Thursday, April 23, 2009

Basignani 'Swings into Spring' next weekend

Basignani Winery in Sparks, Md., is the one of the first regional wineries we felt comfortable enough to call it home. We've enjoyed their line of wines through the years and attended a number of events there, including three harvest days.

Sent an e-mail to owner Lynne Basignani on Wednesday about what's new at their winery, and received this note back today that I want to post.

We just bottled our new 2008 sweet wines, and in addition to our Riesling and Vidal, we have new sweet wines, a blush called "Monkton Moon Delight," with a beautiful painting on the label and a sweet red wine called "Marisa Dolce." We think that's pretty exciting, especially since we've been out of our sweet wines for 4 months! Also, we're having our "Swing into Spring" event, which is the official release of the new sweet wines on May 2-3rd.

The cost is $8 and includes a glass, wine tasting, hayrides (weather permitting) and desserts to go with our sweet wines. we also have a new brick oven, so you never know when you might come on a weekend and find pizza for sale. (People can always call to see if we are making pizza or not. Bert is quite the "pizzaiolo."

The Wine Grapevine, April 16-19

Love this rematch that Chaddsford Winery is planning, although you've have to drive a bit to attend it. What they are calling the Virginia “Wine War” will take place again Sunday at Iron Bridge Wine Company in Warrenton, Va., on Sunday, what the participants are calling “the first North invades the South Winemaker Dinner.”

It will pit "Pennsylvania’s Best Winemaker” Eric Miller against some of Virginia’s finest in a rematch of last year's event, where the Southerners came out on top by a small margin. I asked Lee Miller for a short explanation of what this is all about. "Just a fun theme created by the restaurant/wine shop that is doing this," she wrote, " They are in VA and thought it would be fun to do a "north vs. south" event using us (PA) for the North and VA wines for the south. Just another way to get attention and have a fun wine night . . . and for us, a way to bring attention to east coast/local wines."

The cost to attend is $100/person, but that includes seven courses (including special dishes from Virginia and Pennsylvania) and 15 wines. You can reserve a spot by calling 540.349.9339.

More information on the event and the Iron Bridge Wine Company can be found at
this link.

As for what's going on elsewhere around the region this week and next, 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, 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, 1 to 6 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. on Sunday; serving at Bear Creek Wine Festival, Sunday, May 3, 1 to 5 p.m.,
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 23), The Terroir Factor ($$), with wine educator Frank Patterson, 7 to 9 p.m.; following one is BBQ & Burgers ($$), with wine educator Mike Thesis, Thursday, April 30, 7 to 9 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; Spring Wine Tasting, Saturday, 7 to 9 p.m., free, but reservations required at 610.388..6221; “Wine Civil War” at Iron Bridge Wine Company in Warrington, Va., ($$), more info at
this link; Brandywine River Blues Festival ($$), May 23-25, link to winery

Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville: Beginner tasting class ($$), Saturday, 3 p.m.; A Taste of Spring, a Berks County Wine Trail event, Saturday and Sunday; vineyard and winery tour ($$), 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: Live music with the Britton Brothers, Saturday, May 2, 6 to 9 p.m., no cover charge, 133 Cressman Road, Telford; Wine Tasting & Watercolors ($$), Tuesday, May 5, 7 :30 to 9:30 p.m., Arts-N-Sparks, Harleysville,
link to winery

Crossing Vineyards & Winery, Washington Crossing: Wine 101 classes ($$) at the institute, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Monday, the next one will be Red Wine on April 27; Wine Tasting for Singles ($$), Friday, May 8, 7 p.m.; Wine Tasting for Dummies ($$), Sunday, May 17, 2 p.m., at the institute; Spring Winemaker’s Dinner ($$), Saturday, 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, 2 p.m.; Bucks County Wine Trail spring festival, May 2-3,
link to winery

Franklin Hill Vineyards, Bangor: Free winery tour, Wednesdays at noon,
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, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with lunch and then wine afterward; 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, 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 pairing with John J Jeffries Restaurant in Lancaster for an all-vegetarian dinner on Sunday, 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: 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, 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,
link to winery

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, will include Paradocx wine, cheese tastings, and a spread of scones & croissants, as well as famous apple cider doughnuts from nearby Northbrook Marketplace (in West Chester). Each adult guest will receive a complimentary Paradocx engraved Riedel wine glass, and a certificate for a complimentary glass of wine at either Bistro on the Brandywine (Chaddsford, Pa.) or Blue Crab Grill (Newark, Del.) to enjoy during their Mother’s Day lunch or dinner. Lunch and dinner reservations should be made directly with the restaurants. You can book at noon, 1:30 or 3 p.m. by calling 610.255.5684,
link to winery

Pinnacle Ridge Winery, Kutztown: Taste of Spring, Berks County Wine Trail event, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, 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, 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,
link to winery

Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville: 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: Swing Into Spring ($$), Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3, noon to 5 p.m.,
link to winery

Black Ankle Winery, Mt. Airy: Winner of Maryland Governor’s Cup in 2008; 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 ($$), wine and music, Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.; Queen for a Day, Mother’s Day picnic ($$), 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 now open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Maggie's Restaurant in Westminster will be hosting a wine dinner on Tuesday, 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; Mothers Day Weekend, May 9-10, noon to 6 p.m., mothers will receive complimentary tastings of selected SMV wine and enjoy classic rock by Denny Grizzle, link to winery

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


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 go to
this link

Bear Creek Wine Festival, Bear Creek Mountain Recort, Lake Macungie, Pa., Sunday, May 3, 1 to 5 p.m., info at
this link

Margaritaville 2009 ($$), to benefit Mason-Dixon Public Library, Naylor Wine Cellars, Stewartstown, Saturday, May 9, 5 to 1 p.m., rain or shine, must be 21 or over to enter, For tickets contact Mason-Dixon Public Library, 250 Bailey Drive, Stewartstown, PA 17363, 717.993.2404Wine in the Woods Wine Festival ($$), 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 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 ($$), class on April 25 (also May 9 and May 23), at 2 and 3:30 p.m., classes limited to 12 people, they look at the typical characteristics of popular grape varietals and explain the terminology and techniques of wine tasting and learn how to recognize the subtle and subjective flavors of wine; Alain Blanchon portfolio tasting ($$), 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 ($$) on Sunday, call the restaurant for reservations at 717.431.3307; SSBN fund-raiser with blues, brews and BBQ ($$), Sunday, May 3, noon to 4 p.m.,
link to restaurant

$$ – Fee