Contest to determine ‘Best Grapes’


BEACON FALLS — A local contest will find out who makes the best wine in the Naugatuck Valley.

The Best Grapes in the Valley, Beacon Falls Rotary Club’s first wine tasting event, is Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Michael’s Church, 25 Maple Ave. Tickets are $15.

Rotary Club member Michael Krenesky said the event is actually two events in one.

“The first is a home wine making competition where we’ve invited anybody to submit their homemade wines,” Krenesky said.

According to Krenesky 14 bottles of homemade wine were submitted.

The homemade wine will be judged by professional wine judges, which are supplied by Monroe-based home brewing and wine making supply store Maltose Express, Krenesky said.

The second part of the event is a general wine tasting.

Event goers will be able to sample the homemade wine while it lasts as well as a variety of wines from five countries supplied by Riondo USA.

“There should be more than enough wine for everybody to taste,” Krenesky said.

In addition to supplying wines Riondo’s Vice President of Operations John Blesse will lead a wine pairing class and answer questions about wine.

Krenesky said the first 120 people who buy tickets will receive a commemorative wine glass they can use to sample the wines.

Krenesky, who makes wine, will also set up a demonstration for people interested in learning the craft.

“As a home winemaker my intent is to bring some of the materials I use and to set them up as a demonstration. I would like to see other people become interested in wine as well,” Krenesky said.

While it is a great way for local winemakers to show off their skills, the event is also a fundraiser for the Beacon Falls Rotary Club and the International Rotary Club.

Krenesky said proceeds from the event will benefit club programs, such as the youth exchange program and the scholarships the club gives out each year.

“If it is as successful as we are hoping it will be bigger and better next year,” Krenesky said.

The event is for people 21 years old and older. There will be snacks and non-alcoholic drinks available in case people have to bring their children, Krenesky said.

Krenesky is hoping the uniqueness of this event will bring people from all over the Valley.

“I think the fact we have homemade wines to sample will draw people. Most people probably have not had a homemade wine and they will be pleasantly surprised how good they are. Hopefully it will interest some people to attempt it,” Krenesky said.

Tickets are available at the door or by calling Krenesky at (203) 558-8565.


  1. If you are a home winemaker and planning to attend, feel free to bring along a bottle to share! We will have great selection of Riondo Wines, but for those with ‘novinophobia’, it is always a comfort to know there are extra bottles in an emergency!

    Novinophobia – the fear of running out of wine.