Although Gourveia Vineyards has been open to the public since 2004, for some reason I didn't make my first trip until last week. For this egregious oversight, I'm blaming my friends and fellow atmosphere and destination foodies, Monique and Les. They must be slipping because despite living in Wallingford, until recently they had never been to Gourveia either. However, now that we've sampled the goods and immersed ourselves in the experience, I suspect there will be many more visits to come.
Connecticut has no wine country per se but is not without wineries. In fact, according to the CT Wine Trail website there are twenty-four. I need to get out more because including Gourveia I've only been to two of them. Three if you count numerous dinners at The Hopkins Inn.
But back to Gouveia. Since my experience with CT wineries is limited, I'm unable to compare and contrast. However my Gourveia experience seemed exceptional. Due to zoning regulations, they can't serve food but you are allowed to bring your own and that we did. Thursday night is farmer's market night in Wethersfield so I swung by and picked up a spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quiche from Sixpence Pie Company and some humus from Yummy Hummy. M & L brought a selection of cheeses, crackers and a veggie plate with dip. Needless to say, we didn't starve. But then again we never do.
Since this was my first visit, I bellied up to the wine tasting bar for a sampling. Four wines were preselected and you were given the option to choose one more. I was impressed by the selection and the wines were all quite good. At the end of my tasting I purchased a glass of my favorite, the Chardonnay Oak, and joined M&L at a table next to the windows in the tasting room.
A bank of rogue clouds swooped in and gypped us out of what I had expected to be a perfect sunset. But before it got dark I went for a short stroll around the grounds and snapped a few pictures of the outdoor areas and meticulously tended vineyards. If you didn't know any better you'd almost think you were in Napa...almost.
Located to the east of the winery building is a picturesque small pond overlooking farmland and vineyards. A pair of picnic tables offer roaming visitors a spot to sit, savor their wine and enjoy the view.
I loved this pergola and patio area that is attached to the winery building. Had it been just a tad warmer, I would have opted to spend the evening out here taking advantage of the 360 degree view. Even though I've lived in CT since 1988, I was totally flabbergasted to find such an expansive and bucolic setting so close to my home. What a find!
This very cool stone building houses the tasting rooms and sales area. Inside, the rustic, exposed beam decor is warm and inviting. Hours for the tasting room are located on the website. On Thursday night, business was brisk but it was by no means crowded. In a way I'm glad I don't live any closer. It would be far too easy to skip over on a Thursday or Friday night after work for a quick happy hour.