Saturday, March 7, 2009

Four Springs packed this afternoon

Stopped out at Four Springs Winery near Glen Rock, Pa., one of the 12 wineries along the Uncork York trail that's participating in the Tour de Tanks during weekends throughout March. Get your card stamped at each stop, with the chance to sample the wines, nosh a bit, and ask anything you want about the wines and what goes into making them.

The parking lot at the boutique winery was filled when I arrived during the early afternoon. I was told around 175 visited last Saturday, the Tour's first day, and over 100 last Sunday. They already had topped 100 card-carrying members today and another three hours remained.

Make sure you try the meatballs among the foods dotting the table across the winery from the barrels. They are cooked in the Four Springs Chardonnay; I could have nibbled on those all day. Hoping they'll send me the receipe and I'll add it to this post. Sampled the Niagara and both the unfinished and finished Chards, then headed into the tasting room to sample several of the reds, including the Chambourcin, Cab Franc and a Cab Sauvignon the winemaker feels might still be another three or four years away from its full potential.

Meanwhile, both rooms were packaged and folks were milling around, just exchanging their opinions on the wine or talking about other wineries on the trail they had hit last week or earlier today. One couple had visited Hauser Estate in Orrtanna and were raving about the view. I can vouch for that, having stopped last week.

Bargain alert: Give the Celeste a whirl

Rarely will I give a recommendation for a wine that I bought at the state store. I'll leave that up to thousands of other wine experts on the Internet to offer their opinions and expertise. But I'm a sucker for the Tempranillo grape, one that has its roots in northern Spain. And it's that grape (well, OK, it's a grape officially know as Tinto Fino there) that's in a $10 red wine that you'll find at state stores around the Commonwealth, a Chairman's Selection offering called Celeste from the wine region of Ribera del Duero. For one who loves looking for basement bargains, this one fills the bill.

According to one site I read, the eye-catching label features the location of the stars over the vineyard at 7 in the evening. It's a wine that looks gorgeous and yields a barrel full of aromas and mild tannins. For the purpose of the novice, it's just a great wine that would go with any number of dishes or none at all. Definitely one worth trying out. If you are interested in the tasting notes, scroll down at this link.