Fall is a great time to hit the Connecticut wine trail while you take in New England's foliage.
Wine from Connecticut? Yes indeed. Touring Connecticut's farm wineries is a great weekend excursion, right along with apple-picking and pumpkin patches. Most vineyards harvest their grapes this time of the year and host special events along with regular wine tastings and tours.
Connecticut currently boasts about 30 farm wineries across the state -- from Hopkins Vineyard in Litchfield County to Cassidy Hill in Coventry. The number has almost doubled since 2007.
"In a time where a lot of small businesses are closing, you have farm wineries that are opening and offering jobs, especially during harvest time when they might hire extra help," said Smith.
Winemaking is one of the fastest growing sectors of the local economy. Smith says Connecticut has varying "microclimates" that make it great for grape production.
Connecticut's agriculture department has an entire lab dedicated to grape production. From these experimentation stations, the scientists work with several farms, suggesting what grapes would grow best in their regions.