Vineyard picnicking during Stonington Harvest Festival

September 21, 2014 - Picnic Time

At Stonington Vineyards, a landscaped drift of a winery’s noble domicile is distant from acres of neat and trellised rows of plump grapes by an electric fence. The thought is to keep wildlife divided from a fruity crop. On Saturday, though, during a vineyard’s annual Harvest Festival, when a heady non-believer appetite floated on a mellow breeze, one could only as simply trust a separator wasn’t to stop deer from removing in, yet rather, to keep Bacchus, a God of wine, from removing OUT.

It was that kind of day: a faded denim sky, mellow hills, and treelines charity early tumble colors. Various appearance tents were erected with medieval-style pennants, pumpkins and mums were positioned strategically, and a terraced verandas and vineyard buildings were what you’d design to see if we walked adult a fairway to a 18th immature during Pebble Beach.

On spread-out blankets, seated around tables and on unstable beach chairs, or station in pleasant clusters, folks talked, laughed and listened to live song from acoustic blues conductor Dan Stevens. The demographics of fest attendees were varied, trimming from giggling bachelorette parties (two!) to Nantucket stylish to “Took a wrong spin looking for a biker bar and here we am!”

One thing was consistent, though: flattering most any chairman in assemblage had a booze potion in hand.

“This is a illusory time and we know people suffer it,” pronounced Nancy Waugh, executive of operations for a vineyard. “We see so many of a same people entrance behind over a years, and we cruise them family. And since not? There’s good food and good song and it’s pleasing here. And we’re of march unequivocally unapproachable of a wines.”

For a 2014 festival, that continues today, Stonington Vineyards is featuring 7 opposite wines: dual chardonnays, a Riesling, a Seaport White, Pink Noir, Triad Rosé, and Cabernet Franc. In further to a tasting tent, there were also several qualification booths and an array of food vendors charity such savories as Thai and Italian specialties, pitas, tender oysters and littleneck clams, jambalaya, tradition cheese trays and cupcakes.

Walking toward a patio with an dull potion and a full bottle, Kevin Collins of Blackstone, Mass., pronounced it was a fourth time he and his mother have been to a festival. “We schooled about it on a Connecticut Wine Trail website,” he said, “and motionless to see what it was about. Well, it’s about good song and glorious booze and enjoying a pleasing Saturday in a fall. Wine equals enlightenment.”

Since 1987, Mike McAndrew has been a winemaker during Stonington Vineyards, and Collins thinks he does a unequivocally excellent job.

Asked what season of McAndrew’s note was in a bottle he was carrying, Collins smiled. “I’ve attempted several and I’m voting for a cabernet. I’m a red arrange of guy.”

On a other hand, John Crandall of Charlestown, R.I., has a affinity for white wine, yet not since he was celebration any. Instead, Crandall is a fisherman who was given to his O Shucks Raw Bar kiosk. He said, “They make unequivocally good wines here, yet a white wines go improved with my oysters and littlenecks.”

He should know by now. When he met Stonington Vineyards owners Happy and Nick Smith, they suggested his oysters competence be a good fit for a event. “That was proceed behind when this started, maybe in ’82? It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, yet we theory it has. And here it is, all these years later, and we’re still here. And this has turn such a popular, fun event.”

Discussing a nuances and differences between red and white did not seem to be a large emanate for Amanda Charney of New York City. After all, attending a collect festival was only one partial of a prolonged bachelorette weekend for her. The ongoing celebration was orderly by her sister, Samantha, and a siblings and a dozen of their friends were now tangible by their black and white ball undershirts emblazoned with a MANDY’S BACHELORETTE logo.

“This whole day has been a surprise,” pronounced a bride-to-be, “starting with removing into that crazy celebration train this morning.” By early afternoon, Amanda certified she’d already attempted all 7 wines offered. “They’re all unequivocally good,” she said, adding that, after a vineyard, a bachelorette celebration would continue a festivities during a casino.

Was she disturbed that tomorrow competence be, well, headache-centric?

“That won’t be a problem,” Samantha said. “Everyone got a present bag and any one includes a pack of hangover remedies.”

On a other side of a tasting tent, Stonington residents and tighten friends Charlotte Bottaro and Tricia Fujimoto, on palm with their husbands and children, had a maybe some-more worldly proceed to tasting a product. They’d sampled both a chardonnays offering and concluded on their favorite.

“The 2012 is aged in an ash tub and it’s richer,” Bottaro said.

“The other is called a perfect booze and is aged in a immaculate steel barrel,” Fujimoto added. “It’s good, too, yet we like a woody peculiarity from a oak.”

The festival carries on from noon to 6 p.m. today. Music will be supposing by The Hoolios (noon to 3 p.m.) and Wicked Peach (3 to 6 p.m.). It’s a sleet or gleam event, and executive of operations Waugh is assured it will be another pleasing day.

“We’ve always had good continue during a festival,” Waugh said, laughing. “I’m not certain about Bacchus or Dionysius, yet we do trust Happy Smith has a approach tie with a continue god.”

Twitter: @rickkoster

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