A summer afternoon in the Connecticut countryside is unlike any other time in your life. The rolling hills, the warm breezes, and the smell of nature all around.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that this little state, tucked between New York City and Boston, actually is the California of the east as it’s one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country, and where better to enjoy a fine glass of your favorite farm fresh wines than the stunning Connecticut countryside.
On a warm Sunday morning, I decided I needed to get away from my computer a bit. I needed an escape from modern reality with perhaps a few luscious sips of wine. I didn’t have to look far from my upstate Connecticut residence to discover where the nearest winery was.
A hop, skip, and a jump, Pomfret is located in northeastern Connecticut, just near the Rhode Island border. Known as the quiet corner of the state, the rural charm out here is seen just about everywhere, including at Sharpe Hill, a magical vineyard that transports you back into yesteryear.
Making my way up the windy country lane, I eventually stumbled upon a big red barn like building that seemed to pop out of nowhere. As I made my way up the dirt drive, and past some pretty little gardens, I eventually came to a parking lot that overlooked the grape vines as the sound of wind chimes sang in the distance.
This was heaven.
It’s not very often you find yourself at a winery that is not only tucked in the middle of nowhere, but tranquil as well.
As I made my way inside, I was instantly greeted with the warm Connecticut hospitality i have come to know. A warm smile and a how do you do was quickly traded out by asking if I wanted to join for lunch.
Sharpe Hill Vineyard offers two amazing treats. A vineyard and a restaurant. All in one place. An unusual fitting for most vineyards in the state, but Sharpe does it well. The vineyard part is just outside the lush vegetated outdoor patio of the restaurant and under a few trees with plenty of seating around the wind chime.
I decided to sample six distinct wines, all of which were quite delectable. The rose, however, was perhaps one of my favorites. In fact, it was so much of a favorite, I decided to order it with my lunch which was even more of a fascinating treat.
After your tasting, you are brought by staff to your seating arrangement on the patio. A truly unique outdoor experience, the patio will make you feel as though you are sitting inside of a garden as arbors protect you from the suns rays, and flowers are just about tucked into every nook and cranny.
The patio was a treat, but so too was the food. I had the chicken with herbs which was a wood grilled boneless chicken breast perfectly seasoned with garden fresh herbs and served over lemon thyme rice and fresh vegetables. Lunch here is not your traditional lunch, and nor should it be as you imagine yourself inside of a fairytale.
Sharpe Hill has easily become one of my favorite wineries in Connecticut. The relaxing atmosphere paired with exquisite wines offers a unique setting that is second to none.
Maybe that’s why this is one of the hidden gems in the countryside.