Authors: Posted by Laura Amann
As a resident of the Northeast, sometimes it’s hard to think of wine country as anything but a plane trip to California away. But as you’ll discover on the Bucks County Wine Trail, locally-grown, expertly-made wines are right in your backyard. Consisting of eight respected and award-winning vineyards, the Wine Trail will not disappoint those looking for a fun and relaxing weekend getaway.
1. Buckingham Valley Vineyards. With over 22 acres of vines, Buckingham Valley produces some 200,000 bottles per year, and was the first stop on the trail. Having just completed their 40th harvest, Buckingham Valley is the 3rd oldest vineyard in the region and is a labor of love for the Forest family, who have owned and operated the vineyard since its inception. As with most of the vineyards on the Trail, patrons are encouraged to stop by any time during business hours to try some of their nearly 30 different wines.
If you’re looking for a good middle of the road wine, then the Diego Red might be just up your alley. Or, you might want to try the Concordia, one of their best-selling reds. If white is more your thing, then you’ll have to try the popular Niagara. In addition to these very informal in-house samplings, Buckingham Valley also offers space in their sculpture garden for picnics, custom label-printing for all your special occasions, and will even come to you for larger group tastings. No matter what your needs, it’s hard to pass up a visit when bottles run a very reasonable $8 to $11.
Buckingham Valley Vineyards
2. Wycombe Vineyards & Winery. Wycombe is the newest winery to open in Bucks County, and my second stop. Owned and operated by Rich Fraser, his wife and son, Wycombe is another regional winery that’s all in the family. With 70 acres of land and 10 acres of vines, Fraser has been putting out wine since 2005. The land had been in the family for some 25 years prior, but after planting the vines in 2000, a whole new business was built from the ground up. What was once a garage has become the welcoming and well-decorated tasting room and shop, and vines have been tended to by hand, by the family.
Here patrons might want to try the Chardonnay or Chambourcin, two of the fan favorites. Coming soon are dessert wines and an amazing dandelion wine whose honey and pear flavors are sure to make it an instant best-seller. In addition to the winery, the family also owns a wine and cheese shop in Doylestown where you can eat in or take your bottles to go. And competition is more than welcome, as the Doylestown store is stocked with wines from several other local vineyards.
Wycombe Vineyards & Winery
3. Crossing Vineyards & Winery. My third stop on the trail was another family-owned and run vineyard. Crossing Vineyards has built quite the business since opening its doors seven years ago. Generating about 250,000 bottles per year, the Carroll family has learned quickly how to generate a high volume of great wines. Coming from backgrounds in business, acting and teaching, a vineyard has been on the family’s mind since a suggestion by son Tom Carroll, Jr. some 20 years ago. After returning to the East Coast and convincing Tom, Sr. to sell the remaining horses on their farm, the Carrolls began planting all 20,000 vines.
From these vines have come award-winning wines such as their Viognier, ‘06 Merlot and Cabernet Franc. With a knowledgeable staff to conduct tastings and wine vats in the background, Crossings is all about the experience of the winery. The solar-powered, top-of-the-line facilities really set the stage for nothing less than an exciting time tasting some of the 21 celebrated wines.
Crossing Vineyards & Winery
4. Rose Bank Winery. My final stop was the historic Rose Bank Winery. Opened in 1984 and purchased by current owner Dave Fleming in 2000, most of the buildings on the Rose Bank estate date back to the 1700’s. Hosting weddings and other large events, the Rose Bank Winery is an idyllic location for your next special occasion. Still, Rose Bank’s modern Tasting Room is informal and open to all during business hours. In fact, within eyesight of the Tasting Room are the vats and bottlers used to make the wine.
Rose Bank also boasts some award winnings with its Vidal Blanc, and hopes to keep up the momentum as it enters the Florida State Fair and Pennsylvania Wine Competition. One bottle to look out for in the near future is the pomegranate port, which is sure to be an instant hit. Since handing over the responsibilities on his Yardley farm, Fleming has created a warm destination for tasters looking for a casual, comfortable environment.
Rose Bank Winery
For more information on the Bucks County Wine Trail, and to discover other locations on its path, visit the official Bucks County Wine Trail website.
The wine experience was provided by the Pennsylvania Wine Association.
Bucks County Wine Trail
Valid from 05/24/2010
Valid from 05/24/2010