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Grapes from Stagecoach Vineyards in Napa

Wine enthusiasts and wine lovers in suburban Maryland have the opportunity to experience making a barrel of wine with a local winemaker at Tin Lizzie Wineworks. The winemaking teaching facility, on a working farm, is located outside Clarksville, Maryland. Dave Zuchero, a passionate winemaker and owner of Tin Lizzie Wineworks, is knowledgeable and friendly. During the winemaking process, Dave demonstrates many of the winemaking principles while helping participants craft their own barrels of wine. Dave is proud of the quality of grapes he provides for clients, including purchasing premium grapes from Stagecoach Vineyards in Napa Valley.

Adding wine grapes to destemmer/crusher

Participants can choose now what wine they want to make. They also can choose to make a full barrel, half-barrel or quarter-barrel. Numerous other decisions need to be made while crafting a wine. Dave explains the options with an eye to helping you get the wine you will enjoy.

Dave has been crafting wine for many years. He first began making wine with his father. Since 2008 Dave has been helping Marylanders create quality wines at Tin Lizzie Wineworks.

Producing quality wines includes using winemaking equipment and quality grapes, both of which are costly. Anyone interested in making wine may want to gather a few friends together to share the fun, cost and wine. At Tin Lizzie Wineworks, Dave encourages small group participants.

On a personal note, we have made wine with Dave at Tin Lizzie Wineworks three times, always enjoying the experience and comaraderie.

Consider making your own wine, keeping some for yourself and using some bottles for holiday gifts. These are gifts that really say you care. For wine lovers who want to try their hand at making quality wine, contact Dave at  dave@tinlizziewineworks.com.

Add some excitement to your life and make your own wine this fall!


Scholarship Foundation Donates $1 Million to WSU

Vineyards in Washington

The Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation is donating one million dollars to Washington State University’s viticulture and enology program. While you may wonder why so much to a Washington State University, it just makes sense. The state of Washington is home to more than 300 grape growers. The grape growing conditions are different in Washington compared to California. Doesn’t it make sense to offer students the winemaking and winegrowing experience of Washington?

Many wine enthusiasts have heard of UC Davis’ wine education. Perhaps not as many are as aware of Washington State’s dynamic wine culture. However, for anyone interested in pursuing wine education, the Washington State University programs should be considered.

Washington State University wine programs include undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificates.

The programs for certificates seem ideal for many people especially those who already have full-time careers but are interested in the vineyards and winemaking. The certificate program is for the Viticulture certificate and the Enology Certificate. The certificate program is designed for anyone who is interested in wine industry. What’s particularly great about these certificates is that the program offers online classes. In addition the certificate program includes three mandatory weekend camps to receive a certificate.

Graduate programs at Washington State University offer students the opportunity to take an intensive look at a variety of wine and vineyards aspects. Focus can be on wine chemistry, economics, soil or pest management.


Harvest Ridge Winery Hosts Veterans Fundraiser

Harvest Ridge Winery hosting veterans fundraiser

On Thursday, August 24, Harvest Ridge Winery, a delightful and boutique winery in Delaware with vineyards in Maryland and Delaware, is the site of a special veterans fundraiser.

This special event held from 5pm to 8pm will raise funds for the Delaware Veterans Trust Fund. 100% of the proceeds goes directly to the veterans fund.

For a $10 entrance fee, attendees will receive their first glass of wine. Five dollars of this entrance fee goes directly to the Delaware Veterans Trust Fund. As visitors pay for additional glasses of wine, tips collected by the bartenders are added to the fund. The name of the bartender who collects the most tips will be engraved in a brick located at  the Dover Kent County Veterans Park.

The well-known bartenders will include Ms. Delmarva Veteran Stephanie Harrison, State Rep. Sean Lynn, D-Dover, Ross Sheridan of Painted Stave Distilling, and pinup personality Ginger DoGood.

This fundraiser for veterans will include a 50/50 raffle, gift baskets, a Chinese-style auction and food available from The Hungry Spork food truck.

Harvest Ridge Winery is a very friendly and welcoming winery. If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, plan to visit the winery soon! We have visited Harvest Ridge Winery several times and enjoyed the experience each time we returned. Read our online review.


Tomorrow Afternoon Celebrate Blues Music and Wine

If you don’t have plans for tomorrow, check out the Easterns Bayside Blues & Wine Festival!

Visit Knob Hall at the Easterns Bayside Blues & Wine Festival.

The festival, August 19, takes place at the Eastern Yacht Club in Middle River, Maryland. The festival starts at 1pm.

Twelve of Maryland’s numerous wineries will attend the festival. In addition a local Baltimore company, Crossroad Company, will have Winecream available. Winecream is produced with quality ice cream and fruit wines. Sounds yummy!


Music will be provided by several bands.

  • Patty Reese
  • Roger Girke and The Wandering Souls
  • Lower Case Blues
  • Nothin But Trouble
  • Deb Callahan Ban

The Maryland wineries scheduled for the festival include:

  • Cove Point Winery
  • St. Michaels Winery
  • Bodegas Gonzalez-Ruggiero
  • Janemark Winery & Vineyard
  • Port of Leonardtown Winery
  • Far Eastern Shore Winery
  • Boordy Vineyards
  • Knob Hall
  • The Winery at Olney
  • Dove Valley Winery
  • Royal Rabbit
  • Linganore Winecellars

Wine Trail Traveler has visited and written about many of these Maryland wineries. Check out the articles online.

In addition to the wineries, attendees will have the opportunity to visit the numerous vendors. As you browse the wide range of art and craft items, stop by one or more of the food vendors.

Tickets at the door are $30. Designated driver tickets are $10. Free admission is available for children.

The festival address is Eastern Yacht Club 2330 Seneca Road, Baltimore, MD.

Enjoy a wonderful summer day and perhaps you will even discover some special gifts for the holidays!


Summertime Cocktails from Santa Margherita Winery

Summer is great time to try one of these cocktails suggested by Santa Margherita Winery. These special summertime recipes use flavors associated with summer. Some of the flavors incorporated into the cocktail recipes below include: strawberry, rhubarb, peach, celery, and cucumber.

Summer Cup

Summer Cup


1 oz. Lillet Rose
½ oz. vodka
½ oz. strawberry and rhubarb syrup
Pinch of salt
1.5 oz. watermelon juice


  1. Shake and strain on ice and top with 2 oz. Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé.
  2. Garnish with watermelon radish wheels.

Peach Royale

Peach Royale


1 oz. tequila
1 oz. white peach purée
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
3 dashes peach bitters


Shake and strain on ice and top with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG. Garnish with a peach wedge.

Spritz O’Clock

Spritz O’Clock


1 oz. Aperol
½ oz. vodka
½ oz. orange juice
Dash of passionfruit purée
5 drops of orange flower water


  1. Build over ice and top with Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé.
  2. Garnish with an orange wheel and spray of orange blossom.

Garden Cooler

Garden Cooler


2 oz. Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio
½ oz. St. Germain
½ oz. lime juice
Dash each of celery and cucumber bitters
Dash of verjus and saline solution


  1. Build over ice and top with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG
  2. Garnish with cucumber slice and fresh herbs (shiso, opal basil, chrysanthemum).



Wine Appreciation Presentation A Success!

Wine enthusiasts discover wines at WTT Teach and Taste sessions.

This month we offered one of our Teach & Taste two-hour presentations which included a tasting of six wines including ancient world wines, old world wines and new world wines. The accompanying Power Point presentation included numerous photos depicting specific points made during the presentation, as well as, numerous photos of wineries we have visited. We also offered everyone a slice of the red raspberry wine cake we baked earlier in the day.

While presentations can be offered to almost any size group, yesterday’s group was 18. This size enables everyone to have a good view, hear and also ask questions or make comments about their own wine experiences. Presentations such as this one help people to appreciate the many faces of wine.

Greco Di Tufo from Italy was tasted.

Later we received numerous comments about this month’s presentation.

  • “I thought the wine tasting was FANTASTIC!!!  I learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed the day.  I especially enjoyed the information concerning the ancient wines since I had never given it any thought before.
  • “What a terrific idea, to visit the wineries and gain knowledge about the various wines, their production, etc.  It has inspired me to rethink my visits to wineries in the future.
  • Thanks for opening your home, for the tour of your wine cellar and of course, sharing all the wines and the stories about wines. GREAT DAY!!!!!”
  • “As usual, it was great. Thanks”
  • “It was wonderful!  It’s my second – and will not be my last! Thank you both for presenting such informative seminars.”
  • “I really enjoyed the wine tasting yesterday. Thanks so much for having it!”

If you want to learn more about our wine presentations, give us a call or visit our information page.

Kathy and Terry

Now is Great Time to Make Peach Wine

Fresh peaches will soon be turned into wine!

As mention in a previous blog, we began crafting a peach wine on Wednesday.

By Thursday night our fermentation bin, filled to about 2/3 of the five-gallon plastic container, was beginning to show signs of fermentation with the airlock bubbling about every 30 seconds. This morning the airlock is showing bubbles every 4 seconds. This is all good news as we wait for the fermentation to finish. It usually takes several days up to a week for this to occur. As soon as the fermentation is finished, we will press the must (peaches, skins, water and sugar mixture.) The resulting wine will be placed in a carboy for the lees to settle to the bottom of the carboy.

If you want to craft your own peach wine, detailed directions are available online. In addition to the peaches, white or yellow, the winemaking ingredients we used for our peach wine included: several pounds of sugar, distilled water, a yeast energizer, acid blend, grape tannins, pectic enzyme and potassium metabilsufite and a specific wine yeast. For all of the winemaking ingredients, check out your local wine and brewery shop. These stores will also have the five-gallon fermentation bin, airlock and hydrometer that you will need and that can be reused again and again.

We are excited about making a peach wine and hope to make 3 gallons of blackberry wine later this year!



Visit the Indiana Uplands AVA Wineries

Limestone blocks at Oliver Winery

In 2013 the Indiana Uplands AVA became the first approved AVA in Indiana. By 2017 this AVA with 4,800 square miles includes 17 wineries. For the consumer, this means that any bottle of wine labeled with the Indiana Uplands AVA must be produced with 85% of the grapes grown within the AVA.

On a map, the Indiana Uplands AVA looks like a long rectangle extending from its northern border in Spencer, Bloomington and Nashville, Indiana to the southern border near Corydon and Elizabeth, Indiana which is close to the Kentucky state line.

A great spot to enjoy a glass of wine at Brown County Winery

Wine enthusiasts are frequently interested in the land which includes hills and valleys with the elevation ranging to 1,033 feet above sea level. Other important landmarks include Monroe Lake and the Hoosier National Forest.

According to the Indiana winemakers we spoke with, the vineyards primarily sit on a base of limestone. However, there is also shale and sandstone.

The climate in the region significantly influences the vineyards including the grape varieties. The summers can be very warm while the winters get very cold. In 2014 and 2015 a polar vortex devastated many of the vineyards in the AVA. After growing grapes well for several years, it was a shock for the winegrowers to lose so many of their grapevines. Grape varieties grown in the Indiana Uplands AVA include vitis vinifera, hybrids and native American.

Vineyard growers need to be careful in choosing the grape varieties they want to grow and be successful. While visiting several of the wineries in the Indiana Uplands AVA we discovered that some of them are experimenting with different varieties to see what will grow well as well as produce quality wines.  One newer variety we came across during our visit was the Cabernet Doré.

Indiana Uplands AVA Wine Trail

Currently nine of the AVA wineries belong to the Indiana Uplands AVA Wine Trail. While visiting these nine wineries in July, we learned that to belong to the Wine Trail, each winery must meet certain conditions. One of these conditions was how long the winery was opened as a commercial business. Another important consideration was the amount of time the winery was open to the public each week.

In 2017 the wineries on the Indiana Uplands AVA Wine Trail are:

Best Vineyards Winery
Brown County Winery
Butler Winery
French Lick Winery
Huber Winery
Oliver Winery and Vineyards
Owen Valley
Turtle Run Winery
Winzerwald Winery

We visited all nine of these wineries. To find out about these wineries, read our online reviews.


Follow Our 2017 Peach Winemaking Progress

Pick-Your-Own Peaches

A few years ago we crafted a homemade peach wine. It was a fun experience and turned out to be a yummy fruit wine. which we enjoyed occasionally. Note that I really enjoy traditional wines also, but certain times like hot weather or a relaxing day on the patio, a fruit wine just calls out to me.

Since we had gone through our limited supply of peach wine, we decided 2017 was the year to make more peach

Fresh peaches will soon be turned into wine!

wine. So late last week we traveled to Larriland farms, a u-pick market in Maryland. After stopping at the farm market, we drove a short distance to their peach orchards. We were handed a box that should hold 20 pounds of peaches. Then we were directed to the orchard rows that have white peaches. The first year we chose to use a mixture of white and yellow peaches for the wine, this year we wanted to try just white peaches.

Back home after washing the peaches, we decided to wait a few days before beginning the process of peach winemaking.

Dicing peaches for winemaking

This morning we began the process by sanitizing all of our equipment with potassium metabisulphite. We took several pounds of the peaches and leaving the skins on, cut the peaches in half, removed the pit and diced the peaches. We added distilled water with sugar and then added several traditional substances including tannins to the mixture in the fermentation bin.

Tomorrow we will add the winemaking yeast and wait for several days for fermentation to take place.

Hope you are inspired you to pick fresh peaches this year and try your hand at making a peach wine. Oh, yes, we have extra peaches to eat fresh and make a couple of tasty pies!

Now maybe we’ll just try to craft a blackberry wine!


3 Cocktail Recipes for National Watermelon Day!

Today, August 3, is known as National Watermelon Day! If you love watermelon (and who doesn’t?) try one of these cocktails from Sparkling Ice.

Watermelon Ball Margarita

Watermelon Ball Margarita


1.5 oz of tequila
1 lime (halved, one half cut in two wedges)
0.5 oz on Conintreau
1 oz of Sparking Ice Strawberry Watermelon

How to make watermelon shot glasses:

Scoop out watermelon balls with ice cream scooper. Cut slice on bottom to make flat. Use melon baller to scoop out insides.


Add one scoop of watermelon to shaker using melon baller. Add lime wedges and Conintreau. Muddle together. Add tequila, juice from one-half lime, and ice. Shake and strain into measuring cup. Add Sparking Ice Strawberry Watermelon. Pour into Watermelon Shot glass.

Watermelon Vodka Lemonade

Sparkling Watermelon Vodka Lemonade


3 cups seedless watermelon pieces
3 lemons, juiced
½ cup vodka
¼ cup fresh mint
2 cups Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade


In a blender, puree the watermelon and lemon juice, strain through a sieve into a drink pitcher. Add mint, vodka, and Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade- then stir. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint.

Strawberry Watermelon Refresher

Strawberry Watermelon Refresher


3 oz.  Sparking Ice Strawberry Watermelon
1.5 oz. Vodka
½ oz. Peach Schnapps
Watermelon slices and strawberries for garnish


Pour vodka and peach schnapps, then Sparking Ice Strawberry Watermelon over ice.  Stir gently to mix. Garnish with watermelon slices and strawberries.


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