Posted on 02 January 2011.
Article and Photos By: Maria Moore
Jerram Winery in New Hartford has joined with 5 other wineries to offer a winter trail like no other: A Winter Wine Trail where you can visit each of the six participating wineries between January 1 and March 1 and enter to win some great prizes; see the press release at the foot of this article. And so yesterday afternoon, faced with a choice between helping her husband Bob with his wood trip or doing research for this article, our reporter, as always took the high road (or rather the road up the hill) and visited the Jerrams at their winery.
Vintner Jim Jerram was behind the counter in the tasting barn of his Jerram Winery, tending to a couple who were there enjoying his winery’s New Year’s Special: a taste of 8 wines and assorted cheeses for $25. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming and our reporter soon found herself included in the group.
The wine-tasting couple, Jim Gargiulo and his partner Charlene Mason chatted with Jim as he described the qualities of each of the wines they were tasting, Charlene in her stemmed wine glass and Jim in his stemless one. Our reporter, who spends much less time in wineries than she would like to, commented on Jim’s stemless glass and asked whether that was a better way to enjoy the wine. “We’re doing an informal survey.” Jim Jerram replied, pulling out a notepad from behind him and quickly summing up the notes. “So far we’ve had 30 visitors use the stemless glasses and 40 the stemmed.” As to whether either type of glass gave a better experience of the wine, the vintner replied: “It depends on the wine and on the individual’s preferences,” adding that nowadays there are no set rules on how to best enjoy wine. “I chose the stemless glass because I can warm the glass a little with my hand which releases the bouquet of the wine.” Jim Gargiulo said of his choice of glass. And Charlene, picking up her glass, added that she tended to hold her stemmed glass by the top of the stem at the base of the glass. And our reporter? Old habits die hard and she continued holding the glass by the stem, enjoying the smell as well as the taste of the wine with each sip.
The wine tasting continued amid pleasant conversation and then, all too soon, it was time for our reporter to take her leave. But not before drinking the last few sips of ‘Aurora,’ her chosen wine on this visit, a fruity wine without being too sweet. “This is a nice wine.” She commented and Charlene, after checking her list of wines she had tasted, agreed, adding: “That’s the wine I’ve like best!” “That’s Maureen’s favorite wine,” Jim volunteered. And Jim Gargiulo? No comment from him as he continued to enjoy his glass of Nor’Easter.
About Jerram Winery: Jim and Maureen Jerram have operated their winery since 1998. The winery is located at 535 Town Hill Road (at the top of the hill) on Route 219 in New Hartford. The Jerrams are open 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on weekends from January through April, and 11:00 until 5:00 p.m. on weekends from May through December. Hours may vary depending on the weather, when visitors arrive, etc. A good rule of thumb, Jim said, is to call ahead: 860-379-8749.
Many Thanks: To Jim Gargiuolo and Charlene Mason for their friendliness and camaraderie: “Salut!”
Many Thanks Also: To Jim Jerram for his easy manner, whether pouring the next glass of wine or sharing his expertise. Jim personifies: “Bienvenue” ~ perhaps the name of his next wine?
See also our February 15, 2009 on the Jerram Winery Good Wine Flows From Three Generations of Jerrams.
Jim Jerram talks about the qualities of his proprietary red wine, Nor'Easter which he has just poured for Jim Gargiulo and Charlene Mason during the couple's wine tasting trip to the winery on New Year's Day. Photo: Maria Moore
2nd Annual Litchfield Hills Winter Wine Trail
Following is the press release for the Winter Wine Trail which led to our reporter’s visit to her neighbors’ winery up Town Hill:
Do you only drink wine in the summer? Then why should you only wine taste in the summer? Come see what the local vineyards have to offer in the winter, and we will heat up the trip. Visit the six participating wineries on the Litchfield Hills Winter Wine Trail between January 1st and March 1st and be entered into a Grand Prize Drawing.
Pick up a FREE registration card at any of the following wineries:
+ DiGrazia Vineyards, 131 Tower Rd., Brookfield;
+ Jerram Winery, 535 Town Hill Rd. Rt 219 New Hartford;
+ Haight-Brown Vineyard, 29 Chestnut Hill Rd. Litchfield;
+ Hopkins Vineyard, 25 Hopkins Rd. New Preston;
+ Miranda Vineyard, 42 Ives Rd. Goshen;
+ Sunset Meadow Vineyards, 599 Old Middle St., Goshen.
Use the registration card as your guide through the trail. Have it signed at each winery. Upon visiting all six wineries, turn in your card for entry in the drawing to be held on March 23rd.
Grand prize: Package of Two Free Wine Tastings at each participating winery;
Second Place Prize: Overnight stay at the Tollgate Hill Inn.
Third Prize: Dinner at a Litchfield County Restaurant.
There is no cost to enter this program, though it is limited to the first 1,000 participants. Registration cards available for pick-up on or after Jan. 1st Please call for updated hours prior to visiting, as each winery’s operational hours vary.
The Winter Wine Trail is organized by Tina Lambro of the Haight-Brown Vineyard. For more information about the Winter Wine Trail, please call 860-307-5426. Or just ask Jim, Maureen or one of the other vintners on your next stop on the Winter Wine Trail.
To learn more about Connecticut wineries and to learn about the CT Wine Passport, a state-sponsored Wine Trail which includes all Connecticut wineries and runs between May and November, please visit the Connecticut Wine Trail website.
You may also download a copy of the Guide to Connecticut Farm Wineries on the CT Department of Agriculture’s website.