Chamard Vineyards: Harvest Prep

I got to catch up with  winemaker Kristen Parsons of Chamard Vineyards. She was kind enough to give us a few minutes of her time to tell us how she prepares for her crazy busy season and their quirky harvest traditions.

Wine we make first: We make wine depending on which grape comes in first.  In the fall, the California grapes ripen first.  For our estate grapes, the Chardonnay usually is the first to ripen, and therefore the first wine made.

Traditional harvest meals: We have gardens here at Chamard Vineyards.  Our traditional harvest meal consists of salsa verde made from garden fresh tomatillos and jalapenos. Along with freshly picked tomato for salad, this accompanies grilled steak, sausage and chicken and corn tortillas.

Traditions: Everybody enters the betting pool on when and which day our Vineyard Manager, Jim, will cut his finger with the harvest pruning sheers.

Find out more about Kristin in here winemaker interview HERE.

Visiting Chamard Vineyards:

Visiting Chamard Vineyards is like taking a trip to the French country side.  Once you turn into the driveway you are surrounded by a myriad of beautiful grape vines and transported to a Chateau style winery. You can enjoy delicious wines while taking in the gorgeous views of a fountain and pristine vineyards.

A tasting includes samples of 5 wines and a Reidel glass which is your’s to keep. Each tasting is $10.00 per person. Chamard can accommodate parties of up to 10 people without a reservation. Stop in and sip on some tasty vino while you wait for your table at their Bistro.

The Bistro pairs delicious foods with the wines made on the property. Many of the vegetables and fruits that are sourced for the bistro are from Chamard’s on premise garden. Very much a farm to table atmosphere, Chamard Vineyards is a fantastic place to sip great wine and enjoy delicious food with family and friends. I hope you enjoy your visit! Cheers!

Winemaker: Kristen Parsons
Winery: Chamard Vineyards: Winery & Bistro (Visit)
Location: 115 Cow Hill Rd, Clinton, CT 06413
Tasting Hours: OPEN Monday – Saturday 11:00AM – 9:00PM, Sundays 11:00AM – 8:00PM

National Cabernet Day at Chamard Vineyards

National Cabernet Day is one of my all-time favorite days (August 31st, put it on your calendar for next year) 😉

Cabernet is one of my favorite wines because it is full of complexity. Exposing dark berry flavors such as black cherry, blackberry, raspberry, and black currants on the nose and palate.  Most producers will also introduce it to some sort of oak infusion. This usually means the wine gains notes of vanilla, coconut, smoky characteristics, spicy notes, and a silky mouth-feel. Almost a “liquid cashmere” quality.

At Chamard their 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon does just that! Their 2014 Cabernet is full of flavor, body, and complex flavors. Notes of black cherry, black pepper, tobacco, and vanilla tantalize your taste buds as you sip. Pair with their Four Mile River Farm Burger and you will not be sorry.

Visiting Chamard:

Winemaker: Kristen Parsons

Location: 115 Cow Hill Rd, Clinton, CT 06413 (Visit)

Tasting Hours: OPEN Monday – Saturday 11:00AM – 9:00PM, Sundays 11:00AM – 8:00PM

Tasting Options: Enjoy a tasting & a snack!

Visiting Chamard Vineyards is like taking a trip to the French country side. Once you turn into the driveway you are surrounded by a myriad of beautiful grape vines and transported to a Chateau style winery. You can enjoy delicious wines while taking in the gorgeous views of a fountain and pristine vineyards.

A tasting includes samples of 5 wines and a Reidel glass which is your’s to keep. Each tasting is $10.00 per person. Chamard can accommodate parties of up to 10 people without a reservation. Stop in and sip on some tasty vino while you wait for your table at their Bistro.

The Bistro pairs delicious foods with the wines made on the property. Many of the vegetables and fruits that are sourced for the bistro are from Chamard’s on premise garden. Very much a farm to table atmosphere, Chamard Vineyards is a fantastic place to sip great wine and enjoy delicious food with family and friends. I hope you enjoy your visit!

Cheers!

Wine Tasting in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Wine Country far exceeded my expectations. The wines were delicious, the scenery was gorgeous, and the people were very friendly.

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One of my stops was Labelle Winery in Amherst, NH. I walked into the tasting room and was immediately greeted by a kind girl at the door. She explained that I could sit down for lunch and have a tasting or go up to the bar for a tasting. Off to the side was a retail area full of fun items foodies would geek out for. There were cheese plates, cooking wines, different types of foods, and fun kitchen items to make cooking a breeze.

After surveying my surroundings I decided to go to the bar for a quick tasting. The woman who poured my tasting was incredibly kind and knowledgeable. She talked me into staying for one of the free winery tours they had. I tried 5 of their most popular wines at the bar, purchased some wine, then sat down for a cheese plate in the bistro area while I waited for the tour. The wines I purchased were the Halcyon, Seylval Blanc, and Americus.

The Halcyon is a blend of Riesling & Apricot which made for a very tasty, light, and refreshing white wine. I am not normally a sweet wine drinker but this had the perfect amount of sweetness for my palate. For me personally this is a delicious patio pounder.

The Seylval Blanc was very tasty. It was light, floral, with some tasty crisp notes of bright citrus fruits. A great wine to pair with chicken, fish, or a summer salad.

The Americus was pretty bold with some very vibrant tannins. I would pair this with a steak or some type of heavy meat dish.

The tour was wonderful. They took us through the the vineyards, the entire winery, explained all the major pieces of winemaking equipment, and we even met the winemaker! All in all it was a great morning at Labelle Winery. I would highly suggest stopping there the next time you are in New Hampshire.

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(cheese plate at LaBelle Winery)

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(view from the balcony at LaBelle Winery)

Another stop was Summit Winery in Westmoreland, NH. Summit Winery is in a great location right outside of Keene. It’s on your way to the top mountains for skiing. It’s a great place to stop on the way to or from the mountains.

The winery is in a large barn that was beautifully built. {Insert magic pintrest barn dreams and you’ll get the idea} The barn was beautiful on the inside with a fantastic deck off the back, overlooking the mountains and the gorgeous New Hampshire scenery.

The wines were lovely. I tasted 5 wines. The Sauvignon Blanc, Un-Oaked Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and the Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Sauvignon Blanc had awesome notes of lemon grass, bright citrus, and a great level of crisp acidity. It is the perfect SB for hot a summer day. Can stand up to many different types of food and/or can be enjoyed on it’s own.

The Un-Oaked Chardonnay was very well balanced with bright acidity and notes of green apple. Very refreshing and delicious.

The Sangiovese really surprised me; in a good way. It had this smokiness to it while maintaining fruity notes and being true to the grape variety. Really fantastic wine that I am looking forward to enjoying with friends.

The Zinfandel was full bodied with notes of cherry and raspberry. A great Zinfandel that could stand up to most foods.

The Cabernet Sauvignon was fantastic with multiple layers of flavor. The first layer started out with fruity notes of blackberry then hints of chocolate moving to hints of oak and smoke. A very complex Cabernet Sauvignon.

I ended up going home with the Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I can’t wait to open these at the next dinner party.

Summit Winery was wonderful. It was relaxing {I felt like I was tasting wine in a secluded bungalow in the woods}, the people were incredibly friendly, their dog was super adorable {obsessed with winery dogs}, and the wines were delicious. Summit is a must stop in New Hampshire, reminds of the wineries in the hills of Napa and Sonoma.

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(views from Summit Winery)

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(Summit Winery winery dog)

Another winery I stopped by was Walpole Mountain View Winery. A quaint winery in the hills. It was an interesting tasting. You walked into the tasting room and and were greeted by people behind the bar. They explained the wines and asked you pick 6 wines to try. Then once you chose your wines they brought into another room to watch a video about their vineyard and winemaking processes. Then once the video was finished they walked you into a gorgeous tasting area. The views in the tasting area were worth the drive. It was almost like an enclosed deck that was enclosed with glass walls.

The wines were mostly hybrids from the North East. I ended up purchasing the LaCrescent. It was a very light and fruity white wine. It would be a wine to be enjoyed on a hot day  by the pool or at a barbecue. If you are interested in tasting the hybrid grapes this is the winery to go to. They have a large selection of hybrid wine varieties.

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(Walpole Mountain View Winery)

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(tasting area at Walpole Mountain View Winery)

Last but not least, after all of that wine I needed a beer. Thankfully I was close enough to swing by Able Ebenezer Brewing Company in Merrimack, NH. The beers were AWESOME! I did the sampler and feel in love with the Emma Wood. It was the perfect light ale, it was almost fully in consistency. The IPA’s were fantastic too. They have one called “Burn the Ships” – it’s an IPA infused with smoked hops. I brought home a growler of the “Burn the Ships”, a can of the Aburn Ale, and a can of the Emma Wood. It was the perfect chill spot with couches, sunlight, and delicious brews to end my day.

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(Able Ebenezer Brewing Company)

What a great day trip to New Hampshire. I hope you take the time enjoy some of the great wineries and breweries of the New Hampshire. Cheers!