Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Berks County trail's eight wineries serving up cheeses and wine as part of weekend festival

Gotten away from those long weekly list of wine-related activities, but still want to steer you toward specific events that you might want to consider as a weekend destination. One this coming Saturday and Sunday will be the Berks County Wine Trail's Artisian Cheese and Wine Weekend. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

That trail includes eight wineries, with four running north to south along a western flank from north of I-78 to around Rt. 422, and then east to Blair Vineyards near Rt. 100 in Mertztown and south to Kog Hill Winery in Morgantown.

You can click on the wine trail Web site and then on each winery's link to see what they're planning for food and events in addition to having wine available for tasting. But you can start right here with three wineries that I want to mention:

Blair Vineyards in Mertztown is offering two cheese from Hendricks Farm and Dairy in Telford. One is an aged Gouda that will pair with a 2005 Merlot, and the other is their Keystone Classic that will match with Blair's 2005 Chardonnay.

Breakaway Farms of Manheim will cart its organic cheeses and meats into Clover Hill Vineyards' Robesonia location, open noon to 5 p.m. both days.

Finally, Manatawny Creek Winery in Douglassville will offer cheeses from three local producers: a fresh goat cheese from Woodchoppertown Chevre will be paired with its Riesling wine; a cheddar cheese from Wholesome Dairy Farms will be paired with its Cabernet Sauvignon, and Fat Cat cheese from Birchrun Hills Farm will be paired with its Chardonnay.

Asian pears will be available to sample at all the wineries.

Best part of the Berks County trail, at least at last check, is the absence of a tasting fee to sample their wines. That won't last forever, but it makes this trail unique among all the others in the region.

Four Maryland winery owners, and how they got started, profiled in magazine story

Two quick notes out of Maryland before I head out the door to class.

The newest e-letter of the
Association of Maryland Wineries links to a story that Baltimore Magazine recently published on four wineries in the state -- Black Ankle, Boordy, Sugarloaf Mountain and St. Michaels -- and how they got started. A good read with an ample mix of background and quotes. I've dealt with three of the four wineries, and all three have been media savvy and eager for the publicity. I've always appreciated their cooperation. The one I haven't visited as yet is St. Michaels.

Wanted to also call attention to the Eastern Yacht Club's Bayside Blues and Wine Fest, scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Saturday in Essex, Md. "Seven wineries in the proximity of the yacht club will be pouring. You can find out more by clocking on
this link.