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35th Maryland Wine Festival is this Saturday!

Earlier Maryland Wine Festival photo at Carroll County Farm Museum

The 35th Maryland Wine Festival takes place Saturday, October 13 at the Carroll County Farm Museum, a wonderful location that celebrates history. The Maryland Wine Festival usually takes place in September but due to dire weather forecast predictions was postponed until this coming Saturday. 

At this 2018 festival more than 150 Maryland wines will be available for wine enthusiasts. Those people with Explorer Pass tickets will receive a commemorative tasting glass, have access to all the wines from Maryland wineries participating in the event plus additional special wines. The Explorer tickets include access to special seating in a shaded area, bottled water and private restrooms, also participating in a blind tasting competition. While food is not included in the tickets, culinary delights will be available from vendors.

The Carroll County Farm Museum is a great family historic site to visit. So take your family to the Maryland Wine Festival and also stay awhile to visit the museum site.  Children12 and under will be admitted to the wine festival for free with a paying adult.

For more details, visit the Maryland Wine Festival page. Also check out the Carroll County Farm Museum to discover all it has to offer.

Early in September, I wrote about the Maryland Wine Festival. For more information check out this blog.

Hope the weather is great this Saturday for the 35th Maryland Wine Festival!


October is Pennsylvania’s Wine Month!

Naylor Wine Cellars, PA

Did you know that October is Pennsylvania’s Wine Month? Enjoy traveling along Pennsylvania’s countryside roads while touring the state’s many wineries. Wine enthusiasts can discover small, boutique wineries as well as much larger wineries. Pennsylvania wineries are producing a vast array of wines. In addition to many traditional wines produced with vitas vinifera grapes, Pennsylvania wineries are producing wines crafted from hybrid varieties and vitis labrusca grapes as well as a variety of fruits.

Clover Hill Vineyard & Winery, PA

Pennsylvania vineyards include more than two dozen grape varieties. While visiting wineries in Pennsylvania look for vitis vinifera, hybrid and native American varieties. Check the list below for the varieties below growing in Pennsylvania.

Oregon Hill Winery in Pennsylvania

Vitis Vinifera Varieties

Cabernet Sauvignon
Grüner Veltliner
Pinot Grigio
Lemberger (Blaufränkisch)
Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris)
Pinot Noir



Hybrid Grape Varieties

Baco Noir
Marechel Foch
Seyval Blanc
Vidal Blanc

Native American Grape Varieties


Fruit Wines

In addition to the crafting of traditional grape wines, numerous Pennsylvania wineries are also producing fruit wines. During our visits to Pennsylvania wineries we have discovered wines produced with peaches, elderberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, red raspberries, cherries and apples.

Sand Castle Winery in Philadelphia countryside

Today Pennsylvania has more than 200 wineries.  The state is divided into six wine regions: North West, North Central, South West, South Central, North East and South East. Wine enthusiasts can visit wineries along 14 wine trails including:

  • Lake Erie Wine Country
  • Southwest Passage
  • Groundhog
  • Susquehanna Heartland
  • Uncork PA Great Outdoors
  • Hershey-Harrisbug Wine Country
  • Mason-Dixon
  • Sweet Arrow
  • Pocono
  • Lehigh Valley
  • Berks County
  • Bucks County
  • Brandywine Valley
  • Montgomery County

Big Creek Vineyard

Wine Trail Traveler has visited more than 70 of the wineries in the state. For each winery we visited we have written reviews/articles. The articles are available online. 

Pennsylvania offers something for everyone to enjoy.  Enjoy visiting Pennsylvania wineries this month!


Annual Evening of Wine & Art Library Fundraiser

On Saturday, the Snyder County Libraries Evening of Wine and Art Fundraiser will include wine, entertainment and art. This fun wine event will also include a  raffle and a silent auction. The event takes place at Shade Mountain Winery on Saturday, October 6 from 5:30 to 8pm.

This fundraiser will benefit the Snyder County Libraries. Tickets are $40 a piece and each ticket holder is entitled to two Shade Mountain Winery drinks and/or Shy Bear Beer. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will also be available.

Shade Mountain vineyards

Music entertainment will be provided by Bret Alexander and Aaron Fink.

The guest artist at the fundraiser is Ross Smoker. His focus is on carving birds. Ross competes around the country.

Numerous organizations have donated food including: Amato’s Pizza Selinsgrove, Aramark at Susquehanna University, Rose Flood, Giant, National Beef, Planet Fitness, Shade Mountain Winery, Shy Bear Brewing, SUN Tech and Weis Markets.

The Silent Auction offers an array of products including:

  • Susquehanna Valley Country Club has donated a 1-year family social membership and 4 rounds of golf
  • artwork
  • gift baskets
  • a fitness package from 360 Unique Fitness
  • a fresh-cut, live Christmas tree
  • a pet basket
  • a basket of wine with two tickets to the Susquehanna Wine Trail Christmas tour
  • season tickets to the Bucknell University Men’s basketball games
  • a four-person picnic basket
  • a Lunch for Two gift certificate
  • a 3-month Planet Fitness coupon
  • $50 gift certificates from Penn’s Tavern Restaurant
  • a complete eye examine with a $200 allowance towards glasses 
  • an afternoon to learn about falconry
  • an Aromatherapy Workshop for 8
  • an 8-hour fishing trip for salmon and trout
  • Southwest Airlines tickets.

Wine Trail Traveler visited Shade Mountain Winery and Vineyards a few years ago. Check out the online article.


The Annual NYCWFF is Almost Here!

Discover wine, spirits and food at the NYCWFF in NYC this month!

The NYCWFF, a large festival in New York City, is almost here. This all-encompassing event begins October 11 and runs through October 14. One of the most important points of the NewYork City Wine & Food Festival is that the festival benefits two charities: No Kid Hungry and the Food Bank For New York City. Ticket information is available online.

Back in June I provided information about the NYCWFF including reasons why to volunteer. While many events have been sold out, there are still tickets available for numerous fun events. Also package tickets are available. 

As of this writing, Sunday, September 30, tickets are available for:

Date: Thursday, October 11

  • Benoit 10th Anniversary Dinner with Alain Ducasse and Laetitia Rouabah
  • Supper is Served
  • Chelsea Night Market
  • Tacos & Tequila presented by Tequila Cazadores

Date: Friday, October 12

  • Aperitivo!
  • A Taste of NYC: A Celebration of the City’s Most Post-Worthy Bites
  • Blue Moon Burger Bash
  • Dinner with David Bouley
  • Truffle Takeover
  • Rock and Roll Sushi

Date: Saturday, October 13

  • Breakfast Pajama Party
  • Farmer’s Market Brunch
  • Lifeway Foods presents box + flow + feast hosted by Rocco DiSpirito and Olivia Young
  • Culinary Demonstrations Only
  • Drag Brunch
  • Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite
  • Twitter presents #CRAVINGFEST by Chrissy Teigen
  • The Ultimate Pizza Party presented by Slice
  • Steak and Whiskey Pairing
  • Nulo Pet Food’s Yappie Hour
  • Pigs and Pours
  • Dinner with Gabrielle Hamilton, Ashley Merriman and Adam Perry Lang
  • Dinner with Georgette Farkas and Laetitia Rouabah
  • Dinner with Mark Ladner and Evan Funke
  • Dinner with Michael White and Valentino Marcattilii
  • Food Network’s Rooftop Birthday Party
  • Joël Robuchon Tribute Dinner
  • On the Rocks: Cocktails and Cool Bites
  • All About Cake: A Late-Night Dessert Soirée

Date: Sunday, October 14

  • Variety presents Broadway Tastes
  • Culinary Demonstrations Only
  • Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite
  • Oyster Bash
  • Hair of the Dog Brunch
  • Master Sushi Rolling Class
  • Rooftop Rosé at The Top of the Standard
  • Coca-Cola Backyard BBQ

Get your tickets now and help out two of New York City’s charities.


Discover wine, spirits and food at the NYCWFF in NYC this month

WineFest in Pennsylvania’s North East is this Weekend

South Shore Wine Company

The first time we traveled in Pennsylvania’s North East region (in the northwestern part of the state along Lake Erie) it was early Fall when grapes were ripe and just hanging, awaiting the harvest. At the time large trucks filled with luscious, ripe grapes rolled along the roads leaving behind whiffs of grape aromas. Needless to say the grapes were not all wine grapes but many were of the Concord and Niagara varieties for commercial juice. We drove along the roads with our windows down enjoying the aromas.

While in North East we also discovered several wineries also producing traditional wines.

All of these reminisces were brought back by the announcement of the 2018 Wine Country Harvest Festival. This year the Winefest is this weekend from September 28 to September 30. The festival takes place at two parks, Gibson Park and Gravel Pit Park.

Events and activities include:

Penn Shore Winery

Wineries participating in the WineFest include:

  • 6 Mile Wine Cellars
  • Arrowhead Wine Cellars
  • Arundel Cellars & Brewing Company
  • Burch Farms Winery
  • Courtyard Wineries
  • Heritage Wine Cellars
  • Mazza Vineyards
  • Penn Shore Vineyards
  • Presque Isle Wine Cellars
  • South Shore Wine Company
  • Yori Wine Cellars

While visiting the this area of Pennsylvania we enjoyed visiting five of the wineries. We certainly want to go back and visit more of the wineries located in Pennslvania’s North East region. Articles and photos about the wineries we visited are available online.


Winemaking and Wine Tasting at Tin Lizzie Wineworks

A couple of weeks ago we stopped by Tin Lizzie Wineworks, a teaching winery, in Clarksville, Maryland. This is an unusual winery where wine enthusiasts and wine lovers can produce their own wines under the guidance of Dave Zuchero, owner and winemaker. 

Yesterday we received an email from Dave announcing an “Exclusive Vertical Cabernet Tasting”  that is scheduled for October 3. If you are interested in crafting your own wine, you may want to attend this event. The wine tasting is limited to only 20 people. If you want to attend, contact Dave Zuchero at dave@tinlizziewineworks.com.

The email from Tin Lizzie announced that for a very limited time, there is time for anyone to sign up to make wine this fall. Spaces are still available to craft quarter and half barrels of wine. As of yesterday, interested people can choose to participate in any of the following barrels:

  • Super Premium Paso Robles the Prison-Style Zinfandel Blend
  • Super Premium Left Bank Bordeaux Blend
  • Super Premium Sauvignon Blanc
  • Super Premium Albarino
  • Premium Rose

If you are interested in crafting your very own wine this year, learn more by attending the “Exclusive Vertical Cabernet Tasting”. Time is getting short to get in on the 2018 winemaking at Tin Lizzie. 

We have crafted wine at Tin Lizzie in other years and discovered it to be a fun way to learn more about wine. Since our last winemaking experience at Tin Lizzie, Dave has increased the size of the winery production area and added other changes as well. We suggest you check Tin Lizzie Wineworks website and talking with Dave soon for more details.

See the photos of our last visit to Tin Lizzie.


Books & Wine Event at Ohio Winery

A Vineyard in Ohio

Books and Wine! What could be a better match than pairing books with wine to support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library?

The Books & Wine event takes place in Xenia, Ohio not far from Dayton. The location for the charity is Caesar Creek Vineyards. The event is scheduled for October 1 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library helps to provide books for children from birth through 5 years of age. This is a wonderful opportunity for young children.

Online tickets are $25 each. Waiting until the day of the event, ticket prices will be $30 at the gate. Tickets are also available at the local Greene County Public libraries. Each ticket includes live music, food from Bella Sorella and a glass of Caesar Creek Vineyards wine. 

For anyone who is busy on October 1 and would still like to make a donation, information is available online. Donations may also be made to the Greene County Public Library Foundation.

Everyone benefits when children learn to read and appreciate books early in life.

Caesar Creek Vineyards is located on a large farm which includes more than 200 acres. A large portion of the farm is devoted to corn and beans. However in 2005, they planted  2 1/2acres of grapes and as the years go by they continue to increase the vineyard size. Currently they are growing nine grape varieties which include Cayuga White, Chardonel, Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, GR7 (Rubiana), Marechal Foch, Noiret, Seyval Blanc and Traminette.

While Wine Trail Traveler has not had the opportunity to visit Caesar Creek Vineyards, we have visited many of Ohio wineries. You can find our winery articles and photos online. 


A 2017 Sauvignon by The Sisters in New Zealand

2017 Sauvignon Blanc from The Sisters in New Zealand

Last night we enjoyed a  2017 Sauvignon Blanc  produced by The Sisters in New Zealand. The wine was a light yellow color with a light green hue. The aroma reminded us of a tropical fruit salad. The taste included notes of papaya, pineapple, mango and  citrus-especially grapefruit. The mouthfeel was smooth yielding to bright acidity. Food pairing suggestions included: chicken, salads, seafood and Asian cuisine.  The wine had 12.5% alcohol. 

The front label of the Sauvignon Blanc features an image of a woman in black leaping up with excitement.  On the image is written, “‘I achieve many things every day. Say it., believe it, celebrate it. This is our time.”

We paired the Sauvignon Blanc with crostini, a sliced baguette topped with a combination of cheese, green onion and butter. This easy-to-prepare appetizer would pair well with many white wines.

The Sisters website provides recipes the following recipe for a Sauvanilla Cocktail which uses the mouth quenching Sauvignon Blanc.

Sauvanilla Cocktail

Ingredients: (makes two cocktails)

  • 120mls The Sisters Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 shot Vodka infused with vanilla
  • Fresh apple juice
  • Soda water


  • Combine the vodka and Sauvignon Blanc and mix.
  • Add the apple juice.
  • Top with soda water if desired
  • Service on ice in  a chilled glass and enjoy

The Sisters is  located in Marlborough, New Zealand. The wines are produced to celebrate the busy lives of women and their girl friends. The term girl friends is meant to include any of the women in a woman’s life  whether it might be school friends, moms, sisters or colleagues. 

The Sisters produces four wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Rosé and Pinot Noir. The grapes for these wines are from Waihopai Valley, the Wairau Valley and the Awatere Valley in Marlborough.

See the Wine Trail Traveler blog about the Pinot Rosé. The Sisters supports the Dress for Success organization. This is a not-for-profit organization located in 19 countries.


Gersing Cellars Shell Viognier

Gersing Cellars Shell Viognier

Late yesterday afternoon, after a day of preparing our gardens for fall, we decided to enjoy a glass of white wine on our recently renovated deck overlooking our small landscaped backyard. The Gersing Cellars Shell Viognjer 2017 was a perfect match for the backyard experience. 

The Viognier was a light yellow color. The aroma offered notes of floral and tropical fruit. The mouthfeel was velvety. The taste offered notes of citrus, pineapple and mango with a little rose petal and a bit of minerality. The finish had a long fruit taste. The grapes for this Viognier were sourced from the Yakima Valley.

The back label of the wine bottle explains the musical Shell name. Shell definition, “An open, two-note chord structure played on the piano by the left hand in accompanying oneself or another soloist. This wine-floral, citrusy, and mineral-driven – sings with the clear, pure harmony of a shell.”

Gersing Cellars is located in Portland, the city’s SE region. I also wrote about the Gersing Cellars Nebbiolo in an earlier blog.

Not mentioned in the first blog was that this urban winery offers wine enthusiasts a Jazz wine Club. Wine lovers can choose between the TWOs and FOURS wine clubs. According to the Gersing Cellars website: 

TWOS wine club members:

  • Receive two bottles each of three latest release wines, twice yearly (6 bottles in spring and 6 bottles in fall)
  • 15% discount on club shipment wines
  • 15% on any additional wines purchased at any time
  • Invitation and preferential pricing to Gersing Cellars release parties and special events for member and 1 guest
  • Pre-release access to exclusive wines, such as small production wines, library wines, and large format wines.
  • Preferential pricing for wine educational events for member and 1 guest

FOURS Wine Club members:

  • Receive four bottles each of three latest releases, twice yearly (12 bottles in spring and 12 bottles in fall)
  • 20% discount on club shipment wines
  • 20% on any additional wines purchased at any time
  • Invitation and preferential pricing to Gersing Cellars release parties and special events for member and 3 guests
  • Pre-release access to exclusive wines, such as small production wines, library wines, and large format wines.
  • Complimentary access to wine educational events for member and 1 guest
  • Yearly tasting with the winemaker

If you have the opportunity when visiting Portloand, Oregon be sure to visit SE Wine Collective Tasting Bar to taste the wines of Gersing Cellars.


28th Annual Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival!

Burnley Vineyards will attend the Annual Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival in October.

Like wine? Like garlic? Then the 28th Annual Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival is a festival you want to be sure to attend.

On October 13th and 14th Rebec Vineyards in Amherst, Virginia will be the location of  the Annual Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival.

Eleven Virginia wineries are participating in the festival. Look for wines from Rebec Vineyards, Peaks of Otter Winery, Lazy Days, Rockbridge Vineyard, Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery, Burnley Vineyards, Mountain Cove Vineyards, The Homeplace Vineyard, Virginia Mountain Vineyards, Cobbler Mountain Cider and AmRhein’s Wine Cellars. Check out Wine Trail Traveler if you you want to know more about what it’s like to visit some of these wineries.

This fun event includes entertainment and garlic-themed cuisine. Food options available include:

  • Asian inspired cuisine
  • Crab cakes
  • Greek & Italian-based cuisine
  • Smoked BBQ sandwiches
  • Shrimp, crab and lobster
  • Fried chicken
  • Pulled pork
  • Tacos, Fajitas
  • Garlic burgers, fries
  • BBQ-style nachos, brisket

A variety of entertainment will include: Applebutter Soul, Steve Freeman Band, Dragonfly, The Ruckus, Firecracker Jam, Tom Euler Band, Pete Turpin Band, L&H Acoustic with David Foust, The Severed Heads of Guion Pond, Bo-Zac, Randy Johnston and Sunshine the Clown.

A large number of artists and craft vendors will participate in the festival. Meander past numerous works of art and crafts. Look for handcrafted toys, furniture, scarves, hats, pottery and much more.

Festival Tickets

Several types of tickets are available online and include:

  • VIP Package – Saturday only: $60.00
  • Admission & Wine Tasting – early bird: $25.00
  • Admission Only – No Wine tasting – early bird: $15
  • Group Wine Tasting & Admission: $20

Activities for children include: a Bounce House, KidZone Fun Station, face painting, pony rides and inflatables.

Plan an exciting trip to Virginia to enjoy the Annual Wine & Garlic Festival in October.


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