Visiting Preston Ridge Vineyard (PRV)

As you arrive at Preston Ridge Vineyard and drive up to the building, you can see miles and miles of grapevines. It’s breathtaking. As you approach the parking lot, the grey barn emerges as if by surprise and the lush green lawn and Adirondack chairs in the distance make you feel right at home.

Upon entering the wine tasting room, walking by wine barrels decorated with grapevines outside the doorway, it is a cozy and comfortable setting. On the day I visited, a Sunday, there was someone singing in the corner of the room and people were sitting in the tasting room and on the deck outside that overlooks the vines; a beautiful place to sit and sip some wine on a sunny day!

It was my first visit to PRV. My friend and I approached the bar to try some of the wines. Our tasting room associate, Megaen, was welcoming and explained right away what was in store for us as we selected our wines to taste. She let us know that Preston Ridge Vineyard is celebrating its fifth year being open and is a family-owned and operated boutique winery, part of both the CT Wine Trail and Coastal Wine Trail. She let us know that PRV offers 10 wines (estate and other varietals) on their tasting menu.  A standard tasting consists of a selection of five wines with a description of each wine as it is being poured.

The ten wines to choose from were: Fieldstone White, 2015 Estate Harvest Blend, 2015 Estate Vidal Blanc, 2014 Zundell Farm Rose, Sunset Farm Dry Rose, 2015 Estate Stone Valley Red, 2011 Cabernet Franc, 2014 Estate Cabernet Franc, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2012 Mélange, a Bordeaux blend.

My friend and I both selected to try the four estate wines in addition to the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. And for an additional $4 we could take home a PRV signature glass. I learned from Megaen that the Vidal Blanc was the last harvest of the season. Megaen was patient with us and very enthusiastic about the wine. She explained about each wine in great detail and also provided us answers to any questions we might have while we were enjoying each wine.

Megaen gave us some etiquette for visiting PRV, stating that it is generally an informal and casual atmosphere where you can chat with the tasting room associates and/or owners about what you are drinking.  They do require reservations with larger parties, and please be mindful that some times of day can be busier than others, but they will do their best to service everyone as quickly as possible.

And her best advice – don’t be afraid to ask questions.  The PRV staff wants your experience to be well-rounded and fun!  Also check the website or Facebook before visiting, as they do have events going on each weekend including live music, food trucks and more!

While the owners of PRV, Andrew and Cara Sawyer, were not present during our visit, by chance we were lucky enough to meet Steve Sawyer, Andrew’s father and the winemaker for PRV, who stopped over to talk with us while we were having our tasting. He was kind enough to answer some questions for us as well as give me a little more detail on wines and grape growing in Connecticut. Read the interview here.

After my visit to PRV and chatting with Steve and Megaen, I learned so much and enjoyed every moment of the experience. I encourage you to head to Preston in eastern CT and stop in at Preston Ridge Vineyard as part of your next Wine Trail trip!