Lt. Governor Bysiewicz & Commissioner Hurlburt Announce 2019 Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries Program
New UConn-developed mobile app allows residents and tourists to track visits to Connecticut’s 40 participating farm wineries
(HARTFORD, CT) – Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt and Connecticut farm winery owners gathered at Jones Family Farms & Winery in Shelton today to celebrate the 2019 Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries program and announce a partnership with the University of Connecticut to develop a new mobile app for participants. The Passport program was formalized by the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Wine Development Council in 2006 to promote and encourage visits to Connecticut’s farm wineries and has since grown to include over 40 wineries and the Connecticut Wine Festival at Goshen Fairgrounds.
“For over a decade, the farm winery business has been one of the fastest growing segments of Connecticut’s agriculture industry,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “This success is partly due to programs like the Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries, which not only encourages our own residents to explore the state and support small businesses, but also attracts out-of-state visitors who want to try some of the award-winning wines produced right here. If you’re looking for something fun to do outdoors with family and friends as we head into the warm summer months, paying a visit to a Connecticut farm winery should be at the top of your list.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for people to see the state and have a great time while supporting these small business men and women who are invested in our local communities,” said Commissioner Hurlburt. “Our award-winning Connecticut wines pair nicely with other Connecticut Grown products, including seafood from the coastline and cheese from our dairy farm families.”
According to UConn’s 2015 Economic Impacts of Connecticut’s Agricultural Industry report, sales at farm wineries increased by more than 120 percent between 2007 and 2015, making it the fastest growing segment of agriculture in Connecticut.
The Passport program has seen tremendous growth in the number of participating wineries and interest from visitors thanks to social media promotions, and support from wineries and business sponsors. More than 65,000 printed Passports are distributed to participating farm wineries and business sponsors annually. Program participants are eligible for the drawing once they obtain a minimum of 12 stamps. More than 60 prizes will be offered, including a two-week trip for two to Malaga, Spain, chauffeured limousine rides, overnight hotel stays, a custom wine backpack and two bottles of wine from each participating winery. A mobile app recently developed by UConn students will also be available at the end of May for Android and Apple devices.
Recently, the Farm Wine Development Council and Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries program were recognized at the Connecticut Conference on Tourism as the “Partners of the Year” for their efforts to enhance the visitor’s total experience of Connecticut and the diverse blend of offerings available. Partnerships such as this demonstrate the value of private, public and non-profit sectors coming together to increase the visibility of an industry and better serve the citizens of Connecticut.
A full list of participating wineries can be found on the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s website: www.ct.gov/doag.
For more information on the Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries program, please contact Rebecca Eddy at 860-713-2538, email PassporttoCTFarmWine@ct.gov.