Delicious Things are Happening at White Silo Farm & Winery
It’s 6:30 p.m. on a crisp autumn evening, and guests begin to arrive at the Gorman family’s White Silo Farm & Winery for an authentic farm-to-table experience. Nestled in the foothills of Sherman, the original barn and silo are surrounded by 200 acres of farmland. Former dairy-farm pastures are now home to raspberries, rhubarb, blackcurrants, blackberries and grape vines. The silo, painted white since the Gorman’s purchased the property 30 years ago, is present in the namesake and imagery of the family business, which specializes in small-batch fruit and grape wine production. What started as a weekend hobby has grown into an award-winning boutique wine business selling 1,200 cases of their fruit and grape varietals per year.
“My father wanted to make wines that were a little different and unusual, that would separate us from other local wineries,” explains Eric Gorman. “He began making dry fruit wines, while most wineries in the area were making sweet ones.”
The season’s harvest provides the inspiration for the evening’s feast. “It’s the perfect excuse to entertain and share the farm’s fruits, vegetables and wines plus other local and nearby organic products,” says Eric Gorman.
Tonight in the winery’s kitchen, family friends chef Jeffrey Seiden of the Chefs’ Warehouse and French pastry chef Jerome Vidal of Paris Gourmet are whipping up a sumptuous 14-course farm-to-table dinner with wines chosen to complement each dish. Tasting begins with White Silo’s Sparkling Red Raspberry wine—a light, refreshing bubbly. “It’s the perfect starter to get the palate ready for an evening of gluttony,” says Seiden.
Guests fill the restored 18th-century barn’s tasting room, where candlelight bounces off wine glasses set at a long communal table. Conversation is buzzing as everyone is welcomed with an array of starters. Wooden boards are draped with assorted artisanal cured meats, all served with White Silo mustards and membrillo—a quince paste made from fruit grown on the property. Also on the grazing boards are cheeses from Jasper Hill Farm and Vermont Creamery, whipped ricotta from Calabro Cheese in East Haven presented with grilled ciabatta breads, a refreshing apple, fennel and cranberry slaw dressed in extra virgin olive oil, lemon and sumac served a in great big country bowl.
The night’s meal is orchestrated with precision, and flavors are rich with the nuances that each New England ingredient has to offer at this magical time of year. “Fall is my favorite; I love the bounty that Mother Nature provides,” says Seiden. “The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, and braising is back!”
A version of this article appeared in the October 2015 issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Farm to Table Feast.