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.
With the ultimate goal of increasing profits for their clients, the business analysts at AVS Energy, LLC comb through every aspect of business in search of inefficiency. They scrutinize 260 areas of accounting, budgeting, and operations, and they develop creative solutions that are informed by years of experience. Before investigating special projects or everyday work, the team conducts free consultations.
Thunder Crest Performance Horses instructor Kait takes a relaxed and positive approach to instruction. She's honed this technique over an equestrian career that started when she was just 8 years old, when she was riding and jumping on competitive circuits and most other kids were only climbing aboard horses as a way to pass roller coaster height requirements. Her work as an instructor, coupled with experience at a local thoroughbred breeding farm have taught her one of the most important skills any equestrian can have: the ability to foster a partnership with the horse. She tries to pass on this ability to her students, encouraging them to participate in all aspects of horsemanship during hands-on lessons, from tacking before the lesson to grooming, untacking, and watching game tape with the horse after the lesson ends.
Ed and Stephanie Raftery, founders of TrailHeads, donate 3% of their annual sales to charities including Guiding Eyes for the Blind after Ed was diagnosed with macular degeneration and declared legally blind. Instead of shelving his passion for athletics and the outdoors, Ed continues growing his sporting-apparel business with his wife, a clothing designer, running marathons, and even cycling. The tandem's inventive selection of headwear, gloves, and accessories was designed specifically for outdoor athletes. Headbands and hats have carefully placed openings to let ponytails swing about freely, and outdoorspeople can don gloves with small pockets to conveniently store keys, money, or minnows—but not trout.