6th Annual Shoreline Wine Festival

What a weekend. I was fortunate enough to be hosted by Bishop’s Orchard for their 6th Annual Shoreline Wine Festival, featuring seven of Connecticut’s own wineries, including:

  • Chamard
  • DiGrazia Vineyards
  • Hopkins Vineyard
  • Jonathon Edwards Winery
  • Jones Winery
  • Sunset Meadow Vineyards

The two I was most interested in were Chamard and DiGrazia, given that we sell their beautiful wines here at Amity Wines. They had some gorgeous pours, so let’s get straight to it.

DiGrazia Vineyards

Such a welcome sight. Friendly, outgoing pourers pouring delicious, sweet whites. That was the name of the game at DiGrazia- Sweet Whites. I sampled three of their offerings. In no particular order:

Windridge: A Seyval Blanc, DiGrazia describes it as “Semi-dry. Light and crisp with a hint of sweetness. Known for its apple flavors.” To my palate, that was pretty spot-on. I would have described it as straight-up sweet, not slightly sweet. Also, the apple flavor was extremely prominent, so if you’re into that, this is definitely your wine. Very, very drinkable.

Magnolia White: A white port! Pretty neat, there aren’t a ton out there. Classified as a Dessert Wine, this port is light and sweet. I tasted apples and pears. I enjoyed it, but could only drink a little bit. They are very proud of this wine, as they should be. Another crowd favorite.

Autumn Spice: DiGrazia’s answer to the pumpkin beer phenomenon. Pumpkin wine? Sure, why not. This white is fermented with sugar pumpkin and honey, then spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. My nose though it was getting  liquid pumpkin pie. My mouth tasted the cinnamon, cloves and pumpkin immediately, with more subtle flavors to follow. For me, it wasn’t my favorite. But then again, I’m not a pumpkin beer girl either, so I may be biased. The crowd loved it, so I’d say it’s still worth a shot.

Chamard

The line was out the door to sample Chamard’s offerings, and it’s no surprise. They had five bottles to pour, each with a distinct and unique flavor. We definitely got a good feel for their product line. Here we go!

Stone Cold White: I loved this one. Probably my favorite pour of the day. An unoaked Chardonnay, it had a perfectly balanced acidity and just the right amount of green apple and citrus. I could have sipped this one all day.

2007 Chardonnay: Very, very oaky. To my palate, at least. Their chardonnay is 60% oaked, 40% stainless steel. I’m not a huge fan of oaky Chardonnay’s, so this one wasn’t my favorite. It’s was my tasting partner’s favorite of the day though, go figure.

2010 Chardonnay: Less oaky! Same grapes, different vintage. Similar flavors, just less oak. I liked this one much better than it’s ’07 counter-part.

2010 Rosé: This was delightful. Chilean Malbec grapes are used to make this refreshing rosé, full of elderberry and gooseberry flavors. Very dry, very sip-able. A little tart, but not enough to make you pucker.

Cabernet Sauvignon: They seemed most proud of this one. I love a good Cab, so I particularly enjoyed this pour. It’s everything you expect- full mouthfeel, dark black fruit and hints of cedar. I loved it, and if you like Cabernet Sauvignon, I’m guessing you would too.

All in all, this was a fantastic event for the CT wine crowd. Seemed a bit overcrowded (we often waited over 20 minutes for a pour at any given tasting table) but that may have been because the weather was so unsettled Saturday that all of the traffic pushed into Sunday. Also, there was a Groupon for this event, so if you’re interested in attending next year, keep your eye out for one a few weeks prior.

I love anything that gets CT wine lovers together in one place to talk vino. I had a blast, made tons of new friends and was even able to spread the Gospel of Amity Wines a little bit. And today? Well, today I’m drinking lots and lots…of water.