In honor of National Chardonnay Day, Connecticut relaunched its wine passport program with an app Thursday.
The mobile app allows people to create an itinerary to visit different vineyards and wineries around the state, explore by region, product, or experience, tag your favorites, collect stamps, and be entered in the prize drawing while exploring Connecticut Wine Country.
The CT Wine Passport was started to help market Connecticut's beautiful wineries, and to attract more customers.
In all, 35 farm wineries are participating in the passport program.
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Michelle Niedermeyer, who owns Lost Acres Vineyard in North Granby, worked with the Department of Agriculture and the Winery Council to develop a Passport to CT Wine Country.
"And there was all this discussion 'can we make it an app?' and we've done it. Well, you've done it, and congratulations," Niedermeyer said. "There's something so special and cool to discover at each winery and that's what makes the app so much fun."
Connecticut State Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt says it's a win-win for farmers too.
There are 45 wineries in the state that generate $85 million for the state's economy.
"This is a great way for Connecticut farmers to increase the value and the dollar that they can get out of their fruit, and it's clearly a product that people want," Hurlburt said.
Here are a few facts about the passport program:
- There is no cost to participate
- The app is available to download at no cost and no purchase is necessary
- You must be 21 or older to participate in accordance with Connecticut liquor laws
- Collecting stamps is free
At the end of the summer, passport members are eligible to win more than 60 different prizes worth over $10,000.
For more information on the CT Wine Trail and the Passport to Wine Country app, click here.