Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Specialty Wine Experience in Connecticut

Guest Post by Nicollete Orlemans

When I first heard of a winery in Connecticut, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I was intrigued. I wondered which fruits would inspire the winemaking, where they would grow, and above all, how they could withstand the (harsh) New England temperatures.

We often associate wine with well-known regions in France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, and Australia, but nowadays it is celebrated and consumed in many countries of the world. The United States is a key player, and California dominates its wine production.

But, the family-operated White Silo Farm and Winery sets itself apart by adapting to the local environment and focusing on various homegrown fruits (including berries, rhubarb and grapes).

As the family who owns it puts it, “Twenty-six years ago, our family purchased a portion [of] the spectacular Upland Pastures dairy farm. Our intention was to continue the farming tradition and preserve the land for generations to come. We planted our first crop of raspberries, then blackberries and rhubarb. For the next fifteen years, we operated as a pick your own berry farm. In 1990, we opened our winery. The 1800s dairy barn was renovated and converted to our wine tasting room and production area. In 2010, we planted our first acre of grape vines.”

Only an hour's drive from New York City, it’s the perfect day trip to enjoy wine sampling in the scenic area of Sherman, Connecticut. As you drive through the mountainous town, you pull up to the white silo that marks the winery. Prior to getting there, we signed up (through Amazon Local) to enjoy a wine tour, a wine tasting, and a picnic for two. And, it certainly did not disappoint.

As we walked in, we were welcomed with two boxed lunches (including salads, cheese, chocolates and sandwiches) and enjoyed the brisk and sunny temperatures prior to the wine tour. The wine tour took us around the fields, where we learned about the wine production of the farm-grown fruit, and later about its fermentation, bottling and corking on the premises inside the silo. Known for the rhubarb wine, sparkling red raspberry, black currant, cassis and more, White Silo Farm & Winery is not your typical winery experience and it doesn’t have to be.  

Brisk fall days aside, if you want to escape NYC or simply experience a unique winery, why not stop by White Silo Farm & Winery? Be sure to ask about the rhubarb wine and enjoy the New England scenery.

Nicolette Orlemans grew up in a multicultural, bilingual home in The Netherlands to a Polish mother and a Dutch father. When she’s not working as a communications strategist, Nicolette loves to travel, and has visited much of Europe, seen many of the U.S. states, been to The Caribbean, and traveled to Egypt. In November 2014, Nicolette founded #CultureTrav, a Twitter chat that focuses on how travelers personally experience travel – adapting to cultural differences, bridging any language gaps, creating new homes as expats, and much more. You can read more about Nicolette on her website, and be sure to follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.