Summer is coming which means more relaxed attitudes, less clothing, and summer travel plans. No matter what your schedule, budget, and preference, there are thousands of ways to get away this summer. And while jetting off to a beach vacation is never a bad idea, sometimes the best getaways are the ones that take you not that far from home, and return you back a few days later. Everyone loves a weekend getaway, especially this New Yorker. While I am a passionate city girl, we all know, no matter where you live, sometimes you need to escape it, if even for just a few days. This weekend, I went up to Connecticut for a big birthday bash, and realized, not only is is an amazing weekend getaway destination, it has a lot more to offer then I ever realized.
Connecticut has over 30 wineries spread out among it, and this past weekend I not only got to experience 3 amazing ones, but also do some tastings, enjoy live music, discover some new wines, and explore all that the Connecticut wineries have to offer. For pros, there is an actual passport book you can obtain, which allows you to get stamped at all 33 wineries in the region. Completing these special ‘passport books', up through November 2015 offers you the chance to win exclusive paid vacations to Spain, a limo ride through all the Connecticut wineries, an overnight stay at an inn, and more.
For those just looking to explore, without an eye on the prize, there are several outstanding options sure to make your weekend getaway to Connecticut memorable.
Winery # 1- Gouveia Vineyards. While there is no live music, and it's on the smaller side, the major draw at Gouveia is the atmosphere. Soak in an unbelievable, luscious surrounding while enjoying a bottle and snacks on the picnic benches. It's on the peaceful side, but the party is what you make of it, so unwrap your cheese, pour your glass, and take it all in.
Winery # 2- Paradise Hills Vineyard and Winery. This winery, tucked away in a residential area, and owned by one family is a perfect mix of tasting and fun. The day we went was the 3 year anniversary, so it was busy and quite packed. Benches were filled with people trying bottles, enjoying cheese, and taking in the scene. Rather then do a tasting, we bought a bottle of the Paradise Hills rose, and soaked in the sun.
Winery # 3- Chamard Vineyards. Our last winery of the day, Chamard, (Also the favorite, and local jaunt for our hosts) included a special surprise; a private wine tasting and class. We learned all about the process in which Chamard makes and stores the wine, and then got to taste all their specialities. This included 2 whites, 2 reds, and a dessert wine, which happened to be my favorite. After our tasting and teaching was complete, we joined the Connecticut community upstairs for some more live music, nibbles, and of course, a bottle straight from the Chamard Vineyards. Cheers to Connecticut!