Before my weekends are filled with graduation parties, weddings, and picnics, a road trip is definitely in order. I have the perfect drive in mind. There's nothing better than traveling our beautiful country roads. My destination of choice - some of my favorite wineries in Pennsylvania's Americana Region, in the Reading, Berks County area. Each offers a unique atmosphere, special wines, and events. Now comes the hard part. Where to begin?
Which wineries in Berks County would you visit?
Setter Ridge Vineyards, a family owned and operated winery is also a gravity flow winery. This means the staff pumps the wine less often, minimizing the amount of oxygen that comes in contact with the wine. Blair offers weekend events and Friday Happy Hours. It's always fun to pack a picnic basket, sit in the tasting pavilion and enjoy the view of the Blue Mountains - with a bottle of Setter Ridge Vineyard wine, of course!
Manatawny Creek Winery is located on a 90-acre farm along the banks of the Manatawny Creek. Manatawny, a Native American term meaning where we meet to drink, is the perfect name and location for the winery. The vineyard produces 5,000 cases of wine each year, most from grapes grown on their property. Their wines are sold primarily through their tasting room. The room has windows with a view into the cellar where production occurs. If time allows, take the 30-minute tour of the entire production process.
Folino Estate Vineyard and Winery sits on land originally slated for development. The Folino family ran into so many problems, they built the beautiful Folino Estate Winery instead - a definite win for all. One visit to the winery and you'll understand why. Sip wines in their impressive Tuscan style tasting room or dine at the restaurant. Feast on dishes prepared by a family that has been making great Italian food for 40 years. Folino's sampling events include everything from cheese pairings to musical events to yoga.
Long Trout Winery offers a totally far-out experience. Sport your favorite tie-dyes and bell bottoms, headbands, and halter tops and you'll feel right at home. Music from the 60s, veiled in smoldering incense, make for the perfect backdrop to sample the crisp homemade style wines.
Ridgewood Winery calls home a beautiful stone farmhouse that dates back to the 1700s. In addition to a spectacular setting, the winery offers a variety of sweet, red, and white wines. Bring snacks to nibble while sampling Ridgewood's wines and the grounds of the historic farmstead. Ridgewood also offers private art/craft classes, all kinds of wine events and outdoor concerts.
Clover Hill Vineyard and Winery began as a hobby for Pat and John Skrip. The husband and wife team were passionate about wine and began growing grapes. By 1985 their passion became their business and Clover Hills Vineyard and Winery was opened. Today the vineyard produces more than 75,000 gallons of wine annually and has more locations than any of the other wineries in Pennsylvania's Americana Region. The Skrip's children have joined their parent's business. The family is proud to say, Clover Hill Winery started as a dream and became a family tradition.
Here's hoping you get a chance to visit one or all of the outstanding wineries of Pennsylvania's Americana Region.