A Winter White – Haight-Brown Vineyard Covertside

Looking back to 2006, this is a piece pulled out of the East Coast Wineries archives:

So I came home this evening and my wife, Dominique, had made a winter brothy stew, made of collard greens, wild rice, and grilled sausages. I looked at her quizzically. What kind of soup was that? I asked. It sounded strange, but indeed, in one of the first cool nights of fall here in New Jersey, it smelled good.

But what to drink with it? A Chardonnay? A Vidal Blanc? A Sauvignon Blanc? I searched the fridge for something interesting that might stand up to this clear broth stew. To my own surprise I went with a Haight-Brown Vineyard Covertside White.

More than two decades ago, Haight-Brown Vineyard was among the first to plant Chardonnay and Riesling near the historic Town of Litchfield, Connecticut. In 1978, the State Legislature passed a Farm Winery Act. Haight-Brown Vineyard became the first established winery. Haight now has two tasting rooms – one in Litchfield and one in Mystic.


Photo: Winter Caplanson

I first discovered Haight-Brown Vineyard when it was only Hopkins Vineyards, Haight Vineyard, and DiGrazia Vineyards in Connecticut. This was in the early eighties. It was among the first east coast wineries I ever visited. But it’s been a while since I was last there.

To find this bottle of Covertside White was a special surprise. It’s a light Seyval Blanc, that has just the slightest touch of sweetness, which comes across like a little bit of sour apple. This is not a sweet wine to the taste. Promise. Instead, it’s puckerish, dryish white. We sipped it, and it tasted wonderful. Then came he moment of truth. What would this brothy concoction taste like?

I asked her, “Why not white cheddar macaroni and cheese and sausage?”
“Because,” she said, “That would be fattening.”
And of course, she was right. And the soupy stew was wonderful.

And the Haight-Brown Vineyard was a delicious compliment to this steamy bowl of soup. And as if I didn’t already know, it could stand up to many more wonderful winter meals. Here’s one winter white worth serving.


Carlo DeVito

Carlo DeVito is the author of more than 15 titles, including EAST COAST WINERIES: A Complete Guide from Maine to Virginia. In addition to wine and spirits, he has written on dogs and sports. His books and articles have been reviewed and featured in many publications. Carlo has appeared on television and nationwide radio dozens of times, as a guest on CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX morning shows in New York, as well as throughout the eastern seaboard. He has written and edited EAST COAST WINERIES, an influential blog for more than a decade, and owns the Hudson-Chathan Winery in Ghent, NY.

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