For a half century, the Fascia family tree has been made of solid chocolate. John and Helen Fascia first began making the treats in 1964, with their three daughters helping out in the family's kitchen. Eventually, the business grew out of the house and today the Fascia's chocolates can be found throughout Connecticut and at their central Waterbury factory. The family still leads the team and continues to make small batches of hand-crafted chocolates as well as other treats?including gelato.
Since opening in 1975, Haight-Brown Vineyard has churned out 2,000 cases of grape-based libations each year from its nearly 10-acre vineyard and welcomed visitors into its rustic, cottage-like wine house. Emphasizing vinifera and French hybrid grapes, the state’s first-established winery creates a selection of wines that include the Big Red, a bold syrah; the Morning Harvest, a rich malbec; and Honey Nut Apple, a traditional apple wine that incorporates local honey and cinnamon. Vintners share their time-tested expertise during regular classes that teach aspiring oenophiles about a variety of vintages and techniques for cheese and chocolate pairing. Amid the tasting room’s wood accents and crackling stone fireplace, customers sample vintages and attempt to describe taste sensations with adjectives such as “silky” or “very different from milk.”
Each ingredient that sits in the kitchen at Maciavelli's Italian Restaurant was personally approved by the head chef. A keen eye keeps only the freshest options on hand, such as the broccoli that tops the veggie special pizza and the ricotta cheese stuffed inside the baked shells platter. The chefs also cook trays of bake ziti, veal cutlets, and stuffed mushrooms for birthdays, graduation parties, and couples massages.
Manny Miranda learned the art of winemaking from his father and grandfather, who hand-pressed their grapes in the courtyard of his childhood home in Portugal. Fifty years later, with the help of his wife Maria, Manny finally opened his own winery, Miranda Vineyard, and began fermenting delicately balanced vintages. In the past few years, wine-competition judges have taken notice: Miranda’s seyval blanc earned a 2010 Gran Harvester Award silver medal for its fruity taste, as light and crisp as a helium-filled apple. In addition, the Vinho Fino collected a 2010 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition gold medal. The sprawling grounds of the winery play host to soft picnic blankets topped with lunching visitors, live concerts, Shakespearean performances, and tour groups of parched raisins.
More than 13,000 grapevines coil along fences at Sunset Meadow Vineyards, spanning more than 50 acres of rolling fields atop Litchfield Hills. The vineyard's keepers prune those vines by hand, harvesting grapes to make award-winning wines such as a chardonnay that took home a gold medal in 2012's International Eastern Wine Competition. Visitors can drop by to sample pours paired with cheese, smoked meats, and chocolate, or attend one of the vineyard's many events, such as the annual Harvest Festival. While the vineyard does not allow outside beverages, it does welcome outside snacks to complement purchases of its wines, and picnickers will be happy to discover that the breathtaking hillsides face west, giving a clear view of the sunset as well as the cowboys who ride off into it.
The town of Kent, about 1 mile away from Club Getaway, charms visitors with its small-town atmosphere and eclectic attractions. Pedestrians saunter alongside rustic wooden storefronts, passing a diverse collection of local cafés and shops. Kent’s many galleries host frequent exhibitions with handmade pieces lining walls and shelves, a reflection of the town’s longstanding appreciation for the arts. Club Getaway’s foliage-filled landscape extends beyond its borders into other nearby parks. A stately string of waterfalls glide down 250 feet of limestone hills at Kent Falls State Park, about a 10-minute drive from Club Getaway. A designated trout park, Kent Falls also provides hikers with a steep, quarter-mile journey next to the tumbling water. Other parks in close proximity host campgrounds, picnic areas, and swimming sites.