Wine, food and more wine: Discover what the annual CT Wine Festival in Goshen has to offer
By Evamarie Gomez
Summertime means warm weather, beach fun, and of course – the Connecticut Wine Festival. The CT Wine Festival attracts wine lovers from across the Nutmeg state with the promise of plentiful wine tastings, unique food, and the all-important stamp on the Connecticut Wine Passport. While the tastings are the main attraction, the festival has something for everyone. During the weekend affair, you’ll find variety of exhibitors and artisan booths, food trucks and specialty food, musical entertainment and even grape stomping. After a two-year wine festival hiatus (the horror!), my fiancé Jonathan and I finally made our way back on July 24, 2016, and it did not disappoint.
It was a beautiful, hot summer day perfect for wine tastings. Full discloser – we’re in the middle of planning our wedding and we got to a late start on this year’s CT Wine Trail. Every summer since 2009, we’ve visited at least 16 of the Connecticut wineries, so this year is an anomaly. Since our weekends are full of nuptial-related meetings, the festival was the perfect opportunity to taste some of our favorite wines and catch up with wineries we have yet to visit this year all in one place.
CT Wine Festival 101
Tickets can be purchased advanced online or at the door. If you plan on participating in the wine tastings, be sure to bring your Driver’s License. After you receive your tickets, you’ll be given a wristband. Designated drivers, expectant moms or non-wine drinkers can purchase tickets at a discounted rate.
Attendees can taste up to four wines from each of the participating wineries. Tickets also include a commemorative wine glass and fun wine tote bag that fits up to 6 bottles. Bottles and glasses can be purchased directly at the each of the winery booths.
Parking is free and there is plenty of it. When you arrive at Goshen Fairgrounds you’ll be directed to park on an empty grassy field. Once parked, you will cross the street and enter the fairgrounds.
The Wine Tastings
Wine tastings are held in two air-conditioned buildings. Your ticket guarantees you four tasting per winery. Full disclosure: We were having such a good time, and being the social event that it is, we didn’t take very good tasting notes (sorry!). However, here is a list of all the participating wineries. I encourage you to click on each one to learn more about them:
- Bishop’s Orchards Winery – Guilford, CT
- DiGrazia Vineyards – Brookfield, CT
- Holmberg Orchards & Winery – Gales Ferry, CT
- Hopkins Vineyard – Warren, CT
- Jonathan Edwards Winery – North Stonington, CT
- Jones Family Farm – Shelton, CT
- Miranda Vineyard – Goshen, CT
- Paradise Hills Vineyard and Winery – Wallingford, CT
- Priam Vineyards – Colchester, CT
- Savino Vineyards – Woodbridge, CT
- Sharpe Hill Vineyards – Pomfret, CT
- Sunset Meadow Vineyards – Goshen, CT
- Taylor Brook Winery – Woodstock, Ct
- White Silo Farm & Winery – Sherman, CT
The CT Wine Passport
If you’re participating in the Connecticut Farm Wineries Passport program, the Wine Festival has it’s own page. Be sure to grab this stamp if you want to submit your Passport for prizes! Individual wineries cannot stamp your passports for visiting their booths at the festival. You must plan to visit their winery on another occassion. Luckily, many are close to Goshen Fairgrounds, including: Sunset Meadow Vineyards and Miranda Vineyard in Goshen, Haight-Brown Vineyard in Litchfield, Connecticut Valley Winery and Jerram Winery in New Hartford, and Hopkins Vineyard in Warren.
One the highlights from the festival was finally meeting our Instagram buddy and wine blogger, Christina from Threads and Vino. Our love of wine connected us on social media and it was so fun to meet her in person! Threads and Vino has some serious wine-cred, so be sure to check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
If you didn’t make it to this year’s festival, I would highly recommend you do in 2017. It may not be the same experience as visiting a vineyard, but that’s the beauty of it! When will you have a chance to taste that many Connecticut wines under one roof? Not only is it a treat for your taste buds, it’s a chance to talk to the winemakers and winery owners from across the state, and it’s a fun way to hang out with family and friends.
Did you attend the CT Wine Festival? If so, what was your experience? What were your favorite wines and why? Besides the wine tastings, what was your favorite part of the festival? Leave a comment below or submit your story!