On Saturday we decided to explore some nearby wineries, and turned out to be a GREAT decision. Here’s why:
ROUND BARN WINERY: This winery actually combined wine making, with beer brewing and vodka creating. Which means in their wine barn (seen above) you can purchase a wine glass (with their cool logo on it) for only $5, which gives you a taste of five wines, one vodka, and a free beer taste. At the other barn (where the beer is), you can purchase a $5 pint glass and try five beers, one vodka, and a free wine taste. Brian purchased the wine glass and shared with me (along with his parents, so we got to try a ton), and I bought a pint glass and shared with them. The wine was good, but a bit disappointed in the beer. However I really liked the ambiance of the round barn (see below), and tons of people brought picnics and were enjoying the nice weather with a beer or a wine. Wish we had known! Overall this winery earns a 7. -2 for the disappointing beer and the average wine, and -1 for the horrible apricot dessert wine that almost made me throw up. Learned my lesson on dessert wines at that one.
TABOR HILL WINERY: This one was by far my favorite. We visited it third, which meant it was the perfect time for lunch. They had a beautiful dining room overlooking the vineyards, with food that ended up being delicious. We all tried different things, and each one was GREAT. Big fan.
After lunch we headed to the bar to taste some wines, and there were several reasons why it was my favorite.
1) The wine was INCREDIBLE. I enjoyed almost every white I tried, each more than the one before. They had about 30 bottles on display, each with 3-10 medals around the neck. Clearly others would agree with my assessment of the taste.
2) One of my favorite whites is also the official wine of the White House. Ford brought it there when he was President, and each one since has kept it (since clearly it’s that good).
3) The guy pouring our tastes was super knowledgable. He devoted all his attention to us, and each time we requested one he would tell us all about it first. While others were nice at the other wineries, none were as good as him.
4) They offered free tours, so we actually got to see where the wine was produced, as well as hear about how, when and why the winery was originally opened. The only place we did a tour, but helped overall know more about wine production.
Overall I give this place a 9. -1 because lunch was a bit pricey for the portions, but I would almost say it was still worth it (maybe that’s easier to say since I didn’t have to pay). I take it back. -.5. OVERALL: 9.5
LEMON CREEK WINERY: Next we headed to the Lemon Creek Winery, which luckily had an outdoor arts fest going on. I say luckily because most things about this winery were far inferior to Tabor Hill, but the arts fest added a little something extra. It was all outside, there was live music, and some creative art to enjoy. The wine tasting tent was also outside, and super busy when we were there. The lady serving us was clearly rushed, and unfortunately didn’t make an attempt at giving us info. about the wine. In fact, towards the end she even sort of insinuated that we had requested more than the 5 tastes we were allowed (I can understood how she got confused, as we do tend to try each others, but solely for the purpose of maximizing wines tried, and minimizing drunkenness).
Overall I have less to rave about at this one, except for the good company and the nice ambiance 🙂 I rate it a 6.
DOMAINE BERRIEN: We showed up about 10 minutes before they were closing, but the woman helping us welcomed us in anyways, and gave us all our tastes. The wine here was pretty good, and I enjoyed the sweet ones. Even the reds were starting to grow on me! Plus it was still beautiful outside, and you could see the grapes growing right outside the door. Love it!
Overall this winery gets a 7.
From there we headed to Warren Dunes State Park to hike some giant sand dunes. More on that to come…