Va La Vineyards
Va La Vineyards has an unusual winery website. After we spoke with our host, we discovered the reason behind Va La’s creative website. Tony, the owner and winemaker, spent a number of years in California as a scriptwriter. Now he spends 60 – 80 hours a week focusing on his winery. Although Va La only produces 1500 – 1800 cases each year, production is not expected to increase as Tony follows the wonderful Italian way of finding a balance between work and family. While many grapes are grown on the property, some are purchased within a few miles of Va La.
Va La Vineyards has a long Italian history behind it, as four oval framed pictures of grandparents and great grandparents hanging in the tasting room attest to. The Vala property was purchased in 1928. Currently the 5th generation of family is living on the property with grandparents nearby.
As we spoke about our preferences of wine, our host became aware that I do not care for red wines. He immediately brought out a red wine, which had no harsh tannins in it. Silk is a red blend that is unusual in the United States. According to their brochure, “This light dry style, rare in the US, is basically used by Italians as an excuse not to drink white wine.” I enjoyed tasting Silk. Va La also produces La Prima Donna, a white wine, which is bright and clear. We tried other Va La wines including Cristallo and Barbera.
As we tasted wines, we were treated to cheese and olive oil with spices. Delicious! Our host took much time and detail in talking to us about Va La Vineyards. He pointed out that at Va La, the emphasis is on the “experience of wine.” While some visitors stop for just the wine tastings, many stop for the experience. The cheese from the local area was delicious. The goat cheese with honey was particularly good, especially for anyone with a sweet tooth. There is no sense of rush at Va La. One is able to take a wine tasting and walk up to the Art Gallery.
Little did we know, when we planned our trip to Va La located in Avondale, Pennsylvania that we would also be in the mushroom capital! As it turns out mushroom growing near Va La grapes has helped to create a microclimate for the grapevines.
The Va La tasting room is much more than just a wine tasting room. The experience of wine, the ambience, the antique furniture all added to the renovation of the tasting room from a barn, with thick, stone walls. Upstairs is an area that can be rented for small gatherings and also exists as an Art Gallery. While we were there, an artist was setting up his display of watercolors. To the back corner of the room is a baby grand piano, which adds to the ambience and artistic nature of Va La Vineyards.
Va La Vineyards
Area Lodging: Hilton Garden Inn, Kennett Square
Visit this Pennsylvania Winery and Wine & Fruit Trail that partner with Wine Trail Traveler.