Monday, August 04, 2008

Litchfield Times Promotes Connecticut Wineries and Statewide Promotion

Full Flavors at Area Wineries
By: Vanessa Lynn Pinheiro 07/31/2008
Litchfield County Times

Why go through all the hassle of airport security and then settle for airplane food when many of the luxuries of a European vacation can be enjoyed in and around Litchfield County?

Quality hotels, great food and phenomenal wines are just a scenic drive away, and as Gov. M. Jodi Rell says in her "Staycation" commercials, "less miles, more smiles, more fun." The Litchfield Hills are filled with fun summer activities that are not just for children.

For those wine connoisseurs out there who had dreams of sipping wine in a fabulous European cafe this summer, but the rise in fuel prices quickly nixed that agenda, the same experience can be enjoyed locally.

To satisfy the feeling of being away, Connecticut boasts 24 vineyards on the statewide wine trail and 11 of them are right here in Litchfield County. The lushness and views from these vineyards are reminiscent of faraway places with no passport required.

Well, a certain type of passport is required to fully enjoy what the local vineyards have to offer. The Connecticut Farm Wine Development Council has created a Connecticut Wine Trail's Passport Program-a handy booklet with a page of information for each of the 24 vineyards-and lucky participants will receive their European fix.
According to the program, vineyard visitors who have their passport stamped at 14 of the 24 stops by Nov. 7 will be entered in a drawing for valuable prizes, and two lucky winners will enjoy a 13-night stay for two at the Benaldaena Palace, a four-star property in Spain, complete with indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, spa and restaurant with views overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The prize includes one-room, double occupancy, and room tax. Round-trip airfare for two people to Spain is provided by the Connecticut Farm Wine Development Council. Transportation to and from the airport is not included in the package. Winners of the two top prizes must take the trip between Feb. 1 to 14, 2009 and Feb.15 to 28, 2009.

In addition to the two big winners, 15 closer-to-home weekend getaways for two will be awarded at the Courtyard by Marriott in Norwich.