Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Event Grapevine, March 13-15


I try to veer away from the press release, but there are no rules on this blog that can’t be broken occasionally. Plenty in this release from Chaddsford Winery to digest about the breadth of the programs scheduled there over the next month or two. So rather than a synopsis, here ya go.

Wine lovers looking to increase their knowledge of the winemaking process will be delighted by the educational possibilities offered at Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, 610.388.6221) this spring. Proprietors Eric and Lee Miller have crafted a class schedule that includes special tasting events, wine pairing seminars and even technical tours of their winemaking and barrel-aging cellars, available throughout spring and summer 2009.

“Everyone, from beginners to more experienced tasters, can benefit from new wine experiences,” says winemaker Eric Miller. “Learning to taste wine more precisely, and exploring the mechanics of how it is made, can turn a simple beverage into a fascinating hobby – or in some cases, a lifestyle! We’re thrilled to share our knowledge with our guests.”
For casual enthusiasts, Chaddsford offers a series of tasting and wine and food pairing seminars. These special offerings take place at the winery in Pennsylvania’s scenic Brandywine River valley, except where noted, and include:

* Thursday, April 9: “Wine 101 with Winemaker Eric Miller,” a popular ‘introduction’ class for beginners who want to learn a little bit more about how to use, serve, talk about and enjoy wines. $35 per person; 7 – 9 p.m.
* Thursday, April 16: “Decadent Chocolates and Dessert Wines with Wine Educator Mark Cochard, CWE, DWS,” a voyage through the world’s most famous dessert wines, including port and Muscat, paired with gourmet chocolates from West Chester’s own √ąclat Chocolate. $50 per person; 7 – 9 p.m.
* Sunday, April 19: “The Art of Blind Tasting,” an interactive tasting with Laurie Forster, a professional sommelier and wine educator that will train attendees in the basics of ‘blind’ wine tasting. Forster will also sign copies of her acclaimed wine book The Sipping Point. $45 per person; 2 – 4 p.m.
* Thursday, April 23: “The Terroir Factor with Wine Educator Frank Patterson,” an exploration of the effects of ‘terroir,’ or geography and soil composition, on some of the world’s most famous wines. $45 per person; 7 – 9 p.m.
* Thursday, April 30: “BBQ and Burger Wines with Wine Educator Michael Theiss,” a hands-on tasting of ‘manly’ wines perfect for serving with backyard barbecue and savory grilled burgers. $50 per person; 7 – 9 p.m.
* Thursday, May 7: “Economic Stimulus Wines with Wine Educator Anthony Ianni,” a chic and thrifty seminar on some of the superb deals available to drinkers on a budget. $40 per person; 7 – 9 p.m.
* Thursday, May 14: “All-American Artisanal Cheese and Wine Tasting with Wine Educator Mark Cochard,” a delicious tour of America’s finest hand-crafted cheeses and small-batch wines. $50 per person; 7 – 9 p.m.
* Saturday, May 16: “Tour the Miller Estate Vineyard with Winemaker and Proprietor Eric Miller,” a once-annual visit to the stunning vineyards where Chaddsford produces the grapes for their prestigious Portfolio Collection, including a tasting of wines grown on the estate. $35 per person; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; at the Miller Estate Vineyard.
* Sunday, May 17: “Sommelier’s Secrets of Wine and Food Pairing,” an interactive tasting with sommelier and wine author Marnie Old, ideal for beginners and experienced tasters alike. After the seminar, Old will sign copies of her pairing book, He Said Beer, She Said Wine. $50 per person; 2 – 4 p.m.

All Chaddsford Wine Education classes require advance reservations at 610.388.6221.
For a more casual experience, Chaddsford’s Saturday Reserve Tastings, which run from every Saturday, April 4 until Saturday, Nov. 28, allow participants to drop into the winery and sit down with an experienced wine educator in an intimate session designed to give tasters already familiar with most Chaddsford wines a deeper understanding of the winery’s limited production Portfolio Collection lots and older library selections. Reserve Tastings last approximately one hour, and are held at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Reservations are recommended (610.388.6221) but not required. Reserve Tastings are $15 per person, and are also available for private groups.

Finally, those seeking to better understand the inner workings of a successful winery will be delighted by Chaddsford’s new Technical Tours with the Winemaking Team, a one-of-a-kind opportunity for guests to pick the brains of the winery’s production team, including winemaker Eric Miller and his cellarmaster and enologist. Participants will get the chance to see the cellars, explore the production deck, taste directly from a barrel, and learn about wine from the cellar up. Technical Tours last about one hour, and take place Fridays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. There is no charge. Reservations are recommended but not required; call (610. 388.6221).

Chaddsford Winery is Pennsylvania’s premiere winery. In 2008, Wine Enthusiast named Chaddsford Winery one of “America’s Top 25 Tasting Rooms”; to be considered for this honor, “wine quality was paramount,” but “decor, staff savvy, amenities and more ephemeral characteristics, such as overall quirkiness or warmth” were considered as well. The 2005 Chaddsford Miller Estate Vineyard Chardonnay was featured in Food & Wine magazine (April 2008) as one of the “67 Best American Wines ($15 and Under).”

Chaddsford wines are available directly from the winery in Chadds Ford or at Chaddsford’s Bucks County Tasting Room in Peddler’s Village, Lahaska. Wines may also be ordered on-line at www.chaddsford.com; please visit their website or contact Chaddsford Winery at (610.388.6221 for more information on wines, events, upcoming festivals and tastings.

As for what’s going on elsewhere, both this weekend and beyond, take a look:

PENNSYLVANIA WINERIES

Adams County Winery, Orrtanna: Wine Appreciation class ($$), Saturday, March 21, 6 to 8:30 p.m.; Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend through March at all Uncork York wineries; home wine-making class ($$), Sunday, May 10,
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 ($$), 2 to 5 p.m., all require reservations at 741.3072, all events at the Wine Gallery in Olde Tollgate Village EXCEPT for Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend through March at all Uncork York wineries; music of Ravensun ($$), Saturday, April 11, 2 to 5 p.m.,
link to winery

Black Walnut Winery, Sadsburyville: Barrels on the Brandywine ($$), starting Sunday and continuing every weekend in March at all Brandywine Valley Wine Trail wineries,
link to winery

Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars, New Tripoli: Sunday Blues Wine Tastings, music every Sunday ($$), 2 to 5 p.m., through April,
link to winery

Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery, North Wales: Nina singing live, Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m.,
link to winery

Buckingham Valley Vineyards, Buckingham: Spring Arts Sale, Saturday and Sunday, Bucks County Wine Trail event,
link to winery

Chaddsford Winery, Chaddsford: Barrels on the Brandywine ($$), continuing every weekend in March at all Brandywine Valley Wine Trail wineries; reserve tastings ($$) begin in April, 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m. every Saturday; winemaker dinner ($$) at Caffe Gelato, Newark, Del., Sunday, March 22, 6 p.m.; Wine 101 ($$), Thursday, April 9, 6 to 8 p.m. with Eric Miller, the first of a series of classes that run through May; Pierre Noir release party, Friday, April 3; Crazy Eric sale at the winery, Saturday, April 11, starting at 8 a.m.; technical tour program, free, starting April 1, on Friday 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: March Madness ($$), passport required, a Lehigh Valley Wine Trail event; beginner tasting class ($$), Saturday, April 25, 3 p.m.; A Taste of Spring, a Berks County Wine Trail event, April 25-26, link to winery

Country Creek Winery, Salford Township: Music, Mike Greer and Friends, Saturday, March 21, no cover charge, 6 to 9 p.m.; dinner at Brazzo Downtown ($$), Thursday, March 26; Liquid Fridge will perform, Saturday, March 28, 6 to 9 p.m.,
link to winery

Crossing Vineyards & Winery, Washington Crossing: Wine and food pairing ($$), Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Wine Tasting for Dummies ($$), Sunday, 2 p.m.; St. Patrick’s Day celebration ($$), Tuesday, March 17, 7:30 p.m.; Wine 101, at the Wine Institute ($$), 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., topic on Friday, March 23, is An Introduction to Wine,
link to winery

Cullari Vineyards & Winery, Hershey: Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend through March at all Uncork York wineries,
link to winery

Four Springs Winery, Seven Valleys: Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend through March at all Uncork York wineries,
link to winery

Franklin Hill Vineyards, Bangor: Free winery tour, Wednesdays at noon,
link to winery

Hauser Estate Winery, Biglerville: Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend through March at all Uncork York wineries; winemaker’s dinner ($$), March 27, Restaurant Sydney in East Berlin; Candlelight Friday, last Friday of every month, 5 to 8 p.m., wine tasting, music and warm food,
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.; Barrels on the Brandywine ($$), continuing every weekend in March at all Brandywine Valley Wine Trail wineries,
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.; Saturday, March 21, wine and food pairing; Taste of Spring, Berks County Wine Trail event, April 25-26,
link to winery

Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery, Wrightsville: Music every Friday (6 to 9 p.m.), Saturday (2 to 5 p.m.) and Sunday (2 to 5 p.m.); Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend through March at all Uncork York wineries,
link to winery

Naylor Wine Cellars, Stewartstown: Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend through March at all Uncork York wineries; Forget The Taxes and red Wine Dinner ($$), Saturday, April 18, 3 to 6 p.m., and Sunday, April 19, 2 to 5 p.m., link to winery

New Hope Winery, New Hope: Spring Arts Festival, Bucks County Wine Trail event,
link to winery

Nissley Vineyards & Winery Estate, Bainbridge: Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend through March at all Uncork York wineries,
link to winery

Paradocx Vineyard, Landenberg: Barrels on the Brandywine ($$), continuing every weekend in March at all Brandywine Valley Wine Trail wineries,
link to winery

Penns Woods Winery, Eddystone: Barrels on the Brandywine ($$), continuing every weekend in March at all Brandywine Valley Wine Trail wineries, link to winery

Pinnacle Ridge Winery, Kutztown: March Madness ($$), passport required, a Lehigh Valley Wine Trail event; Taste of Spring, Berks County Wine Trail event, April 25-26, link to winery

Reid’s Ochards & Winery, Ortanna: New winery; Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend through March at all Uncork York wineries,
link to information

Rose Bank Winery, Newtown: Winter Wine Concert Series, Sundays through March 29, 1 to 4 p.m., at Shady Brook Farm,
link to winery

Rushland Ridge, Rushland: Reopened,
link to winery

Seven Valleys Vineyard & Winery, Glen Rock:
Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend through March at all Uncork York wineries,
link to winery

Stargazers Vineyard & Winery, Coatesville:
Barrels on the Brandywine ($$), starting Sunday and continuing every weekend in March at all Brandywine Valley Wine Trail wineries,
link to winery

Tamanend Winery, Lancaster: New winery open, Thursdays, Fridays and 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

Twin Brook Winery, Gap:
Barrels on the Brandywine ($$), continuing every weekend in March at all Brandywine Valley Wine Trail wineries,
link to winery

Va La Vineyards, Avondale: Open Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.; a proud participant this year in the 2009 Avondale League of Octogenarians Spring Swimsuit Festival,
link to winery

Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville: March Madness ($$), passport required, a Lehigh Valley Wine Trail event; Championship Philies Saturday, April 4,
link to winery

Waltz Vineyards, Manheim: New winery, open Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. through the end of March, and by appointment,
link to winery

West Hanover Winery, Harrisburg: Tour de Tanks ($$), continuing every weekend in March at all Uncork York wineries,
link to winery


MARYLAND WINERIES

Basignani Winery, Sparks: Pizza and herbs ($$), April 18-19, noon to 5 p.m.,
link to winery
Black Ankle Winery, Mt. Airy: Open for business, winner of Maryland Governor’s Cup in 2008; winter hours start Dec. 1, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., other times by appointment; St. Paddy’s Day with the Bog Band, Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; Crumbling Rock vs. the World ($$), Sunday, March 29, 2 to 5 p.m., link to winery

Boordy Vineyards, Hydes: Stew in Our Juices ($$), homemade stews and wine pairing, with musical entertainment, every Sunday in March, 1 to 5 p.m., winery link

Frederick Cellars, Frederick: Happy Hour, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every weekday, glasses are half-price; Music in the Cellar, Saturdays, 6:30 or 7 p.m.,
link to winery

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; St. Paddy’s Day celebration, all weekend, 1 to 6 p.m.,
link to winery

Woodhall Wine Cellars, Parkton: Annual barrel sale, futures sale and chocolate tasting ($$), extending every weekend through March 29, 2 to 4 p.m., call 410.357.8644 or send an e-mail to reserve your spots; Patricia Della Casual Fine Dining will be serving lunch and dinner from noon to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. each weekend by reservation (410.357.5078),
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

Tour de Tanks, starting Feb. 28 and continuing every weekend in March, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays, cost is $15 per person, pick up tickets at any participating winery or order online
here, wineries include Adams County, Allegro, Cullari, Four Springs, Fox Ridge, Hauser Estate, Moondancer, Naylor, Nissley, Reid’s Orchard, Seven Valleys and West Hanover; information on Meet the Winemaker dinners here.

Barrels on the Brandywine, starting March 1 and continuing every weekend in March, noon to 5 p.m., cost is $25 per person, pick up tickets at any participating winery or order online
here, wineries include Black Walnut, Chaddsford, Kreutz Creek, Paradocx, Penns Woods, Stargazers and Twin Brook.

March Madness, Lehigh Valley Wine Trail passport event, continuing on weekends through the end of March; sold out, you can find information on the event
here.

Trail of Spring, third annual
Berks County Wine Trail event, April 25-26, with wine and food pairings.

$$ – Admission charge