Lucky Number…

SevenMountainGlass

This isn’t about gambling per se.   Well maybe when it comes to time.  It’s the excitement of arriving at a place minutes before it closes.  It’s about getting down to the wire and and making it all work out at the eleventh hour.

With this I conclude my mini Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail with part 3, Seven Mountain Wine Cellars.

After my previous two (1, 2) stops, I realized that if I picked up the pace, I’d make closing time by about 30 minutes.   I don’t regret my decision but like the preceding winery, I wish I had more time to appreciate this experience.

I didn’t want to be that guy.  And I hope I wasn’t but when I finally arrived I noticed the staff was starting to clean up and go home for the day.  I’ve never wanted to show up at a restaurant right before the kitchen closes or a bar right after last call, but I felt it.

Whether or not my fears were unwarranted is another story but I made it clear I was going to buy a bottle after this rapid-fire tasting.  That’s exactly what I did.  You see there’s a principle with this.  To show gratitude for sampling wines for free, it only makes sense to purchase at least one bottle for the road.

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Sadly, the conversations about what each wine poured and what the grapes offered respectively was accelerated.   With that I was unable to fully appreciate what I was tasting.  So it’s not fair to judge these wines on this visit alone.   It’s not as if I was chugging then going on to the next.  But I can sometimes be my worst enemy when it comes to time management.  There is no rush in life but my rationale is that I’m rarely here and I’m trying to makes as many discoveries as I can in the self-imposed timeline I’ve given myself.   There it is.

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I won’t go over every wine but I did pick an old favorite to take home.   As you can see my one-track mind led me to taste only reds.  And the Rattlehead Red is their Chambourcin that tasted solid at that moment, but I think it will age phenomenally with time.  If not, it will work just wine with a simple dish like pizza and pasta, as they suggest.

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Funny how numerology works here.  The number seven and all. It could be reading too much into signs or maybe there’s more.

The real luck came from the staff who was kind enough to allow me to take pictures for my review.  I’m grateful all three wineries allowed me the freedom to do so.

Before I departed I met co-owner Mary Ann (her husband is the winemaker) who could not be more friendly.  She without saying so basically said my fears I referenced to earlier were unwarranted.  She is proud of her winery and they’re grateful for their customers locally and farther away like myself.

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The vibe was such that going with friends would have heightened this experience.  But maybe my indoctrination process meant going at it alone.  I promised Mary Ann I’d be back and hopefully would have some friends with me.  They have some fun events coming up which I would love to partake in.

If you’re interested in purchasing their wines, go here.

And here’s a friendly wine primer.

I’ll leave you with a collage of some photos I took.  Enjoy and enjoy!  That’s sometime  I will be reminding myself to do as well.

Enjoy,

Ideen

 

Never Be Enough Time

BrookMereBottles

My mini Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail Tour continues from last week with the second stop being the beautiful Brookmere Wine & Vineyard Inn.

This is one where I wish I had spent more time than I did.   But the energy didn’t seem to lend itself to more than a few minutes visit.

Once again, as I’m driving down the interstate I see a sign directing travelers to a winery. Before I even decided to check where it was, I just followed the signs and took my fate in the atmosphere’s hands.

It only took about a 10 mile detour to get here and I’m happy I did.  Upon arrival, I see a horse-drawn carriage in the middle of the street going on its merry way.   The visual that I just gave you is just as awesome as it was in person.  I only wish I had photographic evidence but maybe it’s meant to be.  Let that memory remain with me and the privacy of the horse remains as such.  But after seeing that I knew I was in for a treat.

Matt greeted me as I walked in and asked if I had any questions.   Like last week, I explained my blogging passion and pictures were encouraged.

What stood out were the labels.  How beautiful are some of these?  The artwork, the imagery, and especially the animals, always wins me over.

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The wine itself did not completely blow me away.   Nothing wowed me to the point of purchase or a second sip.  Even the Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc, which are usual go to’s were not amazing.  No wine was bad and many were decent.  It just didn’t hit me the way previous wines have.  Until…

The Red Fox, while having a beautiful animal friend on the cover, also was the one that captivated me the post.  It’s a sweet and spicy bottle that can be had summer or winter, chilled or heated, and everything in between.   The cinnamon is not too overpowering and was something unique to enjoy.  In going with tradition of buying at least one bottle at a wine tasting, I went with this one.  I’ll hold onto this for a while, until a special occasion calls for it.   At $12 it’s a more-than-reasonable find.

BrookmereWineList

My one-track mind of going for all red’s also may have hindered me from appreciating what was in front of me.  I rinsed my glass and cleansed my palate at every opportunity.  It just didn’t work out as best as I had hoped. It was still a good time but there was something lacking.  Perhaps it was me.

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This is where having some good company, making friends with other wine tasters, or having a friend or two with you would help.   The wines could easily taste better with a more stimulating conversation, good food, and good friends.  Maybe at some point I hit a wall going to a winery on my own.   Notice how this is a reflection on me and not on the winery itself.

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Brookmere’s space was cozy and on top of that there is a bed & breakfast and wedding venue right next door to the winery.  I snagged a photo of the building next door and I can only imagine how charming it is on the inside.   Maybe someone will invite to their wedding and I’ll have an excuse to come back?  Wait, that was a no?  Oh well I’ll have to make a move to return sooner as opposed to later.

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As I mentioned earlier, maybe I didn’t give myself enough time to appreciate my surroundings.  I did but a little relaxation and a retreat to a new location should lead to peace and tranquility.   There is no rush in life.  I’ll do it even better next time.

I hope you enjoy my collage of photographs!

If you’re interested in purchasing their wines, click here!

For part 1 aka last weeks post, go here.

Take good care,

Ideen

Feeling Happy at Hunters Valley

HuntersHeart

I’m so grateful to live in Maryland.   I have access to drive to so many wineries and attractions in many neighboring states.  This leads to adventures, excitement, and something fresh.  That’s what life is all about.  This is a never-ending journey, and why would I want it any other way.

A road trip to Central Pennsylvania can me a lot of things.  I’m all about the unexpected, unplanned, and unseen.  But what I discovered is more joy than I could ever imagined.

I had only heard of the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail in passing.   And didn’t realize until I made a visit to The Winery at Hunters Valley, that I’m about to embark on something special.

I made the 15 minute detour off the interstate to visit this charming vineyard.    Thank goodness I did.  I almost just kept on going to get closer to my destination.  What that destination is doesn’t matter, because I’m not even sure what that is.

You’re going to see a lot of pictures and I’ll let that do most of the talking.  I want to thank Megan, who was conducting the tasting, for allowing me to take all the pictures I wanted. She was very accommodating and went above-and-beyond in making my visit as efficient, yet peaceful as possible.  The only caveat is that I give the winery and their wines a positive review.  That’s not going to be a problem.

It helps when you’re the only one there at the time.  So chances are the conversation is going to be a lot more laid back and informal as opposed to a larger group.  It also lends itself to being more of yourself versus having to play chameleon.  That can be enjoyable too, but I hope you know what I mean.

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What’s refreshing is the wine tasting was free.   I feel like I’m already in the money at this point.  I had up to five to choose from but Megan let me try six.  I hope I don’t get her in trouble.    The five err.. six I tasted are checked off by yours truly.     Notice how reasonably priced they are.

An analysis of every wine tried is not necessary.  I’ll try to keep it brief.  But I’ll tell you, I liked some more over others.  That may not be the expertise you’re looking for but it’s a simple way of saying a couple really won my heart.

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The Merlot was the bonus I tried and it was probably my second favorite.  This grape has really grown on me as my palate has changed.   I’ve made mention of this over the life of this blog.

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The Niagara is just like it says.   I really felt like I was eating a grape and savoring the juices.  Oh this one really got to me.  I almost bought this.  I’m still contemplating my decision as to why I didn’t.

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I went with the Heart of the Valley.   I gave away my purchase at the beginning of this post is you look above.   One of the main reasons is I think I’ve never written about a Chianti and that’s quite a shame.   Chambourcin is one of those grapes that’s on my short list of my favorite grapes but this didn’t taste like the grape I’ve grown accustomed too.  That’s just fine by me. They’re all not meant to taste the same.

The main reason I bought it (other than I feel a courtesy to buy a wine at a tasting) is I think this bottle is going to get amazing with time.  It’s one of the easiest wines I’ve sipped and I  feel that the wine will age well.  That’s not just a cliche you hear about.   It’s so easy to sip now that it can only grow to be more awesome.

But speaking of awesome, the views outside are so inspiring.   My cell phone photography is not going to do enough justice.  But this is as majestic as it gets.    I wish I could have stayed longer and appreciated the serenity around me.  I hope I get the opportunity to come back.

This is going to be split up into three parts.  I was fortunate enough to stop at three wineries on this trail.  I had no idea they’d all be connected.  But I guess it was meant to be.

I can’t say this enough.  I love wineries.  The whole concept of a vineyard is one of those gifts from the universe, or whatever you may believe in.   Whenever I get an opportunity, I’ll literally go the extra miles to make a visit.  This one was special.   I just hope the next visit is on par with this one.  Only time and the stories will tell.

For more on Hunters Valley, here is their contact information. And to order many of their awesome wines, go here.

Thanks so much!  I had a great time writing about this one!   More to come next week!

Best,

Ideen