Tour de Wine: East Coast Wineries

By Haley Kieser

A wine tour can be one of the most fun aspects of a vacation. You’re all drinking the same drinks, you have a scenic background and, of course, you get to try a few different types of wine. Check out these east coast wineries to get started.

A great place to start on the east coast is Michael Shaps Wineworks in Charlottesville, Virginia. A relatively new winery, founded in 2007, Michael Shaps has already made its mark in the wine business by winning the Governor’s Cup and gold medals in several other competitions. The winery is set in a historic part of Virginia, and there are many options for things to do in Charlottesville. Options to try include their 2013 Chardonnay and 2012 L. Scott.

The next stop on the east coast tour is Black Ankle Vineyards in Mt. Airy, Maryland. The name of the vineyard comes from its location on Black Ankle Road. But the founders say the name also inspires them to think of the generations of traditional winegrowers who manually stomped the grapes. Come on a Friday night for live music and taste their 2014 Syrah or 2015 Bedlam.

Another stop on the tour is Jones Family Farms in Shelton, Connecticut. The farm has seasonal food available for picking, such as strawberries, blueberries and pumpkins. Farm founder Philip James Jones had the motto “Be good to the land and the land will be good to you.” The winery has kept with this motto ever since. Jones Family Farms offers Sip and Savor classes in the fall, where you can try four different wines along with a farm-prepared meal. There are also the Summer Wine Downs, where the farm stays open late and invites people to sip their wines while listening to live music. Cool off with their summer sangria or the crisp chardonnay.

The final east coast stop is Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars in Hammondsport, New York. Founded in 1962, this winery is known for leading the “Vinifera Revolution,” a time when wines in the Finger Lakes region were made using only European vinifera grapes. Now, Dr. Konstantin Frank claims to be New York’s most award-winning winery. It received the most gold medals in 2013, at an incredible 129 awarded. It’s a great wine to bring back home to the folks, or find a bottle of wine for friends. There are regular events hosted throughout the year, such as a wine tasting aboard the schooner “True Love” and an art- and wine-filled dinner.

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