OK, my first wine trail review, Priam Vineyards, is more of a story than anything else, but as I hope you can see from my pictures, and the even better ones featured on their website, it is a beautiful place and worth the trip.
Mike and I first stopped by the vineyard on a whim on our way home from visiting friends in Rhode Island and were delighted with what we found. One of the first things we noticed were the environmentally friendly solar panels that power a large part of the Vineyard. Priam offers three levels of tastings and Mike and I decided to split the highest level in order to satisfy my curious nature and sample as much as possible. Our pourer was enthusiastic, attentive and informative all of which win high points with me because as Mike can attest to I’m not the most patient person and can get a bit cranky during these tasting if the pourer is trying to do eight things at once and I have to wait a long time in between pours. One of biggest pet peeves is when the wine pourer takes off directly after serving a sample before I get a chance to ask any questions. No issues here, the service was great.
We enjoyed the wines enough to buy a few bottles; our favorites were the Blackledge Rose and the Westchester Red. Here are the tasting notes that can be found on Priam’s home page. We then toured the grounds and were enchanted by the rustic gazebo and the tree swing which overlooks the entire vineyard. On our way out, we discovered they hosted weddings, and since we had plans for an engagement in our near future we took down some information and scheduled an appointment with their resident wedding planner Michelle.
A couple of weeks later my parents accompanied Mike and I for a personal tour of the Vineyard. I was very excited and Michelle, the resident wedding planner and Gary, one of the owners and our tour guide for the day, did not disappoint. I knew I would like Gary as soon as I saw his mischievous grin and heard that distinctive New Orleans drawl that instantly brought me back to my more adventurous early twenties when I called the crescent city home.
He told story after story about his love of the land, the grapes, and the wine in that thick as black strap molasses speech that can’t help but charm. Gary is proud of his vineyard. Proud that all the grapes are estate grown, a rarity in Connecticut, proud of the solar power panels that allow the farm to maximize natural resources, and proud of the quality of the wines he produces that truly makes Priam a local gem.
The tour ended in a wine tasting poured personally by Gary, and I was delighted and surprised by how much my mom, who is not a big drinker enjoyed the unique tastes of most of the whites. She was happily mentally cataloguing her favorite of the numbers that marked the wines off of the informative sheet that served as a map to the potent potables we were enjoying.
We were excited by how much they try to make each wedding green and incorporate locally grown foods, flowers and other local products wherever possible. However it was not to be the place for us as rentals and sight fees quickly added up and put the vineyard out of range for our budget.
Still, Mike being the wonderful guy he is did take me back to the vineyard on the 4th of July for a picnic and a surprise visit to that infamous tree swing to make it official by getting down on one knee and placing a beautiful ring on my finger. We toasted with a bottle of the Blackledge Rose, which was very refreshing for that hot summer day.