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Maryland Wine Festival 2019 this Weekend!

One of Maryland’s best known annual wine festivals, The Maryland Wine Festival, takes place this weekend, September 21 and September 22019.This festival is intended for the whole family. A varsity of tickets and prices are available; those under under 13 are admitted free with a paying adult. Designated driver tickets are also available. Ticket details are available online.

Prolific vineyards in Maryland

One of Maryland’s best known annual wine festivals, The Maryland Wine Festival, takes place this weekend, September 21 and September 22, 2019. 

This popular wine and food festival includes Maryland wines, food, music, arts and crafts. In addition the festival includes a Local Cheese Pavilion. The event is held at Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Maryland.

Many Maryland wines will be available for tasting; more than 20 wineries will attend. Additional wines will be offered for those with Explorer Pass tickets. The Explorer Pass tickets include a commemorative 16 oz. tasting glass and wines available will also include a sampling of exclusive wines, shaded seating and bottled water. Those with the Explorer Pass can also participate in the 7th Annual Maryland Throwdown – a blind tasting competition. Details for tickets/passes are available online.

Wineries Expected at the Maryland Wine Festival 2019

  • Basignani Winery
  • Boordy Vineyards
  • Bordeleau Winery
  • Cove Point Winery
  • Deep Creek Cellars
  • Dragonfly Farms
  • Elk Run Vineyard & Winery
  • Far Eastern Shore Winery
  • Fiore Winery
  • Great Shoals Winery
  • il Dolce Winery
  • Layton’s Chance Vineyard & Winery
  • Linganore Winecellars
  • Loew Vineyards
  • Olney Winery
  • Orchid Cellar Meadery and Winery
  • Port of Leonardtown Winery
  • Running Hare Vineyard
  • Solomans Island Winery
  • The Urban Winery
  • Turkey Point Vineyard

Wine Trail Traveler has visited many Maryland wineries. Articles and photos are available on the Wine Trail Traveler website.

If you enjoy cheese, be sure to stop at the Local Cheese Pavilion and taste cheeses from: Firefly Farms, Capricorn Farms, Shepherd’s Manor Creamery and Whispering Breeze Farm.

Interested in crafts and artwork? Check out the numerous creative juried artisans.

On Saturday, music will be provided by Foreplay and Half Serious. Sunday will feature Park Avenue and Reagan Years.

About Carroll County Farm Museum

The Carroll County Farm Museum is a highlight of visiting Maryland. According to the museum’s website, “The Carroll County Farm Museum is home to one of the largest collections of historic farm artifacts and machinery in the Mid-Atlantic region.”


September: California Wine Month

Visiting California’s wineries during September can be a delightful experience. With the many wineries located in California from Northern California to Southern California, there are many activities to from which to choose. 2019 is the 15th annual designated Wine Month for California.

The Discover California Wines website lists 75 events for September. Some of the events last the entire month of September while some are one time only events. Events include music concerts, blind tastings, cave tour, vineyard hikes, wine and cheese/food pairings, harvest tours, an annual charity auction, yoga, stomping grapes, art, a benefit for the Arthritis Foundation Central Coast, a floral design class and more.

Several regions in California are also offering events. Check out the wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Organic Wine Trail of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Calistoga AVA, Monterey Wine Country, Lodi Grape Festival, Capitola Art & Wine Festival, Santa Barbara wineries, Sonoma County Wine Auction and Lake Tahoe Food & Wine Festival.

September is a great time to visit wineries in the Northern Hemisphere. Visitors are likely to see grape harvesting, grape stomping and grape crush. Photo opportunities of vineyards are numerous. Wineries may offer vineyard walks and wine experiences that will be remembered for a long time.

Be sure to check out the wineries in your backyard, to see what they are offering.Wine Trail Traveler has visited more than 1,400 wineries over 12 years. Each winery we visit, we write an article and include photos of our visit. Check out the winery articles online

Kathy and Terry

Lagrein 2017 from DOC Alto Adige

This week we enjoyed a Lagrein 2017 from Italy. The producer is Castel Sallegg, a winery located in the Caldaro, Alto Adige. The DOC is Alto Adige. The Lagrein 2017, with 13% alcohol, was produced with 100% Lagrein grape variety. The wine was a dark violet color with a black hue. The aroma reminded one of fresh dark fruit salad. The medium/full-bodied taste included notes of black raspberries, black plums, black berries and black cherries. The wine had a smooth mouthfeel with soft tannins.

The 2017 Lagrein from Castel Sallegg in the Alto Adige wine region of Italy.

Food and Wine Pairing

The Lagrein 2017 would pair well with roast beef, grilled sausage and grilled hamburgers. In addition, red wine drinkers are likely to enjoy this wine with cheese and crackers.

Castel Sallegg Wines
Castel Sallegg produces four categories of wines including: Premium, Reserve, Selection Red and Selection White.


Castel Sallegg has three vineyards.  The Preyhof vineyard in Caldaro offers limestone and gravel soils.  At this location three grape varieties are growing including Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco. The Leisenhof vineyard soil is sandy and loamy. This vineyard has Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The Seehof vineyard, close to Lake Kaltern, also with loamy and sandy soil has Goldmuskateller and Gewürztraminer, Merlot, Lagrein, Cabernet Sauvignon and Rosenmuskateller.


According to the Castel Sallegg website the estate has a long history. “The family history and Castel Sallegg have been intimately connected since 1851. The estate went in direct succession from Archduke Rainer of Austria, Viceroy of Lombardy and Veneto, via the Princess of Campofranco to today’s owner, the Count von Kuenburg.”


Castel Sallegg has a Vinotheque. Hours for visitors at the Vinotheque are: 

Hours April-October:
Monday – Friday: 10:00-13:00 and 14:00-19:00
Saturday: 9:00-12:00
(July: please reserve your visit)
Sunday closed

Hours November-March :
Monday – Friday: 10:00-12:30 and 14:00-17:30
Saturday and Sunday closed

On a personal note, Terry really liked this wine, so much he has a mission to try other wines made from Lagrein. Although Sagrantino remains his favorite Italian red varietal grape, Lagrein may be second.

Kathy and Terry

Appreciation Week for First Responders in September

The wineries on the Cayuga Wine Trail, in the renowned Finger Lakes region, are showing their thankfulness to all those who put their health and their lives on the line for the public. Anyone having a major emergency is likely to encounter first responders in their role to provide help.

Lucas Vineyards on the Cayuga Wine Trail

To show their respect and thankfulness to first responders, the 14 wineries on the Cayuga Wine Trail are holding a special deal for First Responders from September 9 thru September 15, 2019.

At all 14 wineries, First Responders will receive Buy One, Get One tastings. First Responders must have a “work badge (or valid documentation).” First Responders include: paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, firefighters and rescuers.

Participants will also receive an “appreciation card” to have stamped at each winery visited. At the end of the week, return the card. You will be mailed a “goodie” determined by the number of wineries you visit.

The Cayuga Wine Trail includes:
Americana Vineyards
Buttonwood Grove Winery
Goose Watch Winery
Hosmer Winery
Knapp Winery
Long Point Winery
Lucas Vineyards
Montezuma Winery
Six Mile Creek Vineyard
Swedish Hill Winery
Thirsty Owl Wine Company

Wine Trail Traveler has visited these Cayuga Wine Trail wineries which resulted in articles and photos of each winery. The articles are online for your enjoyment.


A Grüner Veltliner from the Alto Adige Wine Region of Italy

Kathy and Terry

This week we enjoyed a bottle of Grüner Veltliner produced by Strasserhof, a winery located in South Tyrol, Italy. South Tyrol is located in northeast Italy in the Alto Adige wine region.

Strasserhof Grüner Veltliner 2017

The Strasserhof Grüner Veltliner 2017 was a light yellow color with a hint of a green hue. This 13% alcohol wine offered aromas of tropical fruits. The taste was refreshing and included notes of citrus with a hint of pineapple. The mouthfeel was pleasantly soft. The aftertaste had mineral notes also with a hint of pineapple. The finish was crisp with citrus. Terry suggests pairing this Grüner Veltliner with seafood, white meats and salads. Otherwise, it is a great wine to enjoy as an aperitif on a summer day on a porch rocking chair.

Strasserhof specializes in producing mostly white wines including Müller Thurgau, Grüner Veltliner, Sylvaner, Kerner, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. They also produce the red wine – Zweigelt. Wines produced by Strasserhof are exported to the United States, Austria, Germany, Holland and Japan.

The winery claims to have some of the oldest vineyards in the region with historic walls that date back to the 11th century.

Strasserhof also offers lodging for those looking for excursions in the area. Choose between furnished rooms or an apartment. The winery encourages visitors to take walks or hikes. During the winter nearby skiing is available. For travelers and wine enthusiasts Strasserhof appears to be a good destination to consider adding to your itinerary.

Large Pennsylvania Wine Festival this Weekend!

Sand Castle Winery plans to attend Seven Springs Wine Festival this weekend.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania is the location of the Seven Springs Wine Festival, a large Pennsylvania wine festival this weekend from August 23 thru August 25.

Thirty Pennsylvania wineries are scheduled to attend the festival. The wineries include:

  • Allegheny Cellars Winery
  • Allegro Winery
  • Antler Ridge Winery
  • Arundel Cellars & Brewing Co.
  • Bee Kind Winery
  • Benigna’s Creek Winery
  • Black Dog Wine Company
  • Blue Mountain Vineyards and Cellars
  • Christian W. Klay Winery
  • Courtyard Winery
  • Deer Creek Winery
  • Glades Pike Winery
  • Heritage Wine Cellars
  • Hungry Run Wine & Spirits
  • Juniata Valley Winery
  • KingView Mead
  • La Vigneta Winery
  • Moon Dancer Winery & Cider House
  • Oak Spring Winery
  • Olivero’s Vineyard
  • Paradocx Vineyard
  • Presque Isle Wine Cellars
  • R Wine Cellar
  • Sand Castle Winery
  • Seven Mountain Wine Cellars
  • Shade Mountain Winery
  • Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery
  • The Winery at Wilcox
  • University Wine Company
  • Woody Lodge Winery

Live musical entertainment includes a variety of multiple genres by eight different groups. Depending on the day you select to attend the festival, look for country music, rock, pop, classics and much more.

On Saturday and Sunday informative seminars will be presented. This year the seminars are Locavore Locapour, Cooking with Wine and Cooling Off with Ice Wine. Attendance is limited and tickets are available at the Timberstone Room, one hour before each seminar.

Food is also an important aspect of the festival. Available for purchase food items will include: funnel cake fries, kettle corn, kielbasa sandwiches, hamburgers, Caesar salad, Chesapeake Crab Bisque, tacos and much more.

If you plan on sampling wines from the attending wineries, plan to have a designated driver with you (designated driver tickets are only $10.) Another option is to stay at the resort overnight. Perhaps you will decide to taste only white wines red wines or sparkling wines or perhaps look for wines made with one grape variety. 

Tickets are available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday or choose a combination ticket for Saturday and Sunday. By purchasing tickets in advance you can save. Advance tickets begin at $25.

We have visited and written about many Pennsylvania wineries. Articles are available on Wine Trail Traveler.


WineNotes: Grape Variety: Pinot Noir

WineNotes: Grape Variety: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir during veraison

Some might consider Pinot Noir wines to be synonymous with Oregon. After all, the renowned Willamette Valley wine region is producing many wines with Pinot Noir grapes.  The Pinot Noir grape is a red, vitis vinifera grape that thrives in cooler climates such as Oregon offers. In French the words Pinot Noir refers to pine and black. 

Early spring with Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is considered an international grape. In addition to Oregon, Pinot Noir can be found in many of the world’s wine regions. Those that we visited include California, Canada, France (Burgundy and Champagne), Italy, Spain and New Zealand. 

The grapes are finicky due to the thin skin and tight clusters. Grapes are susceptible to powdery mildew and a myriad of other conditions. According to André Tchelistcheff, a renowned winemaker, “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot Noir.” (from “The Luxury of Pinot Noir: A Deal with the Devil” by John Sears in St. Louis Magazine.

Pinot Noir can be found in red, white, rosé and sparkling wines. The aroma and taste notes can include red berries, earthiness and mushroom characteristics. Terry’s absolute favorite Pinot Noir is from Archery Summit where the Pinot Noir wines can offer intense tannins. My favorite Pinot Noirs are from The Eyrie Vineyards where the wines are aged in old oak barrels with the result of softer tannins.

When pairing Pinot Noir wines with food, consider meats such as pork, beef, veal, lamb and sausage.  Salmon also pairs well with Pinot Noir. When planning a meal with chicken or duck, enjoy the meal with a Pinot Noir. End a meal with creme brûlée and a glass of Pinot Noir.

Try this recipe from Seresin Estate, a New Zealand Winery.

Marcia’s Coq Au Vin – via Seresin Estate


1 bottle Pinot Noir
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 small onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed with a knife
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch of thyme
1 T butter
150g (5 oz) streaky bacon, cut into thick chunks
2 T plain flour
4 chicken thighs
2 chicken legs
20 baby onions or 10 shallots, peeled but left whole
20 button mushrooms or 10 white mushrooms, quartered
4 T cognac 


1. Pour the wine into a saucepan and add the carrot, celery, onion, crushed garlic, bay leaf and 4 sprigs thyme. Bring to the boil and reduce by half, then strain and discard the flavourings. 

2. Heat the butter over a medium-high flame in a large, heavy-based pan with a lid and then add the bacon. Cook until golden, then lift out with a slotted spoon and put aside. Meanwhile, tip the flour onto a plate and season well. Roll the chicken pieces in it to coat them. 

3. Put the chicken in the pan (in batches if necessary) and brown well on all sides, then lift out and set with the bacon. (Your bacon should have given off enough fat for there still to be enough in the pan for the next stage, but if not, add another tablespoon of butter or a glug of oil.)

4. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the onions or shallots. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are beginning to caramelise. Add the mushrooms and sliced garlic and cook for a further 4 minutes, then lift out of the pan and set aside (but not with the meat).

5. Turn up the heat, pour a little of the reduced wine into the pan and scrape the bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Put the chicken and bacon back into the pan, reserving some of the bacon for a garnish. 

6. Pour over the brandy and set it alight. When the flames have gone out, add the rest of the wine and the thyme leaves. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer gently for an hour. 

7. Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic and simmer for another 20 minutes, keeping the lid on for only half this time. Taste for seasoning and serve with the rest of the bacon sprinkled over the top, with some boiled potatoes or rice.

Serves: 4

Recipe provided by Seresin Estate – Chef Marcia Chang-Hong. Seresin Estate is in Marlborough, New Zealand.


Sangria, a Great Beverage for the Summer!

A Yummy Sangria

Sangria is described In the Official Journal of the European Communities, “Sangria : a drink obtained from wine, aromatized with the addition of natural citrus-fruit extracts or essences, with or without the juice of such fruit and with the possible addition of spices, sweetened and with C02 added, having an acquired alcoholic strength by volume of less than 12 % vol.

The drink may contain solid particles of citrus­ fruit pulp or peel and its colour must come exclu­sively from the raw materials used.”

The main ingredient of Sangria is wine. The wine is frequently a red wine. However, some wine enthusiasts make Sangria with a white wine such as Viognier or a rosé.

While some wine producers make Sangria and bottle it, my preference is a freshly made Sangria made with fresh citrus fruits. Possible fruit ingredients for Sangrias include: lemons, oranges, apples, limes. strawberries and  canned pineapple. Some recipes use fruit juice instead of fresh or frozen fruit.

Frequently, Sangria recipes use soda such as Sprite, ginger ale or 7-up.  The addition of soda makes the Sangria lighter and thirst quenching, perfect for hot summer days.

My personal favorite Sangria is from a Northern Virginia winery, that has now been renamed. The recipe is below.

Savoy-Lee Sangria


1 bottle of dry fruity rosé
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 T sugar
1 small can of diced pineapple (with juice)
1 small container of sliced, sweetened frozen strawberries (thawed)
2-4 c of ginger ale


1. Pour wine in a pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange and lime into the wine.
2. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds) and pineapple then add sugar.
3. Mix well.
4. Chill overnight.
5. Add strawberries and ginger ale just before serving.
6. Use fruit wedge or fresh strawberry for garnish..enjoy!
Makes approximately 10 – 12 glasses of Sangria. 

NOTE: Do not double recipe – make individual batches.

More Sangria recipes are available on Wine Trail Traveler recipe section.


Frappato from Valle dell’Acate Winery in Sicily: a Versatile Summer Red Wine

The 2017 Il Frappato Vittoria Frappato DOC Sicily

We received a bottle of Il Frappato wine to review from the Valle dell’Acate winery in the southeaster part of Sicily. It was suggested that we chill the wine and enjoy on a hot summer day. We tend to drink more white and rosé wines during the heat of the summer; however, this red wine was delicious served cold. The wine was made from the Frappato grape, native to Sicily. We have had Sicilian wines before made with the red Nero d’Avola grape and the white Grillo grape; this was our first taste of a wine made with Frappato.

The 2017 Il Frappato Vittoria Frappato DOC Sicily had a translucent dark red color with 13% alcohol. There were floral and red fruits on the aroma. The taste was reminiscent of violets, cherries, juicy black raspberries and baking spices. The medium bodied wine had mild tannins. The finish was crisp with fruit yielding to spices. 

The Valle dell’Acate winery has a series of wines from the “7 Soils for 7 Wines” portfolio. This Frappato was made with grapes from the “black soil with white pebbles” vineyard. This vineyard is about 100 meters (328 feet) above sea level. The compact soil has a black color with white stones throughout. Grape vines are deep rooted. 

Frappato and Food

We were interested in how this wine would match with summer foods. We discovered that on the Wines of Sicily website there are 101 recipes that are paired with different wines from Sicily. We chose the Horseradish Potato Salad with Dill recipe because potato salad is a go to dish during the summer heat. We paired the potato salad with Italian sausages grilled on the barbecue and the Il Frappato. The wine and the sausage were wonderful. The potato salad was a bit overwhelmed by the dill and horseradish until we drank some Il Frappato. The wine completely tamed the dill and horseradish in the potato salad bringing the potato salad into balance.

A Frappato cocktail

Some Experimenting

We like to experiment and decided to try this wine in a cocktail. To two ounces of Il Frappato we added two ounces of tonic water and a twist of lime. We headed to our back yard deck and tried this summer only cocktail while gently rocking on our chairs. Yum! The sweetness of the tonic water brought out some red raspberries and black sweet cherry aromas and tastes. The cocktail was perfect for the summer heat. 

The Il Frappato is a 3P wine. During the summer it is good on a porch, patio and next to a pool.  The wine retails for around $20 at several online sites.


Adelsheim Celebrates Blazers History with Special Edition Wine

Adelsheim Vineyard winery in Williamette Valley, OR

Adelsheim Vineyard, located in Oregon’s renowned Willamette Valley, and the Portland Trail Blazers are partnering to celebrate the 50-year history of the Portland Trail Blazers. Adelsheim, a sponsor of the Portland Trail Blazers, will soon release two special wines, a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines are limited edition wines.

The two wines are LIVE certified sustainable wines. Adelsheim will pre-release the wines to Portland Trail Blazers season ticket holders and to Club Adelsheim members.

David Adelsheim

Beginning September 24, sales of the commemorative Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wine bottles will be available at Adlesheim’s online store and in the winery tasting room.

The Adelsheim Vineyard website offers a quote from the winemaker, Gina Hennen. ““Making this wine was such an honor for our whole team. As a Blazers fan, to be able to team up with the Blazers to create this special, limited edition wine to commemorate the team’s 50th anniversary has been a dream come true. I think fans will love it as much as we do.”

Wine Trail Traveler visited Adelsheim Vineyard and wrote about the delightful experience. The article is online.


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