Some claim that CT vineyards brought in unlabeled bottled wine from out of state and slapped a Connecticut label on it. (Staff illustration / July 2, 2013)

"That happens in every state, in every wine industry," he says. "There's always stuff like that going on. It's kind of the reality of the industry on a worldwide scale."

Jones says virtually all Connecticut vineyards use grapes from California or New York's Finger Lakes or some other big grape-producing region. "Our winery uses predominantly Connecticut fruit," he adds, "but we have a couple of wines made from California fruit" that are clearly labeled that way.

Connecticut's climate makes it a rugged place to produce wine grapes, and the wine produced here sometimes doesn't meet the tastes of wine drinkers who want big, full-bodied beverages.

The trouble is when a vineyard claims wine made from out-of-state fruit is from grapes grown here. "It's a problem when it's not being labeled for what it is," Jones says. It can be tempting for a Connecticut vineyard owner to say, "Oh, we made it here and the grapes grew here," according to Jones, because lots of the folks who visit our state wineries "don't want something that isn't grown here."

So Jones and the rest of Connecticut's wine makers continue to wait for some answers to the questions raised about their industry. Heading into this year's wine tourism season, it sounds like they're getting impatient.

As Criollo says, "It's been an awfully long time."

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