101. Jones Winery, Shelton, Conn from 101 Best Wineries in America 2016 Slideshow

101 Best Wineries in America 2016 Slideshow

CT Facebook/ Jones Family Farms

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101. Jones Winery, Shelton, Conn

The Jones family has farmed land in this corner of southern Connecticut, not far from New Haven, for more than 150 years, specializing in recent times in pumpkins, berries, and Christmas trees. Jamie Jones, representing the family's sixth generation, launched the winery (housed in a former Nike missile base) in 2004, after studying agriculture at Cornell University. He cultivates both vinifera and hybrid grapes — "the healthiest grapes possible in Connecticut's marginal climate," as Renée B. Allen, director of the Wine Institute of New England, a fan of the winery, puts it — and also uses some California juice, and makes several fruit wines. Jones' estate-grown Alsatian-style pinot gris and a predominately cabernet franc red wine (with some merlot and cabernet sauvignon) are tantalizing hints of what this unlikely wine country can produce, and a white blend of three hybrids, vidal blanc, seyval blanc, and cayuga white, will make tasters think twice about dissing the hybrid category. (A tart, rich black currant dessert wine is pretty good, too.)