One of the more noteworthy events planned this weekend is Vynecrest Vineyard and Winery’s 20th anniversary weekend, set for Saturday (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday (1 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The winery, located in Breinigsville, Pa., is a member of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail.
Live music (jazz vocalist Kristin Grassi and jazz guitarist Andy Warren) will take place in the Vyneskeller both days, along with wine specials and the celebratory cutting of a birthday cake both days at 3. There will be a 20 percent discount and a free Vynecrest short for all cases purchased this weekend.
Vynecrest's vineyard is the oldest in Lehigh County, its roots dating back to 1974. The winery opened 15 years later. It's owned by John and Jan Landis. Their youngest son, Sam, began lending a hand with the operation in 2002. He's now president of the Pennsylvania Wine Association.
Jan said during a phone conversation last week that they hadn't even thought about opening a winery when that vineyard was first planted.
"The whole idea stemmed from my editing a book on living off the land," she said. "We were thinking of just having a vineyard, really, and having our own wine. John loved planting, so we kept planting." She stopped and laughed. "You can only drink so much. And we gave it away. I think a lot of us back then didn't really consider doing it full time. And then if somebody would have said our son would come in with us. That was another thing."
Their elder son Ben, by the way, is a women's soccer coach at Bucknell.
Jan said they have 15 acres planted; at least two more will go in this spring, including grapes that have been very successful (Chambourcin) and quite unsuccessful (Chardonnay) there. "Early on we had Chardonnay planted, and it would come within two or three weeks of harvest every year and we'd lose the whole crop, with humidity, or some problem," she said. "So we ripped it out, and John said ABC, anything but Chardonnay." But recent improvements in the durability and resistence of the grape have them trying once again, putting in a half-acre.
As for what’s going on elsewhere, both this weekend and beyond, take a look:
Adams County Winery, Orrtanna: Home wine-making class ($$), Sunday, May 10; concert series will begin July 4, link to winery
Allegro Vineyards, Brogue: Fridays’ Weekly Winedown ($$), 4 to 7 p.m.; Sweet & Spicy Saturdays ($$), 2 to 5 p.m.; Sip & Savor Sundays ($$), 2 to 5 p.m., all require reservations at 741.3072, all events at the Wine Gallery in Olde Tollgate Village; Women’s Wine & Unwind ($$), Saturday, May 9, 2 to 5 p.m., call 717.741.3072 to reserve a seat or a table by May 6, space is limited, link to winery
Blair Vineyards, Mertztown: Taste of Spring Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26, a Berks County Wine Trail event, link to winery
Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars, New Tripoli: Sunday Blues Wine Tastings, music every Sunday ($$), 2 to 5 p.m.; 13th annual Candlelight Barrel Tasting, 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, 1 to 6 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, link to winery
Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery, North Wales: North Wales Day, Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nina singing live, May 16, 5 to 8 p.m., link to winery
Chaddsford Winery, Chaddsford: Reserve tastings ($$) 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m. every Saturday; Wine 101 ($$), Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m. with Eric Miller, the first of a series of classes that run through May; next class is tonight (Thursday, April 16), Decadent Chocolates and Dessert Wines($$), 7 to 9 p.m.; following one is Art of Blind Tasting: An Interactive Tasting ($$), with special guest Laurie Forster, Sunday, April 19, 2 to 4 p.m.; technical tour program, free, on Fridays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., reservations accepted, link to winery
Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville: Beginner tasting class ($$), Saturday, April 25, 3 p.m.; A Taste of Spring, a Berks County Wine Trail event, April 25-26; vineyard and winery tour ($$), Saturday, May 30; Day in the Vineyard ($$), at Clover Hill Winery, Saturday and Sunday, June 5-6, along with Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery and Pinnacle Ridge Winery, link to winery
Country Creek Winery, Salford Township: Music, Christine and Company, Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m., no cover charge, 133 Cressman Road, Telford, link to winery
Crossing Vineyards & Winery, Washington Crossing: Wine 101 classes ($$) at the institute, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Monday, the next one will be White Wine on April 20; Pairing Wine and Cheese ($$), tonight (Thursday, April 16), 7:30 p.m.; Wine Tasting for Singles ($$), Friday, April 17, 7 p.m.; Wine Tasting for Dummies ($$), Sunday, April 19, 2 p.m., at the institute; Spring Winemaker’s Dinner ($$), Saturday, April 25, 7:30 p.m., five-course meal and wine pairing, information and reservations by calling 215.493.6500, ext.19; How Sweet It Is: Pairing Wine and Chocolate ($$), Sunday, April 26, 2 p.m., link to winery
Franklin Hill Vineyards, Bangor: Free winery tour, Wednesdays at noon; St Paddy’s Day in April, Saturday, link to winery
Galen Glen Vineyard and Winery, Andreas: Mother’s Day party, Sunday, May 10; spring tour of the vineyards and wineries, May 16-17, tours begin at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m.; summer sipper, June 6-7, link to winery
Hauser Estate Winery, Biglerville: Candlelight Friday, last Friday of every month, 5 to 8 p.m., wine tasting, music and warm food, Reese Project Trio will perform on April 24; Ken Garrett book signing, Saturday, May 2; Italian Night ($$), Saturday, May 9, 5 to 8 p.m.; Mother’s Day at Hauser Estate ($$), limited seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., food by Accomac Catering, link to winery
Kreutz Creek Vineyards, West Grove: Music at West Chester tasting room, 44 E. Gay St., Fridays and Saturdays, 6 to 9 p.m.; vineyard planning, volunteers welcome, Saturday, April 25; serving at Longwood Garden Wine and Jazz Fest, Saturday, May 2 (see more below); bottling work day on Memorial Day, May 25, both days will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and include Carol’s famous Vineyard Burgers -- reservations for both are requested at 610.869.4412; grand reopening on Saturday, May 30, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., music and snacks from 2 to 5 p.m. along with giveaways and wine sales, link to winery
Long Trout Winery, Auburn: Taste of Spring Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26, a Berks County Wine Trail event,; Hippie Day, Saturday, May 23; Hippie Hurler Disc Golf Tournament, Sunday, May 24, link to winery
Manatawny Creek Winery, Douglasville: Hours have changed to Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.; A Taste of Spring, Berks County Wine Trail event, Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26; pairing with John J Jeffries Restaurant in Lancaster for an all-vegetarian dinner on Sunday, April 26, one of the monthly food pairings with regional wineries and brewries, call the restaurant to make reservations, link to winery
Marburg Estate, Spring Grove: Tasting room reopening 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, link to winery
Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery, Wrightsville: Music Fridays (6 to 9 p.m.), Saturdays (2 to 5 p.m.) and occasionally on Sundays (2 to 5 p.m.); Mother’s Day champagne brunch ($$), Sunday, May 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., call 717.252.9463 for reservations; jazz festival ($$), Saturday and Sunday, May 23-24, 2 to 10 p.m., link to winery
Naylor Wine Cellars, Stewartstown: Forget The Taxes and Red Wine Dinner ($$), Saturday, 3 to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.; Mason Dixon Trail event, April 25-26 and May 3-4; Margaritaville 2009 fund-raiser for Mason Dixon Public Library ($$), 5 to 11 p.m.; Grape Blossom Festival ($$), Sunday, June 7, noon to 6 p.m., link to winery
Nissley Vineyards & Wine Estate, Bainbridge: Will be pouring at one of the houses of a Time for Wine, a tour and taste of historic Marietta houses, Sunday, April 26, 4:40 to 7:30 p.m., enjoy wine or iced tea, delicious hors d'oeuvres, cheeses and appetizers in three of Marietta's lovely old homes. Your tour and taste will end with decadent deserts and coffee at the historic Union Meeting House, for reservations and tickets, please call Vivian Carroll at 717.426.1270, note the tour is limited to the first 100 reservations, to benefit the Marietta Restoration Associate's restoration of the Vesta Furnace Building, http://www.nissleywine.com/
Paradocx Vineyard, Landenberg: 2nd annual "Bud Break Bash," a celebration of the beginning of the grape growing season, Saturday, May 9, noon to 8 p.m. Only cost is $5 for the wine tastings. Will also include music from The Acoustic Groove Project, wine tastings, cheese samples, hayrides, winery tours, and tours of the vineyard (the bonfire will be held from 6 to 7 p.m.; Mother’s Day Afternoon at the Vineyard, Sunday, May 10, link to winery
Pinnacle Ridge Winery, Kutztown: Taste of Spring, Berks County Wine Trail event, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, Day in the Vineyard ($$), at Clover Hill Winery, Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7, along with Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery, link to winery
Reid’s Ochards & Winery, Ortanna: New winery; call 717.677.7047 for more information.
Rushland Ridge, Rushland: Reopened, link to winery
Sand Castle Winery, Erwinna: Mother’s Day Brunch ($$), Sunday, May 10, 1 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Principles of Food and Wine ($$), a lecture and wine tasting, Wednesday, May 13, 6 to 8 p.m. Interested parties should make a reservation with Sheri Simond via email at
Philadelphia@eurocircle.com, link to winery
Tamanend Winery, Lancaster: Open Thursdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m., classically styled premium wines in their bottled wine group, and premium sweeter styled wines in their Bag in Box group of wines, link to winery
Va La Vineyards, Avondale: Open Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 5:30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.; 2006 Patina being released in April; art of David Oleski through April 19, link to winery
Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville: 20th anniversary weekend, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; May Day Saturday, May 2; Pinot Weekend, May 16-17; Day in the Vineyard ($$), at Clover Hill Winery, Saturday and Sunday, June 5-6, along with Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery, link to winery
Waltz Vineyards, Manheim: New winery, open Thursdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment; Cherry Tree Merlot has been released, two-bottle purchase limit, link to winery
Wycombe Vineyard & Winery, Furlong: Reopened for 2009 season; noon to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays, link to winery
Basignani Winery, Sparks: Pizza and herbs ($$), Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., link to winery
Black Ankle Winery, Mt. Airy: Winner of Maryland Governor’s Cup in 2008; explanation of wine and cheese with Cherry Glen Farms ($$), Sunday, sessions at noon and 2 p.m.; Friday Night Flights, 5 to 7 p.m., beginning tomorrow (April 17); back on summer hours: Wednesdays to Fridays, noon to 5 p.m., Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m., Sundays, noon to 5 p.m., link to winery
Boordy Vineyards, Hydes: Reds, Whites and Bluegrass ($$), wine and music, Sunday, April 19 and April 26, 1 to 5 p.m.; Queen for a Day, Mother’s Day picnic ($$), May 9-10, winery link
Frederick Cellars, Frederick: Happy Hour, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every weekday, glasses are half-price; Music in the Cellar, every Friday and Saturday in April, 7 p.m.; looking for volunteers for Wine in the Woods in May, signup is first come, first serve, link to winery
Serpent Ridge, Westminster: New winery, tasting room opening Saturday, will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Maggie's Restaurant in Westminster will be hosting a wine dinner on May 5 highlighting Serpent Ridge wine. Call Maggie's (410.876.6868) for more information or to make reservations.
Sugarloaf Mountain, Dickerson: Friday Flights ($$) is every Friday from 2 to 4 p.m., which consist of 3 half glasses of SMV wine, each paired with an appropriate cheese, fruit or chocolate, reservations at 301.605.0130; “April in Paris,” Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., taste Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard's Bordeaux style red wines as well as its Chardonnays and the newly released 2008 Pinot Grigio along with light French fare, music and ambiance. Discounts on several bottles and on Sugarloaf Mountain cases. Take a tour of the winery, link to winery; Countryside Artisans Tour, Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., tour studios and meet artists who create fine handblown glass, prints, paintings, jewelry, furniture, sculpture, ironware and at SMV, sample our handcrafted wine. For information, an electronic brochure and a map, visit http://www.countrysideartisans.com/.
Woodhall Wine Cellars, Parkton: Patricia Della Casual Fine Dining on location, will be serving dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and lunch, call 410.357.5078 for reservations, link to winery
Other MARYLAND winery events can be found at this link, VIRGINIA events at this link and New York events at this link
WINE TRAIL EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
A Taste of Spring, annual celebration of Berks County Wine Trail, which will be celebrating its fifth anniversary, April 25-26, with wine and food pairings, wineries include Bashore & Stoudt, Blair, Calvaresi, Clover Hill, Kog Hill, Long Trout, Manatawny Creek and Pinnacle Ridge, link to trail Web site
Mason Dixon Wine Trail Spring Event, April 25-26 and May 2-3, Travel the trail between the 8 wineries on the Mason Dixon Wine Trail and collect a different herb to plant in your garden and a recipe card using the eight different herbs. The event is open to new and existing wine trail members free of charge. Wineries include Adams County, Allegro, Naylor and Seven Valleys in Pennsylvania, and Basignani, Boordy, Fiore, and Woodhall in Maryland, link to trail Web site
Pittsburgh Wine Festival ($$$$), Heinz Field, Thursday, April 30, benefits Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Center, info at this link or 412.281.2681
Wine Festival in Hershey ($$$), Friday, May 1, Giant Center, benefits Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, info at this link or 717.534.3911
Philadelphia Wine Festival 2009 ($$$$), Saturday, May 2, Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, 1201 Market St., info at this link or 215.279.8313
Third annual Longwood Gardens Wine and Jazz Fest ($$), Saturday, May 2, wine and jazz, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and jazz concert featuring pianist McCoy Tyner, 7:30 p.m., For ticket prices, etc., please see http://www.longwoodgardens.org/WineandJazz2009.html
Margaritaville 2009 ($$), to benefit Mason-Dixon Public Library, Naylor Wine Cellars, Stewartstown, Saturday, May 9, 5 to 1 p.m., rain or shine, must be 21 or over to enter, For tickets contact Mason-Dixon Public Library, 250 Bailey Drive, Stewartstown, PA 17363, 717.993.2404
Wine in the Woods Wine Festival ($$), Columbia, Md., Saturday, May 16, and Sunday, May 17, noon to 6 p.m. each day, link to festival Web site
Bucks County Wine Tour ($$), Sunday May 30, 8 participating wine venues with food partners:
Buckingham Valley Vineyards - None Such Fard
Chaddsford Wine Shop - Earl's Prime Restaurant
Crossing Vineyards - Jamie Hollander Catering
New Hope Winery - Bobby Simone's Restaurant
Rose Bank Winery - Market by Shadybrook at Delaware Valley College
Rushland Ridge Winery - Luigi's Italian Ristorante
Sand Castle Winery - DISH Catering
Wycombe Vineyards - Andre's Cheese Shop
An after event reception will be held at the Tuscany at the Towpath in New Hope at 18 W. Mechanic Street from 5 - 6:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, Doylestwon Bookstore or at any participating wineries the day of the event. Link to trail Web site
Wine School of Philadelphia: Wine 101: Intro to Wine ($$), tonight (Thursday, April 16), 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., 2006 Fairmount Ave., Philly; Core Wine Certification ($$), classes for spring semester will begin April 23; Premium Green: Environmentally Soud Extravangance ($$), Wednesday, April 22, 7:30 p.m.; Wine 201 ($$), Wednesday, May 6, 6 to 8 p.m.; Sommelier Smackdown ($$), Wednesday, May 6, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; for information on these and others, contact Keith at 215.965.1514 x55 or go to the Web site
Bin 604, 604 S. Exter St., Baltimore: Wine 101: The Basics of Wine Tasting ($$), class on April 25 (also May 9 and May 23), at 2 and 3:30 p.m., classes limited to 12 people, they look at the typical characteristics of popular grape varietals and explain the terminology and techniques of wine tasting and learn how to recognize the subtle and subjective flavors of wine; Green Wine Tasting ($$), Sunday, 3 to 6 p.m.; Alain Blanchon portfolio tasting ($$), Thursday night, April 30; Spanish wine and cheese tasting with Whole Foods Market ($$), Wednesday night, May 6; Call 410.576.0444 for information and reservations, link here to Web site
John J. Jeffries, 300 Lancaster Ave., Lancaster: Happy Hour Revival, Friday, 4 to 6 p.m., Wine by the Glass: $5, Organic Cosmos: $4, Local Drafts: $3, Straub Light Bottles: $2; appearance of Octavia on May 1 will kick off Happy Hour on the Terrace promotion; wine and food dinner with Manatawny Creek Winery ($$) on Sunday, April 26, call the restaurant for reservations at 717.431.3307; SSBN fund-raiser with blues, brews and BBQ ($$), Sunday, May 3, noon to 4 p.m., link to restaurant
$$ – Fee