There are many things that come to mind when you hear “Pennsylvania.” Gettysburg, the Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin, steel workers, Amish. All of these mental images are likely to come to mind. But wine? Probably not so much, and yet there are some lovely little vineyards tucked away in the more rural communities. One local vineyard in particular, Nissley Vineyards, seems to be extremely prevalent in my hometown. So in lieu of being admonished for not having a birthday celebration, I decided I would like to spend the afternoon celebrating one of my favorite things: wine.
The vineyard is a gorgeous property with charming little limestone buildings and red covered bridges, which give it that lovely “country” feeling.
Nissley’s vineyard tour is “self-guided.” This means with the help of a map and a guidebook (of sorts) you’re free to explore the property at your leisure. They start by giving a history of the property, which includes the fact that at one point it was a tobacco farm. Apparently tobacco farming in the late 1800’s involved using a limestone kiln.
As you come out of the wooded area surrounding the kiln, you come out into the fields into the fields of grapes. We didn’t get to see the white grapes, but the red grapes were everywhere and they looked so juicy and delicious.
Then you’re guided through the room with the hoppers, pressers, and fermenting vats which hold several hundred gallons of wine each, and then you come around the corner to a gorgeous wood and limestone walkway for the wine tasting.
It turns out I very much enjoy two of their reds and one of their whites. I’m not usually a fan of white wines, but their “Rhapsody in Blue” is not only clean, crisp, and just the right amount of sweet, but it also has a name that appeals to my musical sensibilities. I bought a bottle of that along with a bottle of their amusingly named “Naughty Marietta” and headed home to enjoy it, but not before seeing this wonderfully happy cloud.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t so bad celebrating my birthday this year. After all, wine makes everything better. Cheers friends!