SHELTON, Conn. — If you're counting and you're a wine lover, 37 is the number to know. That's how many farm wineries are in the state of Connecticut.
On Thursday, Gov. Dannel Malloy paid a visit to Jones Family Farms in Shelton to announce the start of the Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries Program — a fun way to track your visits.
The passport program is the state’s annual promotion offering incentives to visitors who support the local businesses. Connecticut has 37 farm wineries that grow their own grapes, including the addition of three new wineries in Granby, Lyme and Waterford that recently opened and joined the Passport program for the first time this year.
“This is a great time of year to visit a vineyard, and Connecticut is a great destination for people looking to explore quality, farm wineries,” Malloy said in his Shelton visit. “We have more than three-dozen vineyards that produce a number of high-quality wines.”
To participate, get a booklet – designed to look like an actual passport – at any of the state’s 37 farm wineries. At each visit to a new winery during the season, bring along the passport and have it stamped. Once you have at least 16 stamps, enter to win a number of prizes, including a two-week trip to Spain.
A complete listing of Connecticut’s wineries and additional information is available at www.passporttoctfarmwine.com .
Participants must be at least 21 and can submit only one passport per person in the drawing. The program, operated by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, runs from May 5 to Nov. 5. The drawing will be held on Dec. 7.
Over 60,000 passports were distributed under the program last year, helping to generate an estimated $1 million in direct sales for the wineries, and at least an equal amount in economic activity from participants visiting restaurants and other venues in the area.
In 2016, more than 160,000 gallons of wines were produced in Connecticut – accounting for more than 800,000 bottles.
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