Summary: Maugle Sierra Vineyards, established in 2002, opened the winery in 2008. Currently they are renovating a larger space for wine tastings that will open in Fall 2009. The winery invites visitors to bring picnic baskets as well as plan parties at the winery. Most of all they want everyone to enjoy food, friends and wine.
An American flag waves next to the wine bottle sign highlighting the entrance to the driveway. Paul and Betty Maugle dreamed of opening a winery and Maugle Sierra Vineyards is a result of their “long time goal.” The Maugle’s established the vineyards on a 17th century 97 acre farmstead in 2002 and by 2008 opened the tasting room. Outside several tables with colorful umbrellas are available where visitors can enjoy a glass or bottle of Maugle Sierra wine.
We enjoyed our visit to Maugle Sierra Vineyards where the ambiance of the tasting room provides a delightful wine experience. The small tasting room is friendly and comfy. Betty has added many decorative embellishments to the tasting room. In addition, photos and paintings from local artists are available for sale. Paul Maugle gave his wife full credit for the wonderful ambiance of the tasting room. Betty assured me that she would decorate the new tasting room as well as she has the current tasting room. Undoubtedly the new tasting room will also be delightful.
Paul decided to plant cold weather hybrids rather than vinifera grapes for this area of Connecticut. The vineyards consist of seven acres of St. Croix with additional plantings of St. Pepin, Cayuga and Traminette. Total vineyard acreage is 11 acres. Currently the winery produces 1,500 cases and the owners would like to increase production.
We tasted several wines beginning with the Ledyard House White. It was produced in stainless steel tanks with Chardonnay and a dash of Vidal. There was pear on the aroma and taste while the finish was crisp. Paul suggested to pair the wine with oysters. Ledyard House Rosé was a blend of the estate St. Croix with a splash of white Merlot. The color was a light reddish-orange and the aroma was of citrus with a smooth strawberry taste. The wine was also crisp and would match well with Connecticut lobster. Ledyard Sunset White was produced from Vidal grapes. It was aged in French oak for a year. The color was yellow. The aroma was floral while the taste had rose and apricot nuances. The finish was sweet with a long aftertaste. Try this wine with blue cheese and wlanuts.
Ledyard House Red was a blend of the estate grown St. Croix and Merlot. The color was a dark red. The aroma was of blackberries while the smooth taste offered nuances of blackberries and currants. The finish was crisp with mild tannins. Pair this wine with grilled food, cheeses or chocolate. Ledyard Sunset Red was a blend of the estate grown St. Croix and Cabernet Franc. The color of the wine was sienna. The aroma was of blackberries. The taste offered blackberry and pepper nuances. The finish was crisp with pepper on the finish. The Ledyard Estate grown St. Croix was aged in American oak barrels delivering intense black fruit aromas. The taste was fruit forward and smooth. This intensively fruit forward wine finished in a semi-dry style, capturing the unique blackberry, plum and currant fruit flavors. This wine would match well with spicy cuisine, red pasta sauce, cheese or chocolates.
Enjoy a spontaneous or planned visit to Maugle Sierra Vineyards and plan to take a picnic basket.
Maugle Sierra Vineyards & Winery
825 Colonel Ledyard Highway
Ledyard, CT 06339
GPS: N41º 27.261’ W72º 01.020’