Wallingford vineyard celebrates Cinco de Mayo Sunday

Wallingford vineyard celebrates Cinco de Mayo Sunday


WALLINGFORD — A Cinco de Mayo celebration, combined with sunny weather, drew crowds to Paradise Hills Vineyard on Sunday.

“We love to celebrate the holiday, and really it’s sort of a kickoff for the rest of the summer season,” said Margaret Ruggiero, one of the vineyard’s owners.

This was the second year that the vineyard has been open for the holiday. Paradise Hills marks its third year of operation next week.

Mexican music played by Trio Collabe filled the air, and got the celebration underway. About halfway through the event, a Paradise Hills employee said “200 plus” cars had come through and it had been a busy morning.

“It’s a place where family and friends can gather and just have a nice, relaxing time,” Ruggiero said.

The break in cold and rainy weather this weekend also drew people to the vineyard, such as Frank and Janet Pinto, of Southington.

“I wanted to get out and drive around with the top down,” Frank Pinto said, laughing.

Both were working on filling out Connecticut Farm Wine Developmental Council passports, a program designed to encourage visits to all of the 33 Connecticut vineyards participating in the Connecticut Wine Trail.

“That’s our goal for the summer; to get these passports stamped,” Janet Pinto said. “Plus it’s a nice way to get out and support local wineries.”

Likewise, Saheli Sadanand and Lesley Pasman, both Yale University doctoral students, said they took the opportunity to see some of the state outside New Haven.

“The weather is finally holding out, and I’ve gone to a lot of wineries around the state, but hadn’t been to this one yet,” Pasman said.

“And it’s fun on the weekends to take a few hours’ break from working in labs to get outside and enjoy some wine,” Sadanand said.

mcallahan@record-journal.com (203) 317-2279 Twitter: @MollCal

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