Located just off of Rte 169 in the scenic area of Lisbon, the Heritage Trail Winery & Cafe tasting room is just in back of the original house with both inside and outside seating areas. The house is the historic John Palmer House – 1790. The outside seating area had ample tables for tasting with a great view into a lawn area leading to the vineyards. Given the right circumstances you could spend a quiet afternoon just sipping wine and tasting the many cheeses they offer at a modest price.
It has been a while since I last visited here for a couple of years and under the new management they have brought this winery up a couple of notches. If you choose to stay indoors for the tasting they have eight or nine tables to accommodate quite a crowd not to mention the air conditioning which is quite pleasing in hot weather although I tend to be like an iguana on a rock – just love that hot weather. If you haven’t visited this winery yet then be sure to put it on your list as I’m sure you will have an enjoyable time.
The wine tastings are $7 and you can buy their signature wine glass for $5 which is stemless. It took me quite a long time to warm up to stemless wine glasses. I prefer the stemmed ones but there occasions when stemless is the way to go such as when you’re having a cook-out, the stemless glasses have less of a chance of being knocked over and breaking. Can’t tell you how many stemmed wine glasses I’ve broken over the years. It really hurts when you break a Riedel. They’re not cheap and more expensive than some of the wines I have in my cellar. Anyway if you’re looking for an extra wine glass this one had a large bowl to swirl and get the ‘ol schnozzola in there to savor the aromas. For me, it was worth the $5 cost.
Here are their wines:
Quinebaug White: Made from a blend of Cayuga and Vidal grapes this wine had crisp notes of citrus with pear flavors. I’d like to try this with pesto whole wheat pasta and bay scallops. Or even a fish chowder, not to mention a few cheeses.
Chardonnay: Both pear and melon aromas and flavors were abound in this yellowish colored wine but the best part was the buttery finish at the end. I love a buttery finish in a Chardonnay.
Winthrop White: 100% Cayuga grown entirely in Connecticut yielded ripe pear and apple aromas with a hint of lemongrass. The apple and pear was also found on the palate. A really nice crisp white wine. Probably good with spicy Asian dishes.
Sweet Reserve: A 70/30 blend of Cayuga and Seyval white grapes with nuances of dried fruit. Sort of like when I’m at Whole Foods market and I walk down the dried fruit aisle. A little tough for me to pick out the specific aromas but found apricot, orange, and pineapple to be the more dominant ones.
Shetucket Red: Made with the Rubiana grape which is a creation from the cross of Buffalo and Baco Noir grapes. This wine had deep ruby colors and very fruity both on the nose and palate with a hint of cherry. Yeah, have this with pasta.
Rochambeau Red: This garnet colored wine is a blend of Villard Noir, Chambourcin, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Black berry and smoke aromas with black currant flavor with a hint of dark chocolate. I love blends. Have this with a Filet Mignon seasoned with Worcestershire pepper and sea salt – nothing more.
Cabernet Franc: A delicious red with typical cherry aroma and flavor with a hint of chocolate. I don’t care what you have this with just make sure you have it. Maybe a chocolate cake!
Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…