By Lisa Green
Music at White Silo Farm and Winery.
Last week, while doing our research to bring you a roundup of summer outdoor music series, we saw that wineries have become venues for music. We realized, too, that they are offering more than tastings along with a little music on the side. Given that the wineries’ real estate alone is worthy of a day trip, these extra-viticultural activities — dinners, yoga, chocolate pairings and more — are excellent excuses (or, rather, reasons) to visit your local wine producers.
This is just a sampling of events at some of the wineries throughout our coverage area. For more information, check the individual websites or the area’s wine trails, including the Connecticut Wine Trail
and the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail
Cascade Mountain Winery,
The future location of Summertide, a locally sourced wine, food and music festival next month, Cascade Mountain Winery has a restaurant led by executive chef Maria Laura Quintero that offers lunch on weekends. In mid July, there will be a Summer Saturday Concert Series from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. featuring local bands and BBQ every Saturday through August.
Clinton Corners, NY
The winery will celebrate its 40th vintage on Saturday, June 24 from 2 to 6 p.m. and will include tastings, a live jazz trio and a pop-up farmers market of local vendors including Crown Maple Syrup, Canoe Hill Café, Hoofprint Cheese, Beacon Bakery and Rock Steady Farm. (Read more about the vineyard's history and Phyllis Feder, the owner, in The Rural We
Talk about a perfect pairing. Here, you get the benefits of yoga and wine combined. Yoga classes (three for $50, or drop in for $20) include a post-class complimentary glass of wine. Classes are scheduled on Sundays, July 23 and August 13, 11 a.m. to noon.
Millbrook Vineyard makes the most of its impressive facilities with a host of other events: a Summer Solstice Lobster Bake, with live jazz in the background, on June 24; and an outdoor jazz concert series on Saturday evenings (with different specials at The Grille each week). Make it a regular Saturday night by purchasing a Jazz at the Grille Season Pass that includes the music, a glass of wine and your own wine canteen. Food Truck Fridays offers family-friendly menus from local food trucks from 5-8 p.m., and wines on tap for $5/glass.
New Preston, CT
Take in the view of Lake Waramaug every Saturday at Summer Sadhana Yoga from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Practice yoga outside with instructor Jacquie Rupert (class held indoors if raining) for $20/class. Or consider a moonlit evening at the fire pit. On July 9, join a crowd around the fire and enjoy music by the Kings of Karma. There will be a food truck available for dinners to go, or bring your own picnic.
This is a vineyard that caters to the legions of chocoholics who wouldn’t mind subsisting on it — and wine, of course. Haight-Brown hosts Chocolate Decadence Sunset Tours aboard a train that runs along the Naugatuck River. En route there’s live music, food and wine, and chocolate tastings. The itinerary includes a stop at Fascia’s Chocolates
for a tour and make-your-own chocolate session (and more tasting).
Let’s see, we’ve got music, yoga, chocolate, a moonlit fire pit. What’s missing? Oh yes — vintage cars. Thoughtfully, Miranda Vineyard has a “Vintages & Vintages“ annual antique car show, coming right up on June 25 from noon to 6 p.m. Bring your own vintage, (car, that is) or just come to ogle and enjoy some music, food and wine. There will be an open mic event going on at the same time. Miranda Vineyard also hosts live music every Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Sunset Meadow Vineyards,
The activity here centers on its chocolate and wine pairing sessions, which include five estate wines and five specialty chocolates, nearly every day at 11 a.m. A special message to canine lovers: Sunset Meadow Vineyards produces “Big Lab Cab,” named after the vineyard dog, Churchill, a 120-pound dog adopted by the vineyard’s owners in 2011. You have to love that a portion of the profits of this wine go to The Little Guild in Cornwall.
White Silo Farms & Winery,
This family-operated boutique winery produces wine in small batches, but that doesn’t stop it from hosting some unique events. This weekend (June 17), the winery puts on the 10th annual Rhubarb Festival. There’s Yoga in the Vineyard with Jessica and Jimmy Serra from Primary Wellness; join them on June 25 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. followed by wine tastings, iced tea, freshly baked scones and fruit. $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
Other events include BBQ in the Vineyard on July 29 from 6-8:30 p.m. with music by Marty/Kayla. On August 4, from 6-8 p.m., Jamie Ray (a.k.a. Conga J) will lead a drumming circle. $10 admission includes a glass of wine. White Silo also hosts monthly exhibitions featuring works from local artists and artisans.
Furnace Brook Winery,
The Berkshires’ best-known winery is based within Hilltop Orchards, which has sweeping views of the surrounding Berkshire Hills. A popular activity is the full moon trek (prepare to snowshoe it in winter). The hike lasts up to one-and-a-half hours, and incorporates Native American traditions relating to moonlight. Your reward for the physical effort is a bonfire, wine tasting and entertainment.