Lost Acres Vineyard in North Granby was an apple orchard several decades ago, so when husband and wife owners Kevin Riggott and Michelle Niedermeyer bought the property in 2008, they had some confidence that grapevines would grow. They cleared the overgrown space, built a tasting room and opened to the public in 2011.
The couple was looking for an agricultural business to run together, and Riggott was a hobby winemaker, so a vineyard made sense, Niedermeyer says. She calls the bucolic rural winery "a little tiny slice of heaven."
FEATURED AND NOTEWORTHY WINES: Lost Acres Vineyard grows 5 acres of white wine grapes, and produces red wines from grapes purchased from California. The top seller is the Wedge White, a dry white blend of cayuga white, traminette, seyval blanc, vidal blanc and riesling grapes; and the Clemons Springs, a dry white blend of estate grapes, is said to be an "ideal pairing" with grilled chicken or vegetables.
Lost Acres also produces two versions of riesling, one as a drier variety, and the Salmon Brook rosé, described as light-bodied and fruity, is made with seyval blanc grapes pressed through merlot skins. The winery's Old Orchard Apple wine, which "begins with a big apple bouquet and finishes with a dry tart flavor," uses juice from apples grown by neighboring Lost Acres Orchard.
Featured red wines include a merlot, the Rockwall Red blend with "soft round berry flavors" and the Firehouse Red, a "spicy, peppery wine, with a hint of fruity flavor" recommended to be enjoyed with "typical American food" like pizzas, burgers and steaks. Lost Acres' dessert wine, Enders Reserve, is a "dense and sweet" late-harvest vidal blanc wine with apricot and honey flavors.
PRICING: Wine tastings are $7 and include samples of five wines and a complimentary logo tasting glass. Wines are $12.99 to $21.99 by the bottle and $7 by the glass.
FOOD OPTIONS: Lost Acres allows guests to bring their own food, and also sells cheese, antipasto and hummus plates in the tasting room. Cheese plates often feature sweet and savory goat cheeses from nearby Sweet Pea Farm, which originally made a special rosemary-fig flavor exclusively for the winery — until it became wildly popular and they began selling that variety to the public, Niedermeyer says with a laugh. Plates are $10 to 16, and feature bread, crackers and garnishes.
SPECIAL EVENTS: Lost Acres celebrates the town's agricultural heritage by hosting quarterly farmers markets on site, welcoming vendors selling meats, vegetables, honey, cheeses, jams and jellies and baked goods. The winery also features regular art exhibits, highlighting the work of local artists, and welcomes local musicians for performances. They've also partnered with Granby Yoga to host outdoor "Yoga in the Vines" classes.
"It's really important for us to be part of the community, for a number of different reasons," Niedermeyer says, noting that the winery's opening day was one of its "top 5 days" in the business's history, and they'd like to continue to give back to show their gratitude. "We really appreciate the fact that we are part of such a great community."
TASTING ROOM HOURS: Lost Acres is open April through Dec. 31; Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
Lost Acres Vineyard is at 80 Lost Acres Road in North Granby. 860-324-9481, lostacresvineyard.com.
This wine season, we're providing a guide to what you'll find at Connecticut's farm wineries: signature vintages and special releases, live entertainment, gourmet food options, and a few surprises (wine slushies, anyone?) We will feature a different winery every two weeks. Find the entire series here.