Attractions

13 Excellent New England Wineries to Go Wine Tasting

While California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma remain the top wine regions in the US, New England wineries and vineyards are steadily growing and becoming well-known among wine lovers.

Some may wonder how this region with cold winters and short, humid summers can support vineyards. The answer is in developing hybrid grapes that can withstand the cold and resist disease from the humid summers.

Read on to find our list of the best New England wineries sorted by state, as well as other ways to explore the wineries in this region.

Best Connecticut Wineries

Connecticut wineries benefit from its relatively flat topography and moderate climate, enabling them to grow many different grape varieties and offer just about every type of wine.

1. Gouveia Vineyards – Wallingford, CT

Gouveia Vineyards - Wallingford, Connecticut
Photo Credit: David Brooks

From a vacant farm, husband and wife Joe and Lucy Gouveia and their family hand-planted a vineyard and established Gouveia Vineyards.

Now, they produce over 90,000 bottles a year, adhering to traditional Portuguese winemaking skills.

Their winery in The Stone House offers a spectacular 360-degree view of woodlands, fields, and 32 acres of pristine vineyards.

You can bring a picnic during the summer or bundle up near the fire during the winter.

Essential Information
Address: 1339 Whirlwind Hill Rd, Wallingford, CT 06492 | 203-265-5526
Must-try Products: Cayuga White, Stone House Red
Winery Hours: Fall and Winter: Mon–Sun 11am–6pm; Spring and Summer: Mon–Sat 11am–8pm; Sun 11am–6pm
Tastings: Not currently offered; check back on their website for announcements
Tours: Not currently offered; check back on their website for then they resume
Kid-friendly: Yes
Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash and only outdoors
Accessible: Yes
Website: Gouveia Vineyards

2. Maugle Sierra Vineyards – Ledyard, CT

Maugle Sierra Vineyards produces premium wine from Estate Connecticut and New England Grapes.

While sipping, you can picnic on their wine patio or the Rendezvous Overlook to view 11 acres of grape-growing vines on the sprawling country estate among the fresh coastal breeze. Stay till late afternoon to enjoy the gorgeous sunset.

They offer tastings of five of their wines: House White, Sunset White, Rendezvous, St. Croix, and House Red. One to five people can walk in during opening to 30 minutes before closing time, but groups of six or more need to email info[at]mauglesierravineyards[dot]com and pay in advance.

Essential Information
Address: 825 Colonel Ledyard Hwy, Ledyard, CT 06339 | 860-464-2987
Must-try Products: St. Croix, Rendezvous
Winery Hours: Thu 12pm–5pm; Fri–Sun 12pm–6pm
Tastings: From opening till 30 minutes before closing
Tastings Cost: $15 per head
Kid-friendly: Yes
Pet-friendly: Yes
Accessible: Yes
Website: Maugle Sierra Vineyards

Other Notable Wineries in Connecticut

Best Maine Wineries

Winemakers in Maine are ingenious and have found a way to overcome less than ideal soil conditions and growing seasons.

3. Bar Harbor Cellars – Bar Harbor, ME

Located on Mount Desert Island, on 100-acre Sweet Pea Farm, Bar Harbor Cellars produces both traditional grape wines as well as more creative fruit wines sourced from local fruit, such as their Blueberry Wine.

The winery is a favorite destination of passengers of cruise ships that dock on Bar Harbor.

Sweet Pea Café is also located on the grounds, where you can have some of their wood-fired pizza made with farm-to-table ingredients.

Essential Information
Address: 854 ME-3, Bar Harbor, ME 04609 | 207-288-3907
Must-try Products: Blueberry Wine, Cranberry Wine
Winery Hours: May to October: Tue–Sun 10am–5pm; closed for the rest of the year
Tastings and Tours: May to October: Tue–Sun 10am–4:30pm
Cost: $12 per head
Sweet Pea Café Hours: May to October: Tue–Fri 4pm–8pm
Kid-friendly: Yes
Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash, only outdoors
Website: Bar Harbor Cellars

4. Bartlett Estate Winery – Gouldsboro, ME

Of these New England wineries, Bartlett Estate Winery is probably one of the more unique ones.

Their winery doesn’t use grapes at all. Instead, they use blueberry for reds, pears and apples for whites, and blackberries for dessert wine.

What’s more, Bartlett wines are naturally fermented, using minimal intervention practices.

Their sister company, Bartlett Spirits of Maine Distillery, produces award-winning rum and brandy.

Essential Information
Address: 175 Chicken Mill Pond Rd. Gouldsboro, ME 04607 | 207-546-2408
Must-try Products: Pear French Oak Dry, Blueberry Oak Dry; Rusticator Rum
Winery Hours: Wed–Sat 11am–4pm; closed for the rest of the year
Tastings: June to October: Wed–Sat 11am–4pm; rest of the year: by appointment only
Tours: Not currently offered; check back on their website to find out when they resume
Website: Bartlett Estate Winery

Other Notable Wineries in Maine

Best Massachusetts Wineries

Massachusetts wineries have thrived for centuries, dating back to the pilgrim days. Many of these wineries are located within the state’s southern region, but there are great wineries up north as well.

5. Plymouth Bay Winery – Plymouth, MA

Plymouth Bay Winery produces a variety of wines from locally grown native grapes and berries.

Aside from their award-winning wine, a selection of their wine jellies and cooking sauces are available for tasting. Kids will especially enjoy the jellies.

Tastings are available for walk-ins and reservations through Open Table. Reservations are recommended for groups of 8 or more so the normal 60-minute slot can be extended to 90 minutes.

Essential Information
Address: Rear Building, 114 Water St, Plymouth, MA 02360 | 508-746-2100
Must-try Products: Widow’s Walk, Cranberry Blush, Bad Newz Jelly
Winery Hours: Mon–Fri 12pm–6pm, Sat 12pm–7pm, Sun 12pm–7pm
Tastings: Mon–Sat 12pm–4:45pm, Sun 12–4:30pm
Cost: $12 per head to try 5 wines; $16 per head to try all wines except Limited Series Varietals; $4 for individual food plates
Kid-friendly: Yes
Website: Plymouth Bay Winery

6. Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod – North Truro, MA

With over 75% of its land designated as a National Seashore, Truro seems an unlikely place for a vineyard.

And yet this is the only vinifera vineyard in Cape Cod, growing Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. This makes Truro Vineyards one of the must-visit New England wineries. They also source grapes from Massachusetts, New York, and California.

On the grounds, you can also find South Hollow Spirits, producing Rum, Gin, and Amaro Liqueur. You can also find Blackfish Restaurant’s Crush Pad Food Truck where you can buy lobster rolls and burgers.

Walk-in visitors can enjoy a tasting of a flight of 5 wines. Groups can reserve tables for a more relaxed and scenic experience.

Essential Information
Address: 11 Shore Rd, North Truro, MA 02652 | 508-487-6200
Must-try Products: Cranberry Red, Cape Blush, Cabernet Franc
Winery Hours: Mon–Sat 11am–5pm, Sun 12pm–5pm
Tastings: Flights of 5 (walk-ins allowed): Mon–Sat 11am–5pm, Sun 12pm–5pm; Customized Group Tasting (reservations required): Mon–Sat 11am–5pm, Sun 12pm–5pm; Private Tasting (reservations required): Mon–Sun 12pm and 2pm
Cost: Flights of 5: $15 per head; Customized Group Tasting: $30 per head; Private Tasting: $45 per head
Tours: Memorial Day to Columbus Day: Mon–Sun, 1pm and 3pm
Kid-friendly: Yes
Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash
Accessible: Yes
Website: Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod

7. Nashoba Valley Winery – Bolton, MA

Nashoba Winery - Bolton, Massachusetts
Photo Credit: Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism

Spread out over 68 acres of vineyards and orchards, Nashoba Valley Winery is Massachusetts’s leading fruit wine producer and the nation’s pioneering “winery orchard.”

They offer over 30 different types of wines, including 14 traditional vintages made from grapes.

Tastings and tours are by reservation only. Book a tasting here and book a tour here.

Apple and peach picking on their orchard are also available depending on the season; apple-picking season runs from late August to early November, while peach-picking season runs from late June to mid-September.

Also on the grounds are The Vintner’s Knoll (outdoor dining and picnic grounds), J’s Restaurant (indoor dining), Nashoba Valley Spirits (producing gin, vodka, whiskey, liqueurs, and brandy), and Bolton Beer Works (producing beer and ciders).

Essential Information
Address: 100 Wattaquadock Hill Rd, Bolton, MA 01740 | 978-779-5521
Must-try Products: Cranberry Apple Wine, Strawberry Rhubarb, Vidal Blanc, Estate Cabernet Franc
Winery Hours: Sun–Wed 11am–5pm, Thu–Sat 11am–6pm
Tastings: Mon–Wed 11:30am–4:15pm, Thu–Fri 11:30am–5:15pm, Sat 11am–5:15pm, Sun 11am–4:15pm (45-minute slots, maximum of 6 people)
Cost: $17 per head (flight of 8 wines)
Tours: Sat–Sun 11:30am–4:45pm (45-minute slots, maximum of 15 people)
Cost: $18 per head (with tasting); $8 per head (without tasting and for kids)
Kid-friendly: Yes
Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash, only outdoors
Website: Nashoba Valley Winery, Distillery, Brewery and Restaurant

Other Notable Wineries in Massachusetts

Best New Hampshire Wineries

The New Hampshire wine industry is young compared to other wineries in the country and even other New England wineries. Many of New Hampshire’s vines were planted in the 1990s.

Despite that, New Hampshire has become a world-class wine destination and home to some of the best New England wineries.

8. Seven Birches Winery – Lincoln, NH

Located within the 5-star RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain, Seven Birches Winery hand-crafts wines using European grape varietals and locally sourced fruits.

They offer a variety of tasting experiences. They have a Meet the Winemaker Tour on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and tour with the pros on Sunday afternoons. They include a full flight of wine samples.

Or you can walk in any other afternoon and taste 5 of their wines.

Essential Information
Address: 22 S Mountain Dr, Lincoln, NH 03251 | 603-745-7550
Must-try Products: Strawberry Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Legacy
Winery Hours: Mon–Fri 1pm–6pm, Sat 12pm–7pm, Sun 11am–6pm
Winery Tasting Room Experience: Mon–Fri 1pm–6pm, Sat 12pm–7pm, Sun 11am–6pm (except Wed 3pm, Sat 12pm and 3pm, and Sun 12pm)
Cost: $15 per head for a tasting flight of 5 wines
“Meet the Winemaker” Winery Tour: Wed 3pm, Sat 12pm and 3pm
Cost: $40
Vineyard Talk with the Vineyard Manager: Sat 2pm
Cost: Free
Taste Local, Talk Global: Wine Tasting With The Pros: Sun 12pm
Cost: $40
Kid-friendly: Yes
Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash, only outdoors
Websites:
Seven Birches Winery
RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain

9. LaBelle Winery – Amherst, NH

LaBelle Winery grows six grape varietals grown in their vineyard. They also use grapes from New York and Washington State and other New Hampshire-grown fruits to produce their award-winning wines.

Their flagship location is in Amherst, which is also where their wines are made and bottled. They have another newly opened vineyard in Derry and a winery in Portsmouth at the heart of historic Market Square.

The winery at Amherst is also home to The Bistro restaurant and is a popular wedding and events venue.

Essential Information
Address: 345 Route 101, Amherst, NH 03031 | 603-672-9898
Must-try Products: Americus, Dry Blueberry, Seyval Blanc
Winery Hours: Mon–Tue 12pm–4pm, Wed–Sun 12pm–5pm
Tastings: During winery hours, no reservation required
Cost: $14 per head (flight of 6); $20 per head (flight of 10; available only from Mon–Fri)
Tours: Sat–Sun 12pm–5pm, every hour, no reservation required
Private Tastings and Tour: Sat–Sun, 12:30pm, 2pm, and 3:30pm, reservations required
Cost: $30 per head, minimum of 4 people
Kid-friendly: Yes (restaurant)
Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash, only outdoors
Accessible: Yes (restaurant)
Website: LaBelle Winery in Amherst

Other Notable Wineries in New Hampshire

Best Rhode Island Wineries

Rhode Island’s coastal location and spring-fall climate surprisingly produces excellent grapes for a variety of wines. Their wineries are on beautiful, often historic properties that provide gorgeous views, making them some of the highest-rated New England wineries.

10. Newport Vineyards – Middletown, RI

Family-owned and operated Newport Vineyards is situated on over 100 acres of historically preserved farmland in Aquidneck Island, over 50 acres of which are vines.

The grounds are also home to the Brix Restaurant, Taproot Brewing Co., a café, and a marketplace.

Picnics are not allowed, and traditional wine tastings aren’t currently offered. However, you can make reservations to be seated at their indoor winery/brewery, covered vineyard porch, outdoor brewery lawn, or tank room patio, where you can enjoy wine and beer tasting flights.

Essential Information
Address: 909 E Main Rd, Middletown, RI 02842 | 401-848-5161
Must-try Products: Great White, Rhody Coyote, Riesling
Winery Hours: Sun–Thu 11am–6pm, Fri–Sat 11am–8pm
Kid-friendly: Yes
Website: Newport Vineyards

11. Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard – Little Compton, RI

Sakonnet Vineyard - Little Compton, Rhode Island
Photo Credit: Peter Rintels

Founded over forty years ago and spread over 160 acres of land, Sakonnet Vineyard is the oldest and one of the biggest New England wineries. They produce whites, reds, rosés, and dessert wines.

Traditional tastings and tours aren’t currently offered, but they do offer tasting flights plus grab and go food that you can enjoy on the grounds. There are picnic tables and Adirondack tables and chairs available, and you can also bring your own blankets and chairs.

Essential Information
Address: 162 W Main Rd. Little Compton, RI 02837 | 401-635-8486
Must-try Products: NV Rhode Island Red, NV White Lotus
Winery Hours: Fri–Mon 12pm–5pm
Kid-friendly: Yes
Accessible: Yes
Website: Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard

Other Notable Wineries in Rhode Island

Best Vermont Wineries

Vermont’s apple orchards have been providing New England with fresh apples, apple pies, and apple cider.

But more and more vineyards have been cropping up throughout Vermont, with their products being sold all throughout the state and winning acclaim and awards. It’s safe to say that the Vermont wine industry is steadily growing and will be around for years to come.

12. Snow Farm Vineyard and Winery – South Hero, VT

Snow Farm Vineyard - South Hero, Vermont
Photo Credit: Kaitlin

Opened in 1997, Snow Farm Vineyard is Vermont’s first grape vineyard and winery. Being on an island in the middle of Lake Champlain enables their vineyard to grow vinifera grapes that thrive in cooler climates.

They offer wine tastings for walk-in visitors with flights of 4 or 8 wines. You can enjoy these flights on their patio, with views of the mountains as well as the vineyard. Or you can head out to the lawn during the summer months and have a picnic.

They don’t hold guided tours of their vineyards, but you’re free to walk around on a self-guided tour.

Essential Information
Address: 190 W Shore Rd, South Hero, VT 05486 | 802-372-9463
Must-try Products: Snow White, Rose Red, Ice Wine Vidal Blanc, Late Harvest Vignoles
Winery Hours: Sun–Mon 11am–5pm
Kid-friendly: Yes
Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash, only outdoors
Accessible: Yes
Website: Snow Farm Vineyard & Winery

13. Lincoln Peak Vineyard – New Haven, VT

Lincoln Peak Vineyard started out as a strawberry farm and an apple tree nursery. When cold-hardy grapes became popular, the strawberry farm gave way to grapes, specifically Marquette and Farnsworth grapes, which they’ve used to produce award-winning reds and rosés.

Wine tastings are available for visitors, but reservations are required. You can choose to sample their wines in their tasting room, the bar, or on the porch.

Essential Information
Address: 142 River Rd, New Haven, VT 05472 | 802-388-7368
Must-try Products: Marquette Red
Winery Hours: Fri–Sun 12pm–7pm
Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash
Website: Lincoln Peak Vineyard

Other Notable Wineries in Vermont

Other Ways to Explore New England Wineries

Most of the wineries I’ve listed are included in these wine trails established by different wine associations in New England. If you’re visiting only one state or only have time for a few noted wineries, you can find inspiration in these websites.

Tips When Visiting New England Wineries

Here are some more tips so you can enjoy your tour through these wineries.

1. Get started early.

As you may have noticed, tasting rooms are open from around lunchtime to sunset. Scheduling your tasting slot earlier in the day gives you a lot of time to explore the winery and other things to do there.

2. Learn wine tasting basics.

You’ll have a higher appreciation for the wines you’re tasting when you know how to evaluate them. Here’s a useful infographic to study.

3. Think hard before you take your kids to a wine tasting.

Do your research on the wineries and vineyards you’re going to visit and learn whether kids are welcome and if they have activities for them. It’s best to bring stuff to keep them occupied and behaved.

4. Be mindful of tasting room etiquette.

Call or book in advance if you have a large party, dress appropriately, and buy at least one product.

5. Don’t drink and drive.

This is perhaps the most important rule of all. Plan your transportation in advance or have a designated driver with you who won’t participate in the tasting.

Ready to Tour These New England Wineries and Vineyards?

As you have probably learned by now, this list is by no means a complete list. There are so many other wonderful wineries to visit and discover throughout New England. Use this list as a mere starting point to plan your own wine-tasting tour that you and your companions will enjoy.

Other Alcohol-Related Trails

Getting to know a region’s beverage of choice gives you a unique insight into that region’s history, culture, and people. Check out our other articles on alcohol-themed trips:

Have you ever had New England wine? Which winery are you planning to visit first? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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