Tuesday, March 3, 2009

On the Trail of Brandywine Valley Wineries

By Brianne Harrison

New Jersey and its surrounding environs are not exactly known as a wine-producing Mecca. Mention local wineries, and what you’ll typically get is a smirk or a snide comment. Which is too bad, really, because there are some beautiful wineries with decent wines sprinkled throughout the area. Anyone who wants to explore some of them and sample their offerings should check out Barrels on the Brandywine, an annual event that kicked off last weekend in which the seven wineries of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail throw open their cellar doors to wine aficionados and curious locals alike.

Barrels on the Brandywine, which is being held every weekend throughout March, is a great opportunity to learn about the local wineries, explore their cellars and grounds, and enjoy some of the entertainment and food on offer. This year’s attendees can try some local, organic cheeseburgers, sausages, and cheeses while viewing artwork from local artists at Paradocx Vineyard, pick up some of Tim and Melissa’s famous gumbo at Twin Brook Winery, or, if the weather holds out, pack a picnic to eat on the grounds of Penns Woods Winery. Most of the wineries are featuring tastings of premium wines or debuting new bottles, and Chaddsford Winery is offering discounts on purchases of three, six, and 12 bottles.

A $25 passport is an all-access pass to the participating wineries. The BVWT wineries participating this year are Black Walnut Winery, Chaddsford Winery, Kreutz Creek Vineyards, Paradocx Vineyard, Penns Woods Vineyard, Stargazers Vineyard, and Twin Brook Winery. Passports are only available for sale online until March 7. To purchase a passport, either visit one of the participating wineries or go to bvwinetrail.com. Sante!

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