Afternoon Out: Jones Family Farms & Winery
Where: Homestead Farm, 606 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Shelton, CT 06484
When: Thursday- Sunday, 11am-5pm
Cost: $10 Wine Tasting, wine-by-the-glass and bottles vary
A few weekends ago, Mike and I got to share one of our favorite spots in Fairfield County with Kim and Tyler: the Jones Family Farm Winery!
The Jones family, lead by Phillip James Jones, settled in Shelton in 1848 and founded what would grow into the 400 acre working farm it is today. Now into their seventh generation, the family grows Christmas trees, strawberries, blueberries, pumpkins, gourds, and other squashes, as well as over ten acres of grapes, which we were happy to sample.
How tastings go:
You'll receive your complimentary souvenir wine glass and choose which seven of fourteen dry and off-dry wines to sample, including one grapeless variety. Many of the wines are made with completely Connecticut-grown grapes, making it a truly local experience.
Because we have the palates of overgrown children, we stuck mostly to the off-drys and were not disappointed with the sweetness. In particular, the Strawberry Serenade, a bubbly pink wine made from their own berries, tastes just like strawberry jam!
Afterwards, you're free to get snacks from their Harvest Kitchen and grab a glass of your favorite wine to enjoy on their patio, complete with outdoor fireplace. Take-home bottles are available for purchase, along with a variety of gifts.
Sadly, the Jones Family Farms don't currently host private events (any event held here would be totally gorgeous), but there are wineries and farms like it all over the area that would make similarly great venues!
Mulled Wine using Beacon Light No. 8
Beacon Light is a semi-sweet red wine blend. when you start with a sweet wine for a mulled recipe, you're already halfway there!
1 Bottle (750 ml) semi-sweet Red Wine
1 Navel Orange
Cut the orange in half, press whole cloves into the peel of both halves about half an inch apart.
In a large pot, combine the bottle of wine, 3-4 cinnamon sticks, and both orange halves. Simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes.
If you'd prefer it to pack a bigger punch, feel free to add more liquor- spiced rums work well, as well as liqueurs like Chambord.