Experience Connecticut: Wine Tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard

Experience the Connecticut Wine Trail! A Tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington, Connecticut | Bexpeditions
Experience Connecticut: Wine Tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard | Bexpeditions

I was a guest of Saltwater Farm Vineyard who offered me a complimentary wine tasting. My opinions, as always, are my own!

On Sunday I packed up my things for a quick weekend trip to Mystic, Connecticut! Just a two-hour drive from Boston, Mystic is a great choice as an alternative to Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod. After dropping our bags off at our home away from home, my first stop was Saltwater Farm Vineyard in nearby Stonington. Co-owner Merrily graciously allowed us to come in for a wine tasting (although we only had an hour before they closed for a wedding!) and allowed us to try some of their signature wines. This was my first time on the Connecticut wine trail.

The story behind the property is really fascinating, the structure used to be an airport hangar until World War II. After the war, the property wore many hats including a restaurant, warehouse, etc. until Merrily and her husband purchased the property in 2001 and decided to transform it into a vineyard. It’s now a popular wedding venue in New England! It has the unique mix of a historical structure that appears sleek/modern but the dark wood gives it a rustic feeling. And with large decorating the property, I imagine it must be gorgeous during foliage season. A perfect backdrop for an October wedding!

Exploring the Connecticut Wine Trail - A Wine Tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard | Bexpeditions

Inside Saltwater Farm Vineyard | Connecticut Wine Trail | Bexpeditions

Inside Saltwater Farm Vineyard, view from the tasting room’s mezzanine.

Party Reception Area at Saltwater Farm Vineyard | Connecticut Wine Venue | Bexpeditions

The Tasting

So we were escorted to the mezzanine level where they do all the tastings. It’s an open space with a wine bar and large barrels as stand-up tables. This space also gives access towards the balcony that overlooks the vineyard. They had two options for the tasting available, a “Signature Tasting” or the “Reserve Red Tasting”. We ended up going with the Signature option looking for a bit more variety! The Signature Tasting includes four types, 2016 “Runway White”, 2016 Estate Chardonnay, 2016 Cabernet Rose, and a 2014 Estate Cabernet Franc.

2016 Runway White | Wine Tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard | Bexpeditions

Wine Tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard | Bexpeditions

2016 “Runway White”

The “Runway White” is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewürztraminer. It was for sure the most unique out of the ones I tried. It was very elegant but was not my personal favorite. I can easily say I’m not this well versed in wine and definitely not the aging process but I get the feeling this one would be better as it ages? Both the Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer are from the property whereas the Chardonnay mostly comes from Long Island. The color is also really gorgeous!

2016 Chardonnay | Connecticut Wine Tasting | Bexpeditions

Wine Tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard | Connecticut Wine Trail | Bexpeditions

2016 Estate Chardonnay

I have to say I’m not the biggest Chardonnay fan but I was pleasantly into this one! It has a very noticeable citrus tone to it which I appreciate. Their description says an Asian pear and lemon aroma with notes of green apple peel and pineapple. Those citrus flavors are definitely there which made the Chardonnay more enjoyable for someone who isn’t always a fan of Chardonnay. The Chardonnay for people who don’t like Chardonnay! I liked it. And this one was particularly mom’s favorite. But she is a Chardonnay woman.

Experience Connecticut: Wine Tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard | Bexpeditions

Connecticut Wine Trail - A Wine Tasting | Bexpeditions

2016 Cabernet Rosé

One of my favorites! I know rosé is huge right now but I was a really big fan of this one. It felt perfect for the season and time of day and was just delicious. Made primarily from Cabernet Franc grapes, mostly coming from the North Fork of Long Island. The first time they made it, it was because the grapes had not ripened enough for a good red wine that all they made was rosé that year. Next time it happened rosé had exploded in popularity and the demand is high so they now use the Cabernet Franc grapes both for the red wine and rosé. It was really excellent.

2016 Cabernet Franc | Connecticut Wine Trail | Bexpeditions

Wine Tasting in Connecticut at Saltwater Farm Vineyard | Bexpeditions

2014 Estate Cabernet Franc

This was another one of my favorites from the tasting but for a completely different reason. I found this one to be a lot spicier and although it was certainly delicious it felt a bit out of place for summertime – whereas the rosé fit in so naturally. This is the wine I would bring to Thanksgiving or a friends holiday party. It has a unique warmth to it. The Cabernet Franc is 100% Saltwater Farm’s grapes and was aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, as opposed to the others that age in stainless steel. They also use the grapes here for a Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend.

Vineyard Sunset | Connecticut Wine Tasting | Bexpeditions

Experience Connecticut Wine Trail: Wine Tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard | Bexpeditions

They explained the tasting room is typically closed from November on and they reopen in April as wedding season picks up again! As you can imagine not many are interested in getting married outside during the cold winter months, although I bet it’s beautiful with a fresh coat of snow! This was my first time along the Connecticut Wine Trail. It’s rapidly developing as a popular wine region in the United States. I’m so happy to have marked my start here!

Anyone is welcome to go in for a tasting and during warmer months, they also have outdoor music for the public to attend and have picnics! View their website for more information. It was a great way to begin my time in Mystic! I will definitely stop by for the “Reserve Red” tasting next time I’m in town. They recently opened up a coffee/wine bar in Mystic called M/BAR for drinks and small plates. I didn’t get the chance to stop in but this is a great place to have a glass if you can’t make it the vineyard!

Do you have a favorite vineyard or wine (either in Connecticut or worldwide!)? I would love to hear your recommendations! xo, Rebecca

349 Elm Street, Stonington, Connecticut 06378 / website / ph: 860.415.9072


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Comments

  • Terri

    Written on August 9, 2017

    Reply

    We love good wineries and fortunately there are many near where I live. The wines here have beautiful color and the place is gorgeous.

  • Karen Morse

    Written on August 9, 2017

    Reply

    It’s a beautiful place! I’ve always liked touring vineyards, not just for their wine but also for the atmosphere! It’s always so calm and relaxing, isn’t it? I’m sure you had an amazing time there!

  • Vanessa

    Written on August 9, 2017

    Reply

    What a fun experience and can we just talk about that amazing venue! I’d love to plan a vow renewal there!

  • AnnMarie John

    Written on August 9, 2017

    Reply

    I’ve never been here before, it looks amazing out there! It’s been a long time since I visited a vineyard and I’d love to drop by if I’m ever in the area.

  • Journa Ramirez

    Written on August 10, 2017

    Reply

    I’m not drinking wine but that’s a great place to visit! I have a friend who loves wine and I’ll tell her everything about that farm and share this articlw

  • Catherine

    Written on August 10, 2017

    Reply

    We recently went to a local tasting room for a nearby vineyard but it wasn’t nearly this pretty! The Saltwater Farm Vineyard was stunning and I bet it would be a beautiful place to get married!

  • Cindy Ingalls

    Written on August 10, 2017

    Reply

    I’ve just started enjoying the Rose trend. I can definitely see why it is so popular and perfect for summer. I love a good blend as well, but I think my favorite wine would be Malbec, followed by Ice Wine.

  • Kim @ simplylovebirds.com

    Written on August 11, 2017

    Reply

    I love Mystic, Connecticut! In fact, I used to live there and the first vineyard my fiancé and I visited was the Saltwater Farm Vineyard. Glad you had a great experience there!

    • rebecca

      Written on August 11, 2017

      Reply

      Aw, that’s so great! My family also has some past roots there. It’s a lovely town!

      Best,
      Rebecca

  • Alexandria

    Written on August 12, 2017

    Reply

    Wow! The winery is beautiful! I’m not much of a wine drinker (I like craft beer and gin) but i’ve still always wanted to visit a winery 🙂

  • Cassie

    Written on August 12, 2017

    Reply

    This place is lovely. I have always wanted to visit Connecticut. Maybe I will come here if I do.

  • 48 Hours in Mystic, Connecticut Itinerary – Bexpeditions

    Written on August 17, 2017

    Reply

    […] So our first official stop was for a wine tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington. This was really the best way to begin this trip! After a long car ride with an increasingly whiny six-year-old, a glass of wine overlooking this magnificent view was needed. We spent an hour here before having to wrap it as they were getting prepared for a wedding. Read all about it and view my favorites from the tasting here! […]

  • Jasmin

    Written on August 19, 2017

    Reply

    The winery looks absolutely beautiful! I’m not that much into wine tastings but would love to stop by at the M/BAR for some drinks and food 🙂

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