 

1st Place             Jones Winery, Shelton, CT, Woodland White, 2011

 

2nd Place            Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Hard Cider – Semi-Sweet

 

3rd Place             Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, Blustery Blend, 2010

 

Wine – Rosé

 

1st Place             Taylor Brooke Winery, LLC, Woodstock, CT, St. Croix Rosé, 2011

 

2nd Place            Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, Rosé, 2011

 

3rd Place             Jones Winery, Shelton, CT, Rosé of Cabernet Franc, 2011

 

You can visit the Connecticut Food Association at www.ctfoodassociation.org

Judging Connecticut Wines for the CT Specialty Food Association

I had the pleasure again this year of being involved in the Connecticut Specialty Food Association's Product Awards Competition. The competition was held at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. Although this was the Competition's 12th year, it is only the third year that Connecticut wines have been included in the competition and the judging was intense. A total of 28 wines were submitted by five wineries for judging in seven different categories: dry white, other white, dry red, rose, blush, fruit and dessert. Only wines made from 100% Connecticut grown fruit were allowed to be entered into the competition. 

The wines were blind tasted with only the vintage and fruit or grape variety being revealed. Each wine was judged on its appearance, aroma, body, taste and finish. Judges conducted their individual assessment of a wine and, once all scores and notes had been recorded, some lively discussions ensued. Although the judges were often in agreement, there was some debate over the course of the 3-hour tasting, with each judge having his or her particular favorites. Some general observations were the fact that Connecticut wines continue to improve and that no serious flaws were detected. One judge was particularly excited to award one of the wines he tasted a perfect score. 

The Connectiuct Specialty Food Association is now charged with the task of tallying up the scores and awarding the winners of each category. Once the list comes out, we will publish it here. In the meantime, here are a few of the wines that particularly stood out for me. I would not be suprised to see them in the winner's circle.

Sunset Meadow Vineyards Sunset Blush – a delicately sweet wine with hints of citrus, plum and blueberries, this wine earned one of my top scores for both its structure and balance. From first sniff to lingering finish, this wine provides a rewarding experience. 

Jones Winery Cabernet Franc – made from my favorite red grape grown in Connecticut, this dry red wine hit the mark with its earthiness and black cherry notes. Nicely balanced.

Bishops Orchards Winery Hyland Red – made from farm fresh raspberries, this wine captures the essence of the fruit with a journey that begins with heady aromas and sweetness and ends with a pleasant, tangy tartness.

Sunset Meadow Vineyards Midnight Ice – one of only two ice wines being made Connecticut, this sweet nectar burst with tropical aromas and flavors like mango and lychee. Perfectly intoxicating.

Press Release: Connecticut Wine Festival

 

FOURTH ANNUAL CONNECTICUT WINE FESTIVAL IS “GETTING

BETTER WITH AGE,” SAY PARTICIPATING WINERIES

 

More Music, More Entertainment, and More Wine at the Goshen Fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday, July 28th and 29th

 

Farmington, CT (July 18, 2012) –Connecticut wines will be on full display at the fourth annual Connecticut Wine Festival, Saturday and Sunday, July 28th and 29th, at the Goshen Fairgrounds, in Goshen, Connecticut. Featuring some of the finest, award winning local labels, thirteen participating wineries – all members of the Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association (CVWA) – will be offering samplings of their many wines, while surrounded by music, artisan crafts, and wine lovers from all around the East Coast.

Daily admission to the CT Wine Festival is $25 in advance, available until July 21st at participating CVWA wineries, online, or by phone; $30 at the door.  These tickets include free wine tastings, a commemorative festival wine glass (for the tastings) and a tote bag. Guests under 21 and Designated Drivers can attend for a reduced admission price of $10.  Photo ID with proof of age is required for the wine tasting.  Hours of the Festival are 12:00 Noon to 7:00 PM, Saturday, July 28; and 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM Sunday, July 29.  More information and a complete list of participating wineries can be found at www.ctwine.com.

Among the special events at the Festival is a wine class on Saturday, July 28th, conducted by Renée Allen, founder and Director of the Wine Institute of New England, which promotes wine appreciation and education at every level.  Renée is a Certified Specialist of Wine and a member in good standing of the Society of Wine Educators, the internationally recognized accrediting organization. "We are looking forward to Renée joining us this year and are excited about the wine expertise she brings to the attendees," says Sherrie Palmer, Festival Manager.

 

Connecticut Wines – Winning Friends, Influencing People

Connecticut wines are making their marks in the world and growing in popularity.  Last year’s festival drew a record number of attendees, including one special visitor, Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  This year, a representative from the Governor’s office will be on hand to receive a special “Certificate of Appreciation” for his ongoing support of the local wine industry and its important contribution to the state’s tourism effort. 

“The CVWA is proud to be recognized by Governor Malloy as a contributor to Connecticut tourism through our CT Wine Trail and CT Wine Festival, as well as through the individual efforts of the many participating wineries and vineyards whose award-winning labels are ‘putting Connecticut wines on the world map,’” said George Motel, Festival Chairman and owner of Sunset Meadows Vineyards.  “The Festival is a great place to see what all the excitement is about.  From Chardonnay to Merlot, attendees can taste some of Connecticut’s best wines from 13 participating vineyards.”

 

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets can be purchased in advance until July 21 at: Bishop’s Orchards Vineyards, Gouveia Vineyards, Jones Winery, Hopkins Vineyard, Miranda Vineyard, Sharpe Hill Vineyard, Sunset Meadow Vineyards, and Taylor Brooke Winery. Advanced tickets are also available at Adams Hometown Market, a Platinum Sponsor of the Festival.

Proceeds from the Festival will go toward promoting the CT Wine Trail and the Connecticut wine industry.  The CT Wine Trail is a state approved winery and vineyard awareness program that provides visitors with route suggestions to all participating members of the CVWA.  Visitors enjoy special wine tours and tastings, and can have their CT Wine Passport stamped at each winery along the trail for the possibility of winning prizes – all while enjoying the beautiful Connecticut countryside. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit a participating winery or log on to www.ctwine.com.  You can also email info@ctwine.com or call (860) 677-5467.

 

Participating Wineries

The following wineries will be present at the Connecticut Wine Festival.  They are all members of the Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association, and are dedicated to promoting Connecticut as a wine-producing region.

Bishop’s Orchards Vineyards – Owned by Keith B. Bishop, this unique winery is located in the historic town of Guilford. Winner, Gold Medal, 2010 Grand Harvest Competition; and Gold Medal: 2009 International Eastern Wine.  Log on to: www.bishopsorchardswinery.com/

DiGrazia Vineyards – Founded in 1978 and owned by Paul DiGrazia, DiGrazia Vineyards produces over 15 different wines, ranging from dry to sweet.  Located in Brookfield, DiGrazia is known for offering a wide variety of unique wines, including Connecticut grown pear dessert wines.  Log on to: www.digrazia.com/

Gouveia Vineyards – Owned by Joe and Lucy Gouveia, located in Wallingford, Gouveia offers 11 different wines.  Voted Best Rose in Connecticut 2010 by the Specialty Food Service Awards and Gold Medal Stone House Red winner at the 2008 Big E Wine Competition, Gouveia offers 11 different wines.  Log on to: www.gouveiavineyards.com/awards.html

Hopkins Vineyard – Located in the heart of Litchfield Hills, Hopkins Vineyard has been making wine for over 30 years. With more than eleven different varieties of award winning wines, Hopkins Vineyard has received gold, silver, and bronze medals in National and International competitions, alike.  Log on to: www.hopkinsvineyard.com/

Jonathan Edwards Winery– Located in the quaint village of North Stonington, the winery is owned by the Edwards family. With vineyards in both Connecticut and Napa Valley, it prides itself on having “New England Charm and Napa Style.”  Log on to: www.jedwardswinery.com/

Jones Winery – Spanning 150 years and six generations of the Jones family, owner Jamie Jones carries on the tradition in the White Hills of Shelton. Connecticut Magazine said the Jones Winery had “the Best Connecticut Wine” in 2010 and 2011.  Log on to: www.jonesfamilyfarms.com/

Miranda Vineyard – Owned by Maria and Manny Miranda, Miranda Vineyard uses the perfect blend of Old World wine-making techniques with modern techniques to keep any connoisseur happy.  Gold Medal winner at the 2010 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition for its Vinho Fino.  Log on to: www.mirandavineyard.com/

Priam Vineyards – Founded in 1998 by Gloria Priam and Gary Crump, Priam Vineyards has quickly become a favorite in New London County.  Producing wines styled after Northern France and Germany, Priam Vineyards’ Late Harvest Riesling was a Double Gold Medal winner at the 2011 International EasternWine Competition.  Log on to: www.priamvineyards.com

Sharpe Hill Vineyard – Located in the historic town of Pomfret, Sharpe Hill Vineyard features a Zagat-rated restaurant and boasts over 250 medals in International tasting awards. The winery is just minutes from the scenic Route 169, as well as the Putnam Antiques District. Log on to: www.sharpehill.com

Stonington Vineyards – Established in 1987 by Nick and Happy Smith, Stonington Vineyards has become known for producing quality, European-style table wines. The winery is best known for its barrel fermented Chardonnays and its proprietary blends Seaport White and Triad Rose.  Log on to: www.stoningtonvineyards.com/

Sunset Meadow Vineyards – Located in the scenic town of Goshen and owned by George and Judy Motel, Sunset Meadow is among New England’s largest producing vineyards. It was voted “New England’s Best Family Winery” by Yankee Magazine and has been featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Seven different wines have won Gold medals, including its 2010 Chardonnay, which took home the Gold in the 2012 International Eastern Wine competition. Log on to: www.sunsetmeadowvineyards.com.”

Taylor Brooke Winery – Located in the quiet northeastern part of Connecticut, Taylor Brooke Winery, which started as a hobby, grew into one of Connecticut’s favorite wineries.  Owned by Richard and Linda Auger, Taylor Brooke is winner of Raspberry Rendezvous – 2009 Big E Wine Competition Silver Medal. Log on to: www.taylorbrookewinery.com

White Silo Winery – Known for being a small specialty winery, White Silo was established in 1990 and housed in a 19th century dairy barn.  Owned by the Gorman family, it has received awards such as the Big E: Gold; Silver awards. Log on to: http://whitesilowinery.com/

For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.ctwine.com.  You can also email info@ctwine.com or call (860) 677-5467.

 

# # #

 

Editorial Contact:

Mario Almonte

212-616-1190, ext. 267

malmonte@herman-almontepr.com

 

Shifty Shades of Grey: Sustainability Simplified

Most of us are familiar with the word “organic” and have a fairly knowledgeable idea of what it means with respect to agriculture. However, in spite of the fact that the word “sustainable” is becoming an equally familiar term, fewer of us have a clear understanding of what that actually means in relation to agriculture generally, and to growing wine grapes specifically. The criteria for organic growing are black and white and organizations exist around the world to monitor and police these rules, but when it comes to sustainability, one must abandon the notion of black and white and instead adopt a philosophy made up of many shades of grey that takes into consideration the impact on our environment of various farming practices. Sustainability also includes an analysis of social goals as well as economic viability. Although this lack of a specific definition may seem frustrating at times, it is exactly this amorphous quality that is the essence of sustainable agriculture.

The very nature of the concept of sustainability means that the term will have different definitions at different times and in different places. For simplicity, the definition can be thought of as a balancing test: What at this given moment in time at this specific location would have the least negative impact on the environment and on our society, taking into consideration alternative solutions and factoring in the importance of maintaining a viable business.

Many wineries advertising sustainable farming publicize examples that include such things as beekeeping, free-range chickens and goats, and the erection of bird nesting boxes and raptor perches. All of these efforts are meant to strengthen and enhance the surrounding ecosystems with the desired result of creating a stronger and healthier environment in which to grow vines. Although these efforts can have a positive impact on the environment, the less glamorous balancing test is in fact the heart of sustainability. Take, for example, the issue of weeding. Organics eschew the use of chemical herbicides to control the growth of weeds between the rows of vines. An organic farmer might opt instead to mulch these areas. Our sustainable farmer, on the other hand, will take into consideration not only the effect of agrochemicals on the environment but also the effect of using diesel fuel during the mulching process. This farmer might reasonably decide that it is more environmentally sound overall (more sustainable) to use infrequent applications of a mild herbicide to control weeds than it is to use additional diesel fuel to take extra passes with a tractor.

Like organic growing, sustainable agriculture attempts to leave the land for the next generation in better condition than it was when it was inherited. But sustainability goes one step farther in its consideration of the environment’s long-term future by addressing issues that organic principles do not, such as global warming, water usage and greenhouse gases. There is currently a movement to create certification standards for sustainable practices. And while this will be a positive step toward giving recognition to those implementing these procedures, I can only imagine the enormity of the task of codifying the many shades of grey that make up sustainable agriculture. While I wait, I will continue to support my environment by seeking out and enjoying sustainably grown wines.

 

Want to support the environment with every sip? Why not start with one of these sustainable vineyards:

 

  • Bliss Family Vineyards, Mendocino, California
  • Michel-Schlumerger, Dry Creek Valley, California
  • Bodegas Carrau, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Benziger Family, Carneros, California
  • Kunde Family Estate, Sonoma Valley, California
  • Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, Connecticut
  • Château Tanesse, Cadillac, France