from the winemaker
Stonington Vineyards has been fortunate from our very beginning
to have the winemaking talents of Mike McAndrew. What makes Stonington Vineyards unique is not just the vines, location and microclimate… But the people who dedicate their lives and careers to making our vineyard what it is today for everyone to enjoy. Mike’s passion for his craft is evident in our wines and we welcome you to learn a little more about our winemaker by reading below.
Mike McAndrew started his career in the wine industry selling wine in the Finger Lakes region of New York in the late 70’s. Excited about the emerging wine community in Connecticut, Mike apprenticed at another Connecticut vineyard before coming on as the winemaker at Stonington Vineyards in 1987. It was the combination of climate, elevation, close proximity to the ocean and mineral content in the soil that lured Mike to Stonington Vineyards and he has been the winemaker ever since. A minimalist at heart, Mike’s winemaking philosophy is as natural as possible. “Grow sound fruit, pick when ripe and make great wine.” Known for being on the quieter side, we felt lucky to sit down with Mike to chat casually about the magic of Stonington Vineyards…
What is one thing you have learned from your years of making wine in Connecticut?
MM: There are many. But one thing I’ve learned for sure is you have to make wine by what you smell and taste. Don’t be deceived by what you see.
What do you love about this industry?
MM: There is a different challenge in every day. The climate is changing and the vines keep getting healthier. There is a unique character to these wines. That’s what keeps me here.
What would surprise someone to learn about you?
MM: I study and teach yoga.
What is one of your favorite memories from Stonington Vineyards?
MM: When I am on the property and I overhear a customer comment about how much they enjoy the wines and it being possible to make great wine in Connecticut. That’s the magic of this place. That element of surprise.
What advice would you give to someone interested in getting into the industry?
MM: Keep your day job! This business takes a lot of capital. To me it’s like buying a boat. If you have the money, time and energy to own a boat… do it. If not, then don’t!
Any final thoughts? Something you’d like the customers to know?
MM: Let the wine speak for itself. Try the wines!