Jones Winery is unique in that it calls itself a family friendly winery. Considering it is connected to the Jones Family Farm, famous for their pick-your-own berries in the summer, Christmas trees in the winter, and Harvest kitchen, a farm to table cooking studio that offers classes throughout all the seasons, this makes sense. During my visit I talked to one of the tasting room hosts, David, who told me Jones family first and foremost is about educating people, about eating healthy from the land, and giving people the chance to have this unique experience that is dying in this country. He proudly pointed out the motto on the back of the Jones Farm employee shirt, “be good to the land and the land will be good to you”.
To keep the farm family friendly, the tasting room and patio which are centrally located on the farm do not allow open bottles on the premises; they do sell their wines by the glass but limit each guest to two glasses per visit. They also do not allow outside food but sell local cheeses and other light fair.
This is the kind of place you want visit for a family outing where the kids can go berry picking or enjoy many other fun things the farm has to offer. This is not the winery you want to visit if you plan on spending an afternoon picnicking and letting the wine flow freely. That being said, it is still quite a wonderful experience for anyone who enjoys fresh and delicious products. . The farm itself is beautiful. It is also kid friendly. While I was there a lot of parents with young kids came in to do tasting after having entertained the young ones with berry picking. Kids can often feel out of place at some of the wineries.
Now that I’ve given you some idea what to expect on your visit it’s time to talk about the wines. Jones carries a mixture of fruit wines as well as the more traditional grape wine. David personally poured my tasting and was nice enough to answer all my questions. He explained that Jamie Jones, the 6th and most recent generation of Jones farmers to add something new and unique to the farm started planting grapes for the vineyard in 1999, though the first wines were not sold until 2004.
Jones offers 11 or so wines, though I think that varies on availability. Most of the wines available are either 100% estate or Connecticut grown. I highlight a few that I liked, but check out their wine list for more details.
I enjoyed their Pinto Gris which is entirely locally grown. Pinot Gris is usually my white wine of choice and this one is very pleasant, it was light and not too sweet. David mentioned the pinot was the farms signature grape, and that they had the most success with growing the pinot and the cabernet franc grapes. This brings us to another one of my favorites: the Rose of Cabernet Franc. I thought it would be a great summertime choice for red wine drinkers as it was more dry than sweet.
A good dessert wine was the Raspberry Rhapsody, which they paired with a dark chocolate during the tasting. What intrigued me most about the wine was that David mentioned he uses it in his brownie recipe. While, I sadly forgot to pick up a bottle during my trip, I plan to purchase one on my next visit and incorporate it in a new baking experiment, possibly a flowerless chocolate cake, or rich chocolate mousse.
Last but not least of my favs I experienced in the tasting is the Strawberry Serenade. It’s a sparkling wine, and what can I say, I love my bubbly! I’m trying to convince Mike that we need to buy a case of this for the champagne toast at our wedding.
While it wasn’t available yet when I visited the tasting room, I did get to try one of Jones’ newest wines at the Shoreline Wine Festival (which I hope to recap later this month). The recently created a summer red called Beacon Light No. 8,is named for an historic light tower that was in a series which guided planes from New York to Boston in the 1930’s and was at one time located nearby the vineyard.
Overall Mike and I had a lot of fun visiting Jones winery. Though I think next time I will plan ahead and see what else is going on. Their harvest kitchen hosts cooking classes and wine pairing dinners throughout the year, they hold a seasonal farmers Market on Friday’s and in the summer and fall some type of pick your own is usually going on. Check the website for more details on events.