Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Road trip: Seven Valleys and Four Springs

Since I can't be everywhere . . . thought I'd "employ" the sentiments of Alison Smith, PR coordinator for the York Country Convention & Visitors Bureau, from her visits to two wineries last weekend as the Tour de Tanks got rolling. The 12 wineries making up the Uncork York Wine Trail will welcome visitors every weekend through the end of March. Passports are $15/person.

She wrote: "Sunday a group of my family and friends visited Four Springs Winery and Seven Valleys Vineyard & Winery during the 4th annual Tour de Tanks event. We arrived at Four Springs in the early afternoon to a sea of friendly faces eager to greet us, stamp our tickets and point us toward the wonderful spread of dips, fruits, cheeses and other yummy noshes. As we listened to Bud, one of the owners, discuss the finer points of their winemaking, it was clear to the group that we were in for a treat. The Niagara wine was clean, crisp and bright - from the barrel. Tasting the finished product next to the one still in process was truly a eureka moment for some in our group. This being some of their first tank & barrel tastings, they weren't sure what to expect. After tasting another fine vintage in the making the questions started flowing, first from my brother-in-law, the carpenter. He had a string of questions about where the oak for the barrels comes from, why the heads of the barrels are toasted and for how long. Bud was thrilled to answer all of our seemingly endless questions, all with a smile.

"As we made our way to the tasting room, we chatted with others who'd been traveling the trail, trading stories, driving routes and personal preferences. Four Springs really is all about friends meeting and sharing, it's why the owners started their winery together and now they're reaching out and spreading the laughter and joy of wine with everyone who visits.

"Just a short drive from Four Springs, we arrived at
Seven Valleys, a beautiful oasis tucked back in the rolling hills of Southern York County. The chocolate fountain was the first thing that caught my sister-in-law's eye. She instantly clapped her hands together and said "perfecto."

"We were greeted by Linda, who has worked the vineyard since the vines were planted. She shared stories with us about bringing her children along in the vineyard to help her when they were young. She also shared a fabulous Chambourcin that was just the right amount of dryness for my taste. After sampling a few wines from the tanks we headed upstairs where even more wonderful food was waiting. Out of this world crab dip, gourmet pizza and flavorful cheeses were spread out before us - we were like kids in a candy store. After sampling a refreshing and palate pleasing apple wine we moved on to the red wine station where I made my new find of the day - Little Roundtop, a red wine from their Gettysburg series. I served it Sunday evening with a roasted red pepper and turkey breast lasagna I had made Saturday. It was the perfect compliment to my meal and my weekend.

"It was truly a wonderful way to spend time with people who like myself are busy young professionals, some with young children, who all enjoyed an afternoon to relax and share laughs with friends new and old."