A Taste of Bucks County Wines

November 12, 2012 9:44 pm0 commentsViews: 22
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c1B1AAXLG27F62DB.medTuscany, Italy! Napa Valley, California!! Burgundy, France!!! Bucks County, Pennsylvania????

Fellow wine lovers and I are fortunate to be here in Bucks County. There are nine wineries here; wineries that plant vines in our home soil; wineries that tend these vines until they produce grapes, some of them indigenous American grapes. Then the grapes are picked here, crushed and pressed here, fermented, aged, bottled and sold here. I recently found a passion for wine that I never knew I had until traveling on a recent vacation. I even more recently found how wonderful it is to have this passion and live right here in Bucks County.

Serious wine lovers may think I have an unsophisticated palate or even a loose bolt or two in my head. How can I compare Bucks’ wines to Tuscany wines? Well, I am not comparing the wines. I am offering that for a few bucks, we can get a bottle of wine in Bucks, and have a delicious beverage that is made right where we live. For me, that is a world class experience. That is what I am comparing – the experience of sitting in a winery and chatting with the actual wine maker. And best of all, this experience is right HERE.

Just where are these experiences, then?

I know the locations of three of the wineries because I drive by them (and previously ignored them) just about every day: Crossings Vineyard in Washington’s Crossing; Rose Bank Winery in Newtown; and Buckingham Winery on 413. Each one offers ambience, friendly staff and excellent wines. They, along with six others, are all members of the Bucks County Wine Trail ( www.buckscountywinetrail.com ).

My first Bucks Winery visit was to Crossings Winery. The tasting room is beautiful, with an informal feel. I am still learning about wine so I asked for beginner’s help. I knew from the Crossings website ( www.CrossingVineyards.com ) that I wanted to try the Chocolate Cherry Truffle, so I started and stopped there. I found my wine! And I learned a better way to taste and enjoy my wines — the swirl, sniff, swish, taste, spit method. I did not want to spit, but it makes room for other wines. The idea is to engage all of your senses in as many wines as you can taste responsibly. I swirled my wine in its glass, releasing is aromas. I buried my nose in the glass and breathed in deeply three separate times. Then I took three separate sips. I let them sit in my mouth and swished them all around, then spat. I liked this first wine so much I bought it. I decided to not taste any others so I have an excuse to go back.

c2080BuyV294EF54.medBuckingham Winery was next. I arrived on a busy Sunday. I got to see wine making equipment here, as Buckingham’s tasting room is adjacent to a manufacturing room. There were interesting samples available, including an unfermented, freshly pressed Concord grape juice. This was a WOW for me. Unsweetened and fresh from the fields, it was unlike anything I had ever tasted as a kid. And being unfermented, I got to drink multiple glasses of this — with no spitting! Another sample was an unfinished white wine which was different. It was simple, crisp and pleasant. I had never had an in-process wine and I liked the idea of tasting something when it was so new. It reminded me of dipping my finger in cake batter. The batter was great, so I couldn’t wait for the cake! I feel that way about this wine: is it done yet? My favorite here was their sparkler made in the “Method Champagne:” light, bubbly and slightly sweet. There are more wines here to try, so I must go back. ( www.pawine.com )

Finally, I stopped at Rose Bank ( www.RoseBankWinery.com ). I was lucky enough to get a tour of the entire wine making facility. That was an unexpected surprise! Then I discovered a fermented Concord grape wine that I likened to the unfermented juice at Buckingham. I definitely never had this as a kid! I also liked the Raspberry Chocolate Port and Niagara. I am definitely going back.

Three wineries in three days, and there are still six other wineries to visit and many more wines to try. Each winery is unique, with exciting tasting opportunities. The Holidays are approaching and I have a lot of gift shopping to do! Maybe there is a wine lover on your gift list.