CT Wine Festival Offers Taste of Many Vineyards

The Third Annual Connecticut Wine Festival returns to the Goshen Fairgrounds in Goshen, Connecticut this summer, Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31.  Featuring fine local wines, specialty food vendors, artisan crafts from jewelry to wine racks, and live music, it is the perfect summer activity for both the amateur and sophisticated wine connoisseur. Sponsored by the Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association (CVWA) and presented by the CT Wine Trail, guests will enjoy the opportunity to sample fine wines from many of the state’s top wineries.

This popular event attracts visitors from all over the state looking to discover CT wines.

“The Connecticut Wine Festival is a great way to celebrate the summer, enjoying some of the best wines on the East Coast and tasting some of our state’s best foods,”” said Sherrie Palmer, the festival director.  “Admission includes wine tasting tickets, a commemorative festival wine glass, a tote bag, specialty food samples, entertainment and the opportunity to purchase wine directly from the wineries at the festival, as well as food and artisan craft.  Cases of wine will be available at a discount, so this is also a great opportunity to not only taste the wines, but to save money purchasing your favorites.

CT Wine Festival has a page in the 2011 Passport to CT Wineries so please bring your passport so you can get it stamped. Wineries will NOT be stamping their individual pages at the festival. Passports will be available if you do not have one yet. Each year anyone 21 and older who visits participating wineries and accumulates a minimum number of stamps in his passport is eligible to participate in the CVWA’s drawing for prizes that have included European vacations. Rules and deadlines are outlined in the passports so be sure to pick one up.

Daily admission to the CT Wine Festival is $20 in advance and tickets are available at any participating CVWA winery, online, or by phone. The price is $25 at the door.  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 30; and 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM Sunday, July 31.

“”Connecticut wines are quickly gaining a reputation for quality, with a variety of selections ranging from Chardonnays to Merlots with whites and reds that are sure to please every palate,”” said George Motel, Festival Chairman and owner of Sunset Meadows Vineyards.  “The Connecticut Wine Festival is a unique opportunity to taste all of Connecticut’s home-grown offerings in one place – in addition to enjoying good food, good music, and great company.”

Motel noted that Connecticut wineries have won a wide range of medals in international competition, and feature some of the best selling wines in New England.  Connecticut is not the first place one would think of for wines; yet, its moderate climate and sloping topography is in fact well-suited for growing grapes, and its wineries are attracting a growing legion of fans, who delight in discovering the state’s bounty.

““If you have questions about wine, bring them to us.  The Festival offers a great opportunity to meet top experts in the industry – and you’ll have a lot of fun doing it,”” added Motel.

Proceeds from the Festival will go toward promoting the CVWA Wine Trail and the Connecticut wine industry.  The CT Wine Trail is a state approved winery and vineyard awareness program that is marked with special blue signs that identify the location of all participating wineries that welcome visitors. The trails wind their ways through some of the most scenic and historic regions of Connecticut.

The specialty food vendors are primarily members of the Connecticut Specialty Food Association, an association that is part of Connecticut Food Association, and feature local cheeses, relish, jelly, bread, salsa, olive oil, and other offerings.

This year, the Festival’s Platinum Sponsor is Adams Hometown Market, whose stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts will also sell advance tickets to the Festival. A complete list of sponsors and participating CVWA wineries can be found on the Festival page.

Hours
Saturday, July 30th from 12pm-7pm and Sunday, July 31st from 12pm-6pm.  Rain or shine.

Location
The Goshen Fairgrounds are located approximately ½ mile south of Goshen center on Route 63. For directions visit: http://www.goshenfair.org/directions.htm

Parking
Parking is free.

2011 Participating Wineries
Sunset Meadow Vineyards
Jones Winery
Hopkins Vineyard
DiGrazia Vineyards
Miranda Vineyard
White Silo Farm & Winery
Land of Nod Winery
Jerram Winery
Bishop’s Orchards Winery
Jonathan Edwards Winery
Gouveia Vineyards
Sharpe Hill Vineyard
Taylor Brooke Winery
Priam Vineyards

Tickets:
$25 general admission, for tickets purchased at the gate; $20 advance purchase; $10 designated drivers and those under 21.  Tickets good for one day only, either Saturday or Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online and at participating wineries until July 24, 2011. Call 860.677.5467 or email info@ctwine.com for more information.

Wineries Currently Selling Tickets:
Sunset Meadow Vineyards
Hopkins Vineyard
Jerram Winery
Bishop’s Orchards Winery
Gouveia Vineyards
Jones Winery (Shelton)

Things to Know

No pets are allowed at the fairgrounds. No outside food or beverages are allowed.
Be sure to BRING YOUR ID!

Entertainment
Live music from Jerod Cattey, Matt Lefevre, Vince Thompson, and Albert Del Rio featuring jazz, bluegrass, country and rock. There will be a wine appreciation class on Sunday, July 31, details TBA.

Volunteers Needed!
Interested in volunteering? Email info@ctwine.com for details!

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