Article Written By: Wining With Sue
Great wine can only get you so far…great customer service must bring you the rest of the way. Saltwater Farm Vineyard does just that.
Upon entering the former airplane hangar (built in the late 1930’s) that has been transformed into a beautiful winery, you know you are in for a treat. The upstairs tasting room is spacious with one tasting bar. There is also a deck off this room with a lovely view of the vineyards and marsh area. It is in this room that we were greeted by Paul, who is the tasting room manager and a great provider of customer service. Even though he was the only person working the bar and there were several groups there, we never felt ignored. He even recommended places to eat in Stonington and provided a map. Paul was very knowledgeable and friendly, making you feel welcome. He definitely made you want to learn more about their wines.
The cost of the wine tasting was $10 for 5 wines including a logo glass (one of the nicest I have seen). For groups of 10 people or more the cost is $12. We tasted three whites and 2 reds. The first white was a 2010 Sauvignon Blanc. It was stainless steel fermented and had a delicious crisp taste. The grapes used were half from Long Island and half estate grown. Rich and I both felt this was the best of the whites. The cost is $8 for a glass and $28 for a bottle. Next we had two Chardonnays. One was a 2008 Estate Chardonnay and the other a 2009. Both were good and made from estate grown grapes. I thought the 2009 had more of a citrus flavor. Neither Rich nor I could pick one we liked better. The 2008 was $6 for a glass and $19 for a bottle and the 2009 was $7 for a glass and $22 for a bottle.
The first red that we tried was the 2008 Estate Cabernet Franc. It was very dry and aged in french oak from estate grown grapes. It had a cherry and berry nose and was very good. The cost was $8 per glass and $28 per bottle. The 2008 Estate Merlot was equally as good and was also aged in french oak from estate grown grapes. For my taste, it had a smoother finish. The cost of the Merlot was $8.50 per glass and $30 per bottle. They offer a generous case discount of 15%.
After our tasting we went out back and enjoyed a glass of wine and the view. I had the Merlot and Rich had the Sauvignon Blanc. When we were done, we bought a bottle of Merlot and they gave us two new glasses in a bag and took the dirty ones.
Saltwater Farm Vineyard is a popular wedding venue…and I can see why as it is a very pretty setting. On Sunday evenings they also have music, but check their website for the schedule as it is sometimes canceled for weddings taking place at the Vineyards.
I think Saltwater Farm Vineyard is a must stop along the Connecticut Wine Trail. With all of the wineries and attractions in the area, plan to stay overnight.
Be sure to visit them online at saltwaterfarmvineyard.com. I “liked” them on Facebook and the day before I went, I saw a post that if you were the first to “mention seeing the post, you would get a free glass of wine”…I was very happy to accept my free glass. Like with most of the wineries today, check their websites and facebook pages for hours as they may change due to events happening on particular days.