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Monday, February 18, 2013

Saltwater Farm Vineyard, Stonington, CT

Saltwater Farm Vineyard
Saltwater Farm Vineyard, Stonington, CT

Saltwater Farm Vineyard: highly recommended.

This vineyard sits nestled in the marshes in Stonington, one of the coolest boating towns I've ever come across. The wine is good - I find all CT wines to have a similar earthy feel to them, which is tasty but for sure a departure from the normal palate.

What's truly special is the ambiance. From the grounds of the vineyard, one can witness a picturesque view past the roaring train in the distance, over to Wequetequock Cove, on to Little Narragansett Bay.  Unlike most vineyards in CT, which are usually perched atop rolling hills, this flat marshy view is right out of a story book.  Large birds flock overhead, marsh grass lolls to and fro in the distance, and the smell of nature overwhelms.  I wax poetic partially because it is truly that beautiful, and partially, I assume, on account of the wine imbibed.

The centerpiece of this experience is a 1930's era, fully restored airplane hangar.  The tasting room is on the second floor overlooking the vast expanse of space below once housing retro airplanes, the thought of which is enough to make me drool.  Against the back wall are the barrels containing this vineyard's nectar-of-the-gods, and on the patio is a space that anyone immediately recognizes as wedding paradise.  In fact, weddings are popular here, and I have to assume any wedding here would have to be the start of a wonderful union to come.

The transition of farm land to airport and back to farmland is a great story for the conservation-minded individuals among us.  In fact the hangar has a much more varied past that can be read at www.saltwaterfarmvineyard.com/history.

What capped our journey was the friendliest of managers that day, who took us back to our boat in Stonington Harbor free of charge on account of the scorching summer heat.  Walking there from the downtown area took us about thirty minutes, and thirty gallons of water in rehydration, so the gesture was most appreciated and perhaps life saving!

Stonington Harbor had lots of other great experiences to offer, but perhaps those stories are for another time.  If you have the chance to visit Stonington, or if you're a CT Wine Trail groupie like me, be sure to put Saltwater Farm Vineyard on your short list.  I promise it won't disappoint.
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