Connecticut Winemaker Stomps on Rising Gas Prices

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With gasoline prices rising rapidly, a veteran Connecticut winemaker doesn't want parents to forego family weekend travel and is offering discounted tickets to the region's 14th annual festival celebrating the viticulture harvest.

Col. Sherman P. Haight, Jr., proprietor of Connecticut's oldest winery, isn't about to let rising gas prices affect attendance at this year's annual celebration of the viticulture harvest in the Western Connecticut Highlands wine-producing region.

Haight Vineyard will host the 14th annual Litchfield Hill Harvest Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25, 2005, and is now offering one dollar off on advance admission tickets to help attendees manage with rising gasoline prices.

“We want to preserve the Nutmeg tradition of the weekend family drive,” says Col. Haight, often considered the grandfather of the state's wine industry.

“The Harvest Festival is all about family fun. By saving on admission tickets, parents can still enjoy a day with their kids in The Litchfield Hills without worrying about gas at almost three bucks a gallon,” says Haight.

According to Haight, advance admission tickets with a one-dollar discount will be available through Sept. 23 on the Internet at http://www.litchfieldfestivals.com. On-site admission at the festival will be $5 for adults and $4 for seniors. Children under age 12 will be admitted free.

Attracting thousands of visitors annually, the two-day festival features children's grape stomping contests, pony rides, hayrides, craft exhibitors and an outdoor cafe offering a menu of hearty harvest fare, plus Haight Vineyard award-winning wines served by the glass.

Visitors will also be able to watch the picking and processing of this year's grape harvest, plus take guided tours of the winery. Complimentary wine tasting will assist visitors in selecting vintages for their home wine racks and cellars.

To reach Haight Vineyard, take Connecticut Route 8 to exit 42, follow Route 118 West for approximately three miles and turn left on Chestnut Hill Road.

More information of The Litchfield Hills Harvest Festival is available by phone at 860-567-4045 or on the Internet at http://www.litchfieldfestivals.com. Tourism information on The Litchfield Hills is available at http://www.litchfieldhills.com.

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