Bishop's Orchards

Bishop's Orchards Farm Market & Winery Video

About

Bishop's Orchards Winery offers our own wine and other fine Connecticut farm wines. Bishop's Orchards Winery has taken the superb reputation and flavor of the fruit we grow, pressed out the juices and made Award Winning fruit wines. Specialty fruit wines created by Bishop's use our apples, peaches, pears, strawberries and raspberries. As a Farm Winery, we are able to offer you the best selection of Connecticut Farm Wines in the state. From dry to sweet, award winning Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and numerous White, Rose and Red wines from other Farm Wineries will satisfy your palate. Our Wine Bar, a part of our original 1928 barn, offers tastings year round, making it easy to support local wineries from our wide selection.

Features

  • THE HOME OF FARM FRESH GOODNESS.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Average Bottle Price

$ 14.99

Winemaker

Keith Bishop is a fifth generation co-owner and Co-CEO, responsible for retail marketing, sales and business management of the family business, as well as winemaker. He is an elected member of Guilford's Board of Education since 1991.

History

B.W. Bishop & Sons, Inc. is a family owned and operated Farm Corporation, doing business as Bishop's Orchards. The farm was started in 1871 by Walter Goodrich Bishop who engaged in general farming including dairy, vegetables and ice. His son Burton Walter Bishop joined him and expanded the business. In 1909 they set out the first commercial orchard. Burton's sons Arthur F. and Charles R. joined with their father in 1918 and continued to set out more orchard on land purchased in 1920 and 1926.

The business was incorporated and formally named in 1957 after Burton (who died in 1942), at which time Albert and Gene (Charles E.) came into the business with their fathers following college. In the 1960's, crops grown included apples, peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, strawberries, lettuce, cabbage, beans and other vegetables. Marketing was done through the seasonal retail market (approximately 500 square ft.) at the present location in Guilford, and a large volume to the wholesale market.

The 1970's brought even more change to the farm. The fifth generation was now in high school, and actively involved in work on the farm. The retail farm market was expanded to be open year around, (occupying about 1500 square ft.) and produce was purchased from other farms and the wholesale market to supplement our own crops and to provide a full line of quality farm products all year. PICK YOUR OWN (PYO) was expanded from strawberries to apples, blueberries and other crops as the farm diversified to become more economically stable and support the growing demand for local fruit and consumer's desire to pick their own. In April 1974 the farm expanded by purchasing Tollgate Orchards on Rt. 17 in Northford, consisting of 35 acres, including a cold storage and seasonal farm market. This is now known as Bishop's Orchards Northford Farm.

In 1975, the farm and family was awarded the Century Farm Award by Governor Ella Grasso and the Connecticut Board of Agriculture honoring its 104th year of operation under the same family ownership.

In 1977 Albert's son Keith joined the business as Retail Farm Market Manager after graduation from Cornell with a BS in Farm Business Management. In 1978 Gene's son Jonathan graduated from Delaware Valley College with a BS in Horticulture and was employed as Orchard Manager and Albert's son Craig graduated from Cornell with a BS in Pomology and returned to be Small Fruits and Vegetable Manager. Craig left the farm in 1986 to pursue other interests. Albert's son David graduated from Cornell in 1985 with a BS in Farm Business Management, worked for Farm Credit Banks as a loan officer till May 89, and then was hired as Small Fruits and Vegetable Manager from 1989-91 by this company. He returned to Farm Credit in January 1992. Currently he is a Branch Manager & Vice President at First Pioneer Farm Credit in Bedford, NH. Albert's daughter Diane graduated from North Carolina State University in 1981 with a BS in Agricultural Education. She joined the business in 1997 as Bakery Manager and left in 2010 to pursue other interests.

A major addition to the main Farm Market and cold storage on Rt. 1 was finished in September of 1978. This allowed the more efficient utilization of space and movement of products, reorganized the cider mill, and moved the apple grading and packing area into the new addition. This all then enabled the retail farm market to be expanded to space other operations previously occupied. The market now covered 2,500 square feet.

Other changes were constantly occurring as the 5th Generation became more involved and the farm needed to keep pace with technology and economics. Orchard renovation and planting of new trees and varieties has been done every year. New crops have been introduced and/or expanded such as raspberries and early apples to extend the seasons when our own crops are ready. More diverse operations allow us to make better use of labor and provides an economic safety net.

Natural disaster has hit the farm on many occasions, including hurricanes, hail, late frosts, floods, drought, windstorms, animal damage, insects and diseases and others which have had varying economic impact. We recognize these potentials and our inability to control many of them; but must accept them as the risks of devoting our livelihood to agriculture. We try to minimize these by using the best management techniques, technology, and educational resources we have available. Nevertheless, at times, we have had partial and even entire crops lost due to one or more of the above problems. One reason for our success is the diversity of our crops, ("don't put all your eggs in one basket"), so even if several don't do well, hopefully others will do well enough to carry us through.

All of the Bishop's have been very involved in organizations and activities off the farm, including Town Boards and Commissions, Judge of Probate, church deacons, presidents and officers of clubs and agricultural organizations. Several top awards have also been bestowed upon family members, including National FFA, Community Service, Outstanding Young Farmer, Pomological Society Award of Distinction, Public Speaking and Gubernatorial appointments.

Current management of the farm is split between Keith and Jonathan as Co-CEO's and Team Managers are responsible for our daily operations. The operation has from 60 to a seasonal high of 120 employees during the harvest season.

In 1988, a 10,000 bushel CA (Controlled Atmosphere) apple storage addition was built and parking areas improved. In 1989 a 3800 square foot addition and remodeling was completed in August that brought our Farm Market to 5600 square feet of sales area, with a covered porch and a larger parking area.

After three years of planning, in 2005 Bishop's Orchards broke ground for our 11th addition and renovation that added a total of 7000 square feet to the existing building, 2000 Sq. ft. dedicated directly to the retail market sales area. The construction started in late February 2005 and the last phase was completed in August 2006. The addition eased the shortage of space in many different areas of our growing company.

The addition expanded bakery, retail, refrigeration, freezer and office space. Over the past decade Bishop's has increased product lines and selections to better serve our customers. With the new health and diet trends, the additional space has allowed Bishop's to provide for and address these demands. The changes have not altered the emphasis on the products we grow. We are here, because of our roots, and the crops we grow. Our ability to keep 300 acres in farming, in Connecticut, is because of our ability to market direct to the consumer.

Bishop's is pleased to have several local businesses execute this expansion. The architects who took our specifications and ideas and designed the building are from John A. Matthews A.I.A. Architecture and Planning in Madison, CT. The Munger Construction Company in Branford, CT was the general contractor, with Apuzzo Electric Inc. and James P. Marino Jr. Co. Inc. as major subcontractors.

Bishop's Orchards Winery was started in November 2005 after receiving State and Federal approvals. The Winery uses fruits grown on our farm to produce Apple, Peach, Pear, Strawberry, Blueberry, and Raspberry Wines as well as combination blends of those fruits. Over 15 fruit wines are now available, produced on site by Winemaker Keith Bishop. At the present time we have no grape production; however we partner with Hopkins Vinyard, Jones Family Farm Winery and others to provide a well rounded selection of fine Connecticut Red and White Wines.

In 2007, Keith's daughter Sarah Bishop DellaVentura was hired as Marketing Director. She is the first of the 6th generation to join the family business, and one of 11 members of the 6th generation in the family tree. She was instrumental in establishing the Shoreline Wine Festival, now an annual event.

In early 2009, additional interior changes were made to include a 25 foot Wine Bar and adjacent wine displays, improved flow through the market and additional prepared foods space.

A CSA "Community Supported Agriculture" program was born in 2011 to provide weekly shares of our farm's fruits and vegetables to those who joined as members. The program provides a closer touch with those who join to share the bounty and learn more about our farm production.

2011 marked our 140th year since the farm was started in 1871. The Bishop Families have their roots in Guilford since the founding of the town by relatives from England in 1639. Our families continue to grow, and faces of the seventh generation can now be seen "helping" and learning with their parents and grandparents. The families hope to be able to continue to maintain an economically viable farm for many, many years to come to provide our friends and neighbors with quality, fresh grown food at a reasonable price.

The Team

Jonathan Bishop is a fifth generation co-owner and Co-CEO, responsible for production, harvesting, and warehousing of all crops on the farm, including disease and insect control, IPM (integrated pest management), and farm equipment. He served on Guilford's Planning & Zoning Commission.

Sarah Bishop Dellaventura is Marketing Director and PYO Manager, managing our internal and external marketing programs, and managing our Pick Your Own fruits. She is the first of the Sixth Generation to return as a full time member of the family business.

Charles (Gene) Bishop is a fourth generation co-owner, and previous manager of tree fruit production. He served on Guilford's Board of Selectmen and as first Selectman from 2003-2005. He is now chairman of the Public Works Commission.

Al Bishop is a fourth generation co-owner, now semi-retired. Al managed packing of our fruits for the market, cider making, and small fruits and vegetable production until retirement. He now consults as needed on the farm.

Russ Geary is our Produce Team Manager, who handles buying produce for the Farm Market, from native produce to imports. He loves promoting and selling our own fruits and vegetables.

Brad Isnard is our Warehouse Manager, coordinating the receiving, packing, and shipping of the products we grow and sell from our farm operation. Cider production and shipping our Apple Gift Packs are also handled under him.

Randy Perham is our Grocery Team Manager, responsible for our grocery, floral, meat and frozen lines. Your satisfaction is our #1 goal. Our first rule is "The customer is always right" and the second rule is "Read rule #1."

Jeremy Waldman is our Market Team Manager, responsible for all aspects of retail floor operations, including checkouts and displays.

Debbie Bishop is Payroll and Sales Accounting Clerk, handling many pieces of employee and customer service that she has gleaned from 30 years of service.

Christine Friel is our Assistant Market Team Manager, responsible for our checkout staff and coordination of retail floor operations, including customer service, stocking and displays.

Alicia Metzler is a Front End Team Supervisor, coordinating our front end checkouts to deliver the best service possible to you.

Bobbi Halloway is our Prepared Foods Team Manager, coordinating the preparation, cooking and baking of our prepared foods, pies, cookies and baked goods.

Kimberly Brockett is our Controller and in-house CPA. She supervises the accounting department and is responsible for the financial management of the company.

Awards

Double Gold Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Rubus' Nightfall Wine
Double Gold Medal: 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition: Stone House White Wine
Double Gold Medal:2011 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition: Strawberry Delight Wine
Gold Medal: 2014 Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association Competition: Golden Hard Cider
Gold Medal: 2014 International East Meets West Wine Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine
Gold Medal: 2014 International East Meets West Wine Competition: Honey Peach Melba Wine
Gold Medal: 2014 International East Meets West Wine Competition: New England Style Hard Cider
Gold Medal: 2013 Grand Harvest Competition: Rubus' Nightfall Wine
Gold Medal: 2013 Big E Wine Competition: Faulkner's Spiced Apple Wine
Gold Medal: 2013 Big E Wine Competition: Amazing Grace Wine
Gold Medal: 2012 International Eastern Wine Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine
Gold Medal: 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Happley ImPeared Wine
Gold Medal: 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition: Faulkner's Spiced Apple Wine
Gold Medal: 2011 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition: New England Style Hard Cider
Gold Medal: 2010 Grand Harvest Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine
Gold Medal: 2009 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Amazing Grace Wine
Gold Medal: 2009 International Eastern Wine Competition: Faulkner's Spiced Apple Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Stone House White Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Honey Peach Melba
Silver Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Faulkner's Spiced Apple
Silver Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Happley ImPeared Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Celebration Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Pearadise Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Amazing Grace Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Hyland Red Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Leete's Island Blues Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Northeast Big E Gold Wine Competition: Sachem's Twilight Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association Competition: Farm House Style Hard Cider
Silver Medal: 2014 International East Meets West Wine Competition: Rubus' Nightfall Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 International East Meets West Wine Competition: Amazing Grace Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 International East Meets West Wine Competition: Happley ImPeared Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 International East Meets West Wine Competition: Golden Hard Cider
Silver Medal: 2014 International East Meets West Wine Competition: Hyland Red Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 International East Meets West Wine Competition: Leetes Island Blue Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 International East Meets West Wine Competition: Adams Apple Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Finger Lakes International Competition: Faulkner's Spiced Apple Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Finger Lakes International Competition: Stone House White Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Finger Lakes International Competition: Honey Peach Melba Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Finger Lakes International Competition: Amazing Grace Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Finger Lakes International Competition: Pearadise Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Finger Lakes International Competition: Hyland Red Wine
Silver Medal: 2014 Finger Lakes International Competition: New England Style Hard Cider
Silver Medal: 2013 Grand Harvest Competition: Amazing Grace Wine
Silver Medal: 2013 Grand Harvest Competition: New England Style Hard Cider Semi-Sweet
Silver Medal: 2013 Big E Wine Competition: Stone House White Wine
Silver Medal: 2013 Big E Wine Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine
Silver Medal: 2013 Big E Wine Competition: Adams Apple Wine
Silver Medal: 2013 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition: Leete's Island Blues Wine
Silver Medal: 2013 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition: Celebration Eighteen Seventy-One Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition: New England Style Hard Cider
Silver Medal: 2012 Big E Wine Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 Big E Wine Competition: Faulkner's Spiced Apple Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 Big E Wine Competition: Happley ImPeared Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 Big E Wine Competition: Celebration Eighteen Seventy-One Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 Big E Wine Competition: Adams Apple Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 Big E Wine Competition: Amazing Grace Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 International Eastern Wine Competition: Faulkner's Spiced Apple Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 International Eastern Wine Competition: Leete's Island Blues Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Happley ImPeared Wine
Silver Medal: 2012 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: New England Style Hard Cider
Silver Medal: 2012 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Whitfield's Pearadox Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition: Whitfield's Pearadox Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition: Farmhouse Style Hard Cider
Silver Medal: 2011 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition: Sachem's Twilight Sparkling Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Big E Wine Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Big E Wine Competition: Adams Apple Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Big E Wine Competition: Strawberry Delight Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Big E Wine Competition: New England Style Hard Cider
Silver Medal: 2011 Big E Wine Competition: Berry Best Friends Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition: Honey Peach Melba Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition: Celebration Eighteen Seventy-One Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition: Farmhouse Style Hard Cider
Silver Medal: 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition: New England Style Hard Cider
Silver Medal: 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition: Leete's Island Blues Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition: Berry Best Friends Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Honey Peach Melba Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Faulkner's Spiced Apple Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Celebration Eighteen Seventy-One Wine
Silver Medal: 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition: Adams Apple Wine
Silver Medal: 2009 International Eastern Wine Competition: Celebration 1 871 Wine & Stone House White Wine
Silver Medals: 2008 International Eastern Wine Competition: Apple Raspberry Blush Wine & Honey Peach Melba Wine
Silver Medal: 2007 Amenti del Vino International Wine Competition: Honey Peach Melba Wine
Plus over 86 Bronze Medals Since 2006.

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Hours

Holiday Hours: Wed. Before Thanksgiving - 7am-7pm Thanksgiving - CLOSED December 24th - Open 8am-4pm December 25th - CLOSED December 26th - CLOSED December 31st - Open 8am-5pm January 1st - CLOSED Easter Sunday - CLOSED Memorial Day - CLOSED 4th of July - CLOSED

Address

1355 Boston Post Rd
Guilford, Connecticut 06437
United States

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