Photo Credit: Marianne Lee Photography
Look out, Napa! Wineries in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts are seeing record demand for their whites, reds, and sparkling beverages. The Coastal Wine Trail, a nonprofit group of 14 wineries that weave through the heart of Southeastern New England, has quietly built a reputation for serving nationally recognized wines in unique tasting rooms that offer a deep connection to the roots of each bottle. Tourists and locals alike are taking notice, making the Coastal Wine Trail a top destination in New England.
The secret’s out. Tickets for the Coastal Wine Trail’s annual Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Festival sold out two months before the event, even after expanding the event to allow 600 hundred additional guests. Even wineries are taking notice. In the past year, five new wineries have joined the Coastal Wine Trail, skyrocketing foot traffic to the wineries.
“There is a new energy on the trail,” said Maggie Harnett, Director of the Coastal Wine Trail, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with special tasting deals. “There is a growing awareness that wines made in Southeastern New England are truly exceptional and can compete on a national level.”
Members of the Coastal Wine Trail spans coastal Connecticut to Cape Cod and include Maugle Sierra Vineyards, Preston Ridge Vineyard, Jonathan Edwards Winery, Stonington Vineyards, Saltwater Farm Vineyard, Langworthy Farm Winery, Newport Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards, Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, Coastal Vineyards, Running Brook Vineyards & Winery, Travessia Winery, and Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod.
Member wineries have amassed an impressive collection of international and national awards, including a Gold Medal in the 2016 Indy International Wine Competition, a Silver Medal in the 2015 Amenti Del Vino 22nd Annual International Wine Competition, and second place in the Dry White Wine category from the Connecticut Specialty Food Association. Saltwater Farm Vineyard was named one of the Top 50 Romantic Wedding Venues in the U.S. by Brides Magazine.
The secret to the Coastal Wine Trail’s success? An unusually tight-knit community of winemakers who are dedicated to creating more than great wines. These winemakers, including a former dentist, snowboarding instructor, and engineer among them, want to convert every visitor into wine lovers, as they were once converted. Call them wine missionaries, because to join the Coastal Wine Trail, you must have a tasting room to connect with visitors.
Close proximity to each other also means travelers can tour the entire Wine Trail in two to three days, all the while sticking close to New England’s scenic coastline. The heart of the Coastal Wine Trail is less than 3 hours from New York City and 90 minutes from Boston.
To celebrate the Coastal Wine Trail’s 10th anniversary, member vineyards are offering a barrel of a deal for just a few more weeks: 67% off a Vintner’s Tasting Ticket that includes wine tastings for two at each of the 14 member wineries. Bottle yours today for just $99. Vintner’s Tasting Tickets can be purchased on the Coastal Wine Trail website: http://coastalwinetrail.com/on -sale-vintners-tasting-ticket/ .