This past Saturday (amidst all the crisp sunlight and gusting winds) was spent on a self-guided wine tour of Bucks County. It was our little Pennsylvania version of Sideways as we hit many of the spots along the Bucks County Wine Trail, but unlike Paul Giamatti’s character, we did drink some Merlot.
We visited five wineries in Bucks County (sorry, no pictures for this day-trip…too busy drinking)…and I’m confident in selecting Crossing Vineyards and Winery on Wrighstown Road in Washington’s Crossing as the best of the Bucks County bunch.
It was the first on our stop and features beautifully appointed grounds and interiors, warm and friendly service, a fantastic “tasting” set-up amongst the wooden barrels and giant steel drums, and most importantly…the best wine we tasted that day. The Crossing Vineyards prides itself on presenting the best possibilities of Pennsylvania wine and has won numerous awards. Their White Viognier and their Specialty Le Nouveau were the highlights for me, and I happily left with a bottle of each to take home.
With a friend visiting from out of town, we decided to kill some time by taking a short drive down to Batsto Village for a casual hike on a beautiful day. Driving down the White Horse Pike through Hammonton, the “Blueberry Capital of the World” sign was impossible not to notice. When I mentioned there were some wineries in the area, my friend began to wonder if they made blueberry wine. Right on cue, the unassuming and nicely appointed Tomasello Winery appeared up on the left. Lo and behold, Tomasello Winery is famous for their fruit wines, including, of course, a very tasty blueberry wine. The winery offers free wine tasting, a helpful and personable staff, and very affordable locally made wine. I highly recommend it, and being a mere thirty minutes from my neck of the woods, I’ll be sure to return. I left the winery with a bottle of their signature blueberry wine and a bottle of their vintage port. For more, visit: http://www.tomasellowinery.com/
Just a bit further down the White Horse Pike from the winery, we made a left onto Route 542 towards Batsto Village. South Jersey often gets a bad wrap for its lack of scenery, but this is a beautiful stretch of well maintained farmland on the edge of the Pine Barrens that rivals any of the best “country drives.” Nestled in the heart of Wharton State Forest, Batsto Village offers hiking trails, a beautiful lake, and historic buildings (including an old sawmill) left over from its days of iron and glass making during the 19th century. For more, visit: http://www.batstovillage.org/