Sentimental journey

Scene from Gouveia Vineyards in Wallingford, Conn. Photograph by Andrew Villemarette

“Oh, I learned to love the fallow way,” Judy Collins sings in “The Fallow Way,” “when winter brings the valley down.”

I couldn’t help thinking of that line as I gazed out on the fallow but starkly beautiful hills in which the Gouveia Vineyards are nestled.

My family and I – also Gouveias, but no relations – recently spent part of the Thanksgiving holiday there, partly because the name intrigued us and partly because late autumn/winter and New England are hand in glove.

From Nov. 1 through Memorial Day, the hours contract to 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. Cellar tours take place at 2 and 4 p.m. weekends. Being there on a Friday instead, we opted for walking around the lodge, where its BYOL (bring your own lunch) but not BYOB (bring your own beverage).

That’s because Gouveia Vineyards has more than a dozen wines that you can buy or sample, from a dry Chardonnay Oak to a fruity Seyval Blanc, from a zesty Cayuga White to a plummy Cabernet Franc to a velvety Epiphany Reserve.

Like many such places, Gouveia Vineyards began with the dream, that of  Joe Gouveia, who wanted to create a place of community like the Portuguese village he grew up in. In 1999, Joe and wife Lucy founded the winery, encouraging others to come and share their stories.

One they like to tell on their website concerns a man who visited the vineyards with a nurse. He had a glass of wine as he sat by the window, looking out at the scenery. Then he told the nurse they could go.

The vineyards were the last place he visited before he went off to hospice care.

At the vineyards, they like to say, “Everyone comes into your life for a reason and to share a lesson. Take a moment and talk to a person who is in the shadows of the limelight, because every person has his own story.”

At Gouveia Vineyards, they’re happy to have you share yours.

For more, visit 

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