Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Event Grapevine: Aug. 15-21

Scenes from the 2007 Wine, Jazz & Art Festival at Fiori Winery in Pylesville, Md. The event, this year being the 19th annual, will be held at Fiori from noon to 6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Even those of you who are regulars of the Nissley Vineyards & Winery Estate might not realize that the series, now in its 26th year and expected to end next weekend, instead will continue for another week and end when it’s supposed to, on Labor Day weekend.

“It just didn’t feel right to quit on Aug. 23,” Judy Nissley, the winery’s proprietor, said this afternoon, noting that some years the last concert didn’t end until the first weekend in September. The winery for years had started on July 4th weekend and continued through Labor Day weekend, but Nissley said earlier this summer in an interview that it was difficult getting help on those holiday weekends and that they were reducing the number of concerts from 10 to eight. Well, make that nine. The last one will take place on Aug. 30 and feature the area band
Flashback headlined by singer Donna Mark.

Nissley noted that they’re not planning heavy advertising for this subbed-in show, so while it might draw a bit smaller crowd that might please the regulars who will have a little more room to dance than they normally do.

No doubt that whoever shows up will be bringing in everything from tables and tablecloths to candelabra and flowers. And loads of food. Nissley, whose winery is celebrating its 30th year in business, noted in an interview earlier this summer that the fancy silverware crowd, and those are my words, began to evolve this popular central Pennsylvania event about 10 years ago. Now it’s a show just to arrive early and watch the rest of the crowd file through the tent and head for a vacant spot on the grass; it takes some groups 5 to 10 minutes to finish setting up and uncork their first couple bottles.

“I think part of the reason they do that,” she said then, “is that we try to make an upscale presentation, and by that I mean, the band area is sort of rustic, the whole thing is a little rustic, but we . . . used to chill our wines in a big trough, which was a cattle feeding trough -- we still use it on big nights -- but we installed refrigerators and put them in cabinets that look antique, hoping they look that way, and that’s just one example. So that when people [come up for their wine] we don’t say, ‘Here’s a bottle, here’s some ice cubes,’ [instead] they get a chilled bottle of wine.”

They’ve made other improvements, she said, such as replacing the gravel in the archway with flagstone and laying macadam on the parking lot.

“So it gradually took on a better look,” she said. “It gradually became increasingly upscale. We also charge, not an expensive admission, but, it is $15 per person, so the people who are willing to spend that are probably . . . let me phrase that a different way. People in their 50s and 60s, especially the women in that age group, they like to be pampered, and if there’s not going to be anyone there to pamper them, they pamper themselves, and I really do think that’s a lot of what that candelabra is. They want to feel like . . . they're in a nice place.

“They are in a nice place but they want to embellish their experience.”



Adams County Winery, Ortanna: Free summer concert, Saturday. 1 to 5 p.m., food and wine available, bring along a lawn chair and blanket,

Blue Mountain Vineyards, New Tripoli: Sangria Sunday wine tasting ($$), Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.; Fridays of Gary Day fund-raiser, Monday, 6 to 8 p.m.,

Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow, North Wales: Concert on Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m.,

Chaddsford Winery, Chaddsford: Reserve Tasting ($$), Saturday, sittings at 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m.; Thursday, the 21st, 7 to 9 p.m., “Look What We Dug Out of the Cellar!” with Chaddsford Wine Educator Melanie Chadwick, Melanie and winemaker Eric Miller went into the cellar to dig out a memory trip of Chaddsford’s best vintages. See what Eric has chosen, and how some of his favorites have held up to the test of time. $30/person; reservations at 610.388.6221.,

Crossing Vineyards & Winery, Washington Crossing: Wine Tasting for Singles ($$), Friday, 7 p.m.; Summer Concert Series ($$), Friday, 7 p.m.

Kreutz Creek Vineyards, West Grove: Summer Outdoor Concert & Slushyville ($$), Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m., Jimmy Buffet style music by Pelican Brief,

Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery, Wrightsville: Music Friday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoons; Summer Concert series Saturday night ($$),

Naylor Wine Cellars, Stewartstown: “Summer Sounds” outdoor concert series ($$), Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m.,

Nissley Vineyard & Winery Estate, Bainbridge: Music in the Vineyards 2008 ($$), Saturday, 7:30 to 10 p.m., music by the Headliners,

Paradocx Vineyards, Landenberg: Summer Concert Series ($$), Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m.

Twin Brook Winery, Gap: Gazebo Concert Series ($$), Saturday evening, 6:30 to 9:30,

Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville: Summer Tours With the Winemaker ($$), Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m., about 1 ½ hours long,

MARYLAND winery events can be found at
this link and VIRGINIA events at this link.

($$) – Admission charge