Travel Guide: Kick Back with Award-winning Wines in Connecticut

Grade-A wine country and vineyards are just a short (and scenic) drive away from Boston.

Retreat to opulence in one of the Mayflower’s country house-inspired suites. / Courtesy photo


Suite Dreams

When it comes to lodging, location is key. That’s why the five-star Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington is perfect: Not only is the place gorgeous—it’s owned by luxury resort group Auberge—but it’s also centrally located among the best wineries western Connecticut has to offer. Book one of Mayflower’s premium suites to enjoy a private balcony overlooking the property’s 58 acres of landscaped grounds and woodland (it also has a gas fireplace and soaking tub for cozy nights). The Well, Mayflower’s state-of-the-art wellness destination, takes holistic health to a whole new level and is replete with expert-led health coaching sessions, daily workshops, and restorative spa treatments that incorporate East-meets-West healing practices and ingredients that are rooted in the region.

Savor New American fare at Arethusa al Tavolo. / Photo by Winter Caplanson/CT Food & Farm


Fresh Fare

Tucked away in northwestern Connecticut is Arethusa al Tavolo, a 2022 Connecticut magazine reader’s choice pick for best New American restaurant. (It’s also a repeat Wine Spectator winner and an OpenTable favorite.) The farm-to-table spot uses only the freshest local fare—including dairy products from the Arethusa Farm—to populate its changing seasonal menu. Of the starters, a yellowtail tartare could give way to a spring-pea flatbread with house ricotta or a kale salad with muscat grapes and pickled beets. Entrées run the gamut from chicken poached in Arethusa butter to a vegetable Wellington made with whatever’s in season. Believe us: Each of Arethusa’s many accolades is well-earned.

Hawk Ridge Winery’s “All Day Rosé” earns top honors. / Courtesy photo


Rosé All Day

Time to hit the trail—the Wine Trail, that is. If you’re sticking to western Connecticut, you’ll want to stop by Newtown’s Aquila’s Nest Vineyards, one of the newer state wineries with a myriad of outdoor sipping spaces. Book the Arabian Nights–inspired pergola, for example, under which you can enjoy a bottle of “The Amazons” Baco noir by a lantern-lit fire pit. There’s also Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown, a Constitution State favorite due to its award-winning wines and grounds overlooking bucolic hills. Kick back with a glass of the gold-medal-winning “All Day Rosé” (or try a wine slushie), settle in to enjoy the scenery, and start planning your next trip to the region—with over 40 wineries, you won’t be able to hit all of them in one weekend trip.