DiGrazia Vineyards, Brookfield
November 2, 2008
[December 2012 Update: This was my one and only visit out to DiGrazia, my 13th overall – during a full day of winery visits out in Litchfield County. I don’t really have anything else to update here in these brackets.]
Our day of four wineries was still going along swimmingly. We had to knock out four of them on this day, as we had to visit the required 14 to fulfill the Passport Program to be prize eligible. But really, I can think of worse ways to spend a beautiful Autumn day in the Litchfield hills of Western Connecticut.
Neither Hoang nor I had ever really visited Brookfield before, but even if I didn’t have a few museums to pick up here, I think we’d be back just to enjoy it at some point. It seems New Englandy without all the pretension that plagues some of the more exclusive towns out here.
And DiGrazia Vineyards fits that bill as well. It’s quite nice, but their sign (in 2008 anyway) is a piece of cardboard jabbed into the ground. Their tasting room is homey and inviting, but the tasting is provided in plasticware. Their wines are good, but lean towards the accessible with unique flavorings like pumpkin and spice.
In their words, “DiGrazia Vineyards was founded in 1978 and is dedicated to producing premium wines of quality and unique variety. Over 15 wines are offered, ranging from dry to sweet, using estate grown grapes, local fruit and honey. Their two vineyard sites are established on high sloping hills to maximize growing potential and grapes grown lead to crisp, flavorful wines. Nine varieties of premium hybrid and native American wine grapes are planted.
Dr. Digrazia, founder and winemaker, is widely known for his clean, crisp style of winemaking and his innovative flair. He has been intensively involved in the production of high antioxidant wines. A wide range of table and dessert wines are offered at DiGrazia Vineyards including whites, blushes, reds, nouveau, spiced pumpkin, red and white port, and other unique wines.”
Just off the tasting room is a semi-enclosed deck that is tastefully appointed with lots of different plants as well as a waterfall. Once we went inside to do our tasting, Damian was far more interested in the “action” outside. So I opened the door for him and let him wander about. The proprietor was rather concerned that we just allowed our little kid to roam around, but I don’t really know why. (Now in 2012, as a parent of a typical kid as well as Damian, I fully understand her concern.)
There’s no road by the building and trust me, Damian doesn’t wander out of eyesight and earshot… ever. (Plus, I could see him out the picture window the whole time.) He stared at the waterfall and counted gourds and pumpkins while Hoang and I got down to the business of wine tasting.
We were offered a menu with 17 varieties on it and were told to choose six to taste. Being the wonderful husband I am, I made the selections with Hoang in mind, choosing ones I know she’d like and I wouldn’t. (“Awwww.” I know, I know.) We started with two whites – a Vidal Blanc and a Seyval Blanc. We’ve learned during this Wine Tour that Seyval grapes grow really well here in Connecticut, and the wine bore that out. It was excellent; crisp and dry. (Now in 2012, I can go the rest of my life without ever having Seyval again, thanks.)
Next was a raspberry-y blush wine, which I didn’t even taste (Damian had gotten out of sight and Hoang knows I don’t exactly crave fruity wines.) Up next, I chose one for me: The so-called Fieldstone Reserve, which is a red table wine with cherry and black currant flavors. It was very good. One of my favorite wines of the whole day I think.
I didn’t taste the last two, as they were all for Hoang; a dessert wine with pear overtones and a spiced wine with sugar pumpkin, honey, and other spices. She absolutely loved it, but I knew from just smelling the empty cup that it wasn’t for me.
The shop here is very nice and as I said, cozy and very “country.” But it’s also very near some rather expensive real estate and perhaps because of that, their wines seem to be the highest priced we’ve seen thus far, running from $15.99 to $39.99 for a limited release port. We fed Damian some lunch and hopped back into the car with two down, two more to go on the day.