Day Trip–New England Charm. Napa Style.

A day trip in Rhode Island can lead to all kinds of adventures since the ocean and farm lands run alongside this beautiful area. This tiny state I call “home” is close to many amazing destinations that are reachable in less than two hours. Yesterday’s travels gave the phrase “Sunday drive” new meaning to me. First thing in the morning we jumped in the car and headed south with no set travel plans. It felt cool to be a beach day and we decided that heading into the country would be fun. I have a love for barns (antiques and new construction). I also am quite fond of farmscape gardens! After a quick Google search we decided that heading to Jonathan Edwards Winery was the perfect plan. I had never been to their vineyard before and the view approaching their grounds felt like a scene from a movie. A large white barn trimmed in red captured my attention from afar and the rows upon rows of grapes boasted in all their beauty.

We arrived just as the winery was opening at 11am and had the opportunity to look around before it buzzed with visitors. The barrel room smelled sweet as the wind blew through the first floor and tasting room. There were 7 wines to taste (4 whites and 3 reds). The cost was $15.00 per person. I found the wines delightful. Some local wines tend to be overly sweet to my taste, but the wines at John Edwards were perfect to my pallet.  I usually prefer a dry white so I was surprised that my taste was leaning towards their reds. My top pick for a white wine was the Estate Connecticut Chardonnay. It was soft with bright notes of green apple, pear, and very subtle oak. My pick for red was the Cabernet Franc. It was a mid-weight red with flavors of cinnamon and dark red fruit.

After the tasting we had the opportunity to walk the grounds. It was so quiet and peaceful. The rows of grapes were lined by alternating sunflower plants and rose bushes. There were retired wine barrels placed in the field for guest to rest their glasses and bottles on. The grape vines seemed to carry on for miles and corn fields boarded the vineyard giving it a protected and charming farm feel. There are twenty acres of vineyards planted at Jonathan Edwards to be exact making it a perfect spot for lunch or an early dinner with friends or family. The vineyard does not offer lunch fair however; they do have a selection of local cheeses and charcuterie, but be sure to bring your own plates, forks, etc. Guests are also welcome to bring their own picnics, which I just love!

This weekend the grapes looked like they were maturing and right on target for harvest come the end of the season. Each year John Edwards has two distinct harvests. They ferment all of their California grapes in Napa Valley before transporting the wine to Connecticut for aging and bottling. In addition, they simultaneously harvest and process grapes from their Connecticut vineyards. Their unique collaborative winemaking approach has worked well and is proven in their wines. This is such a lovely day trip and one I would recommend with and without children. If you are local to North Stonington CT or looking for a day’s travel, I think you would truly enjoy this distinct vineyard. John Edwards is a one of a kind vineyard that has a New England Charm and Napa Feel.

Visit the winery:

Jonathan Edwards Winery

74 Chester Maine Road

Stonington, CT 06359

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