SaviNo or SavinYes?
Savino Vineyards, Woodbridge
December 2, 2012
There still remain some rare pockets of Connecticut that I’m not familiar with yet. I’m 100% confident that if you knocked me out and blindfolded me and stuck me just about anywhere in the state, I’d know exactly where I was and how to get to where I needed to go within a few minutes, tops.
I credit this to my obsession with maps, creepy memory for place, and strong inate sense of direction. Seriously. Ask my wife.
My point here is to tell you that a place I was wholly unfamiliar with before visiting Savino Vineyards was the hilly western part of Woodbridge. I was cutting across town from the historic Thomas Darling House and had hastily drawn one of my chicken-scratch maps before leaving the house. Finding Ford Road for the first time with no wrong turns is not an easy task. I did pretty well and of course, having done it once, I’ll be fine in the future.
Savino is one of the state’s smaller operations, but they did expand their tasting room in 2011 and it’s now perfectly suitable to hang out in to enjoy some wine comfortably.
Damian marched right in and, though a bit more wary, Calvin followed. Now that the younger one is almost two and quite the vocal adventurer, bringing him to these places is usually not the best idea. There were only two other grandmotherly women there and they both seemed to delight in the boys – so I wasn’t worried.
I purchased each of us a tasting at $7 a pop, if only because tastings here come with a plate of cheese and crackers and a slice of salami for some reason. It’s obviously an Italian thing. We are not Italian – but still, what a simple little thing Savino does to differentiate themselves from the rest.
The point here was that the boys could eat cheese and crackers why the parents sampled some wine. While we do that, you can read about Savino:
Savino Vineyards is a family owned and operated vineyard situated 400 feet above sea level on eight acres of pristine land in the town of Woodbridge, Connecticut. We grow premium vinifera and American hybrid grapes to blend them and produce unique tasting wines.
The vineyard was established in 2000 and the first year of production was in 2006. We grow two white grapes, Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc, and four red grapes, St. Croix, Frontenac, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Our wines are all produced on site under a 100 year old historic barn.
We had 5 wines to sample. Savino skipped out on the Connecticut standby, the ol’ Seyval Blanc. Sure, they make it, but for some reason it wasn’t part of the tasting. Fine by me. Instead, we started with the Bianco di Casa (I don’t know Italian, but I know that’s House White.) It was bright and clean. The description mentions citrus and apple and honeysuckle which is all great, but it made me chuckle because I was just reading a couple other blogs where the bloggers wrote, “MMm, I tasted what I felt where citrus and honeysuckle notes” as if they came up with that on their own.
I hate when people do that.
With the boys tearing through the snacks, the staffer came out with another whole plateful of crackers and (kid-friendly) cheese. The original plates came out with some wonderful parmesan cheese that Hoang and I loved – and that Calvin screwed up his face after tasting so much I thought he’s break an orbital bone. Wish I got a picture.
I thought that was super nice of Savino and we really appreciated it. We moved through the house red which was actually one of my favorite Connecticut reds and onto their Cab Franc which was your typical CT Cab Franc. Not bad. It’s clear the wine-maker knows what he’s doing as honestly, I thought Savino’s wines were as good or better than our much bigger wineries.
By this point, the boys were up off the couch chasing each other in circles. When Calvin runs he likes to hear himself for some reason. This is annoying, so we tried to give him more food. Also, other guests had arrived and now Hoang was starting to feel very uncomfortable that our children were imposing on others’ good times.
I have no such feelings unless they truly are. In this instance, they were not.
Until Calvin started rearranging furniture, that is. (With Damian providing his LOUD laugh each time his little brother pushed a chair 2 feet across the floor.) Sigh.
The last wine was the Merlot and I really didn’t like it at all. What’s interesting is that other reviewers I just read noted that this was their most favorite Savino wine. For me, just too dry and earthy and almost bitter. It didn’t work for me.
Meanwhile, the wonderful Savino worker had brought us some olive oil and bread. She said the olives were “grown here in Woodbridge”. Without thinking too hard on that, all four of us chomped through the bread and the oil was excellent.
In a rare moment of reflection, both Hoang and I wondered how the heck they grow olive trees here. So I asked the lady and she said, “I don’t know, but he does it!” We were in a bit of disbelief but quickly forgot about it as now Calvin was contemplating further destruction.
We cleaned up our space and I paid for the tastings and even got both little glasses to take home. At this point, we hardly need any more Connecticut wine glasses, but they insisted we take them and we were on our way.
I’m sorry that this page really doesn’t say much about the winery or wine itself. I hope you can forgive me after many multiple visits to 30 Connecticut wineries. Savino is a perfectly fine diversion when you find yourself in the nether regions of Woodbridge and the owner has a long family history of wine-making in Italy.
Oh, and they also have a history of olive oil making there too – as I just noticed this on their website: “and Olive Oil imported from the Wine Maker’s olive grove in Teggiano, Italy.”
I hope the woman working there reads that bit too.