Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gouveia Vineyards-Napa Comes to Wallingford



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.  















 
 
Can you image sipping a glass of wine in front of this cozy fireplace on a chilly Sunday afternoon?  If so you're going to have to get up pretty early to beat me to the seat!
 

13 comments:

  1. Much too green to be Napa this time of year ! I was interested to see the yellow picking pans..these are used most of the time here for sparkling wines ..I wonder if the bird netting is used to keep starlings away ? Love the stone building ..but WTH is the deal with those little kids ?

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    1. We were wondering about the kids too, Kathy. At first I only saw them outside and assumed they weren't allowed in the tasting room building but then I saw some in there too. Dogs are also allowed but only outside.

      As far as the harvest goes, they actually use volunteers. It looks like fun and no doubt keeps costs down. I did see a note on the website that said they were harvesting something early due to bird pressures.

      Next time you're here we'll have to take you over for a visit.

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  2. What a find. People from other states think of Connecticut as a suburb of NY, all cities and buildings and urban cluster. But right smack in the middle of the state is this lovely 32 acres of Napa-like beauty, with views to the horizon. Beautiful.

    A winery just a couple miles from my house just started up a few years ago -- I have literally watched it go from open empty field to rows and rows of grapevines getting bigger every year. Wines are young and developing, but check it out if you are in Simsbury - Rosedale Farms & Vineyard. Isn't CT an interesting place to explore?

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    1. A few years ago I visited Stonington Vineyards when I was at the beach. At that time, the CT wineries had a promotion going where you were given a "passport". Every CT vineyard you visited would stamp it and if you got to all of them by a certain date, your name was entered in a contest to win a trip to Italy. At the time I was intrigued but not enough to pursue it.

      I just read that Chamard Vineyards in Clinton is opening a restaurant so I suspect I'll be checking that out at some point. Winter seems like the perfect time to travel the CT wine trail, don't you think?

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    2. My son got us the passport and some local wines for Christmas one year, and we did visit several wineries and got stamped. But we never got to all of them, and no trip to Italy!!

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  3. It looks pretty fabulous Sue. Wish we'd been there. We'll have to plant to join you on your return visit.

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    1. It's less than 10 minutes from Monique and Les. Nexxt time you come down we should plan to go over.

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  4. Here it would be raccoons attacking the vines and stealing the grapes.
    Lovely spot! I'd be under the pergola absorbing the views.

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  5. Your delicious post reminds me I need to get out more. I've hit a few vineyards, including the one in nearby Clinton, but I must pick up my tasting pace. Cheers!

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    1. Chamard in Clinton just opened a restaurant. I may make that the next stop on the list.

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  6. Oh, I will have to give that one a visit. It is not too far to Wallingford.

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    1. I highly recommend a visit, Layanee.

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  7. It looks terrific, Sue. And I have never heard of it before, either. That patio dining area looks good. I am a fan of outdoor dining for as long as the weather permits.

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