As one of the oldest Vineyards in Connecticut, Stonington Vineyards has become synonymous with tradition and quality. Winemaker, Mike McAndrew has worked over the past 33 years to create consistently delightful wines that are the backbone of our farm winery.
With an expansive renovation completed in 2014, Stonington Vineyards is the ideal place to enjoy a picnic or tasting, host or attend event, or just stroll among the vines. Same history, with a new experience!
Open Daily* Year-Round
11am-5pm, last wine tasting at 4:30pm
Extended Saturday hours from June 1 to October 1: 11am-7pm
Summer Music Series on Fridays in July & August from 6-9pm. Please visit the Stonington Vineyards website for more information.
Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, Boxing Day (12/26),
New Year’s Day
History of Stonington Vineyards
Formerly, people used the Stonington vineyard in the rearing of cows. It was a dietary farm until about forty years ago when the vineyard was sold to Tom and Barbara Clark. Both started a small winery where they made five thousand cases of wine a year from the five varieties of grapes they grew in the vineyard. They continued the small winery until Nick, and Happy Smith took over and started Stonington vineyard. During that time, the winegrowers carried out many experimenting before the Chardonnay, and the Cabernet Franc became the top wines.
Situated on 58 acres, Nick and Happy Smith, in 1987, established Stonington vineyard. On 4th July 1987, Mike McAndrew joined Stonington vineyard as a winemaker. The winery incorporated the latest winemaking technology and its traditional methods of barrel fermentation in 1989. Mike McAndrew being the winemaker, has made Stonington win many awards for producing premium quality, European-style table wines over the past 33 years.
What Makes Stonington VineyardsStand Out?
The Stonington tasting room went through a facelift in 2014. Before Stonington vineyard’s tasting room was renovated, the ceiling was low, and the room could not take many people. As a result, the tasting room can give a warmer feeling to visitors. Their tasting costs $16 per person, and it includes a keepsake wine glass.
If you’re lucky enough to find one of their limited editions which interests you during your visit, you have to pay $2 to taste such wines. It costs $22 per guest for a group tasting, it includes six wines, a keepsake glass, a private host, a private group tasting room with a private restroom, tables, stools, and lovely views of the vineyard. For groups that would like to spend more time in the group tasting room, you must pay $100 as a group ahead of time, keeping in mind that there may be another group in the room. Also, the do not allow wines or alcohols from other makers on their property.
The tasting room has limited space, so the lawn is the perfect place to enjoy the wine and relax. But the lawn usage is dependent on the weather.
Wine Tasting and Tours
Want to taste Stonington’s premium wines; then you can come around for wine tasting at the vineyard. Wine tasting is done from 11 am to 4:30 pm daily and all through the year. The vineyard closes for Thanksgiving, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. The last tasting of the day is done thirty minutes before the closing time to ensure a fun-filled and relaxing experience for the guests.
However, if you are going in a group for wine tasting, it is required that you make reservations for groups of seven people or more an hour from 11 am to 4 pm, and also based on availability. Stonington vineyard only accommodates a limited number of reservations in a day. So, if you are running late for over twenty minutes for your reservation, then your group wine tasting cannot be guaranteed. As a group, it is best you make payment as one transaction and not different transactions. Groups of more than six people, if you cannot make your reservations at Stonington vineyard, you are welcome to visit and enjoy the vineyard with bottles or glasses of wine.
In addition, you can decide to experience the Stonington vineyard on your own with less or no crowd to enjoy the ambiance of the vineyard. However, it will require you to make a reservation for a private tour. Private tours are available only on weekdays, and it is best to make your reservations by calling or sending an email.
There are various features at Stonington vineyard. Stonington allows buses and limos, it accepts large crowds, and it’s a child-friendly place. You are allowed to bring in your pets to Stonington and have picnics with your families and friends just as the live music entertains you. There are plenty of things to do when you visit the winery; there is a picnic ground, a casino nearby, and the beach.
Stonington has numerous events, such as wine festivals, tours, wine tasting, and the largest of these events is the food and drinks festival held in September. While in July, Stonington hosts a popular event every Friday, which is the music festival.
The vineyard offers lots of fun and educational tours of the winery and wines. From live music to local bands coming to perform Saturdays and then wine tasting. Though affordable, the Stonington winemakers explain every wine to people tasting as the wine tasting isn’t free. How the wine got prepared, how to know a premium wine, and how to select wines.
Stonington vineyard offers excellent customer service and delicious wines. They have six wines made at the Stonington, and they are Sheer Chardonnay, Estate Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Triad Rosé, Pink Noir, Seaport White, Cabernet Franc. People love the white wine more, which is the Chardonnay.
Seaport White is Stonington main produced wine. They also refer to the Seaport white as off-dry. It is a slightly sweet product, very fruity, rich in taste, and can go with all kinds of foods or even alone. The grapes used are of five different types: Vidal, Chardonnay, Traminette, Cayuga, and Vinho. Off-dry in winemaking means a slightly sweet product with little or no residual sugar.
Rosé is a complex brand made by the Stonington vineyard. It is a mix of Vidal, Cayuga, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Traminette grapes. Traminette is a hybrid from Germany. It is a combination of Riesling and Gewurztraminer. You can pair the rose wine can with cheese or a light barbeque meal.
Cabernet Franc wine grapes are 100% grown in Stonington vineyards. The winegrowers pick these grapes last to in late October to early November. They crush the grapes to extract their juice. Then, they ferment the juice, skin, and seeds all together for about two weeks to give the wine its color.
As they get the desired color for the wine, they press off the wine to remove the whole mess. The mixture is poured back into the press, skins and seeds are separated so that the wine can go into the barrels. The wine goes into the barrel and stays for a year and a half. After a year and a half, the winegrowers remove the wine from barrels and put in stills for a couple of months. Gentle filtration is done after that the wine is bottled and stays for about six months before it is released to the public.
Stonington Vineyard Events
Summer Concert Series
For a wonderful experience of music, food, and wine, Stonington vineyards have the best band acts for an evening music relaxation every Friday, from 6 pm to 9 pm in July and August. As a guest, you can bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy a comfortable experience. In addition, you can bring your picnic dinners or get delicious snacks by Mystic Cheese from the local food trucks present on site. It costs $10 per person when you purchase a ticket online, $12 cash when you purchase a ticket at the venue, and for children under 21 years of age the ticket is free but will require the presence of a guardian or parent. During the music, no wine tastings are offered, but wines are available by glass or bottle.
Summer Poppies Paint and Sip
Painting is fun when you go with a loved one or friends. But what is more fun is enjoying some local wine sips while you paint. This outdoor event involves painting three poppy bud vases in July from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, which you can give to friends, families, or loved ones. The ticket goes for $39.95, including materials, instructions, and a glass of wine. There are additional drinks that can be purchased at the venue.
Harvest Food and Wine Festival
Stonington vineyard’s annual food and wine festival usually takes place on a Saturday and Sunday in September from 11 am to 6 pm. It includes live bans, delicious food trucks, local artisans, dancing, and so much more. Experience the fun, fully packed festival either in rain or sunshine as there will be tents provided. You can also come along with your tent. The ticket for a day event is $25 and for both days is $40. Tickets include wine tasting, keepsake glass, live music, and everything that comes with the event.
Yoga on the Lawn
Would you like to relax, clear your mind, and stretch while breathing in nature’s air? Stonington Vineyard organizes an outdoor yoga class every Sunday from 9 am to 10 am with Mike McAndrew, who is the winemaker at Stonington vineyard as the yoga instructor. All you have to do is register for the yoga classes at a fee of $15, which is non-refundable and come with your yoga mat, blanket, water bottle, and bug spray.
Are you looking to go on dates, picnics, or even wine tours? This winery provides a romantic setting for a picnic day and wine tasting. It is a perfect setting for your wedding or private event. In addition, the Stonington vineyard offers various events, including festivals, concerts, and pre-release of wines throughout the year.