Having recently transplanted to Connecticut (in the middle of a pandemic, no less!), I thought it was about time I ventured out to check out the local winery scene.
It was a beautiful, sunny day with temperatures in the mid 90s, and a quick google search brought up a place that was open on a Sunday afternoon: Jones Family Farms and Winery. Their website said that it was reservations only, but the reservation platform wouldn’t load on my phone so I decided to just risk being a walk up – normally not a problem, but in the midst of Covid…They have distancing measures in place and can accommodate less than half their normal capacity. However, I was in luck and they had some free overflow tables available.
It’s a lovely property, located in Shelton. There’s a winding path past multiple buildings (it’s a working farm) where you can see old tractors, blooming flower beds, and strategically placed wine barrels. I was seated outside and because of the restrictions was not able to look around the actual winery/tasting room or wander the grounds – which was a real shame as the leafy vines were fair begging to be explored closer! They have an upper patio that is shaded by trailing vines, and multiple lower level areas, one including an outdoor fireplace and a large picnic pavilion.
I was primarily interested in doing a tasting – currently they’re offering flights of 3 wines, 2oz each, for $12. The gentleman at the front gate said they usually do 1oz pour of 7 different wines – but that’s no longer feasible because of the distancing situation and not allowing people to congregate at the actual tasting bar. I was slightly disappointed they didn’t allow any customization of the flights, so I settled for a glass of the Muscat Ottonel, instead.
Pale yellow, it was aromatic, full of honeysuckle, orange blossom, melon, peach, and pear notes. There was also an almost malty quality I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It was light bodied and still very perfumy in the mouth, again with those honeysuckle, peach, and melon notes, along with lime and a distinct herbaceousness. Low acidity, it also had an oily quality to it – not at all unpleasant. It had a medium finish that was lightly fruity. Overall, it was well balanced, although there was a bit of lime tanginess that seemed to keep popping out. It’s definitely an easy wine for a hot summer day!
Along with wine, they sell various small snacks, and water is only sold by the bottle, which was a little surprising (although maybe that’s due to Covid?). A nice gesture is that they let you keep your tasting glass (again, not sure if that’s because of Covid or something they regularly do). And if you want to leave a tip, just know all tips are collected and donated to a local charity, with receiving organizations being rotated on a monthly basis.
Overall, Jones Family Farm is a really lovely place to enjoy some wine on a beautiful summer’s day. I look forward to going back and taking my friends and family (when they’re able to visit).