The Crossing Vineyards and Winery

As fall approaches leaves will turn hues of golden yellow and scarlet red, geese will begin to scout the air for an approaching chill, days with impossibly blue skies and bleeding sunsets will shorten and I will set out on a quest to find the perfect libation at the local vineyards. Ah, yes, there cannot be a more perfect time of year to go winery hopping, and here in the tri-state area we are lucky enough to have our very own slice of Napa cradled in the outskirts of New York City and Philadelphia.

Two weeks ago I visited a lovely vineyard in Washington Crossing, a small town in Bucks County, PA not far from the lazy Delaware River.  It was a perfect 78 degrees””sun shining amidst a cloudless sky””which seemed to heighten every one of my senses in the most fantastic way. The Crossing Vineyards and Winery, a two-hundred year old estate, is a charming plot of land with swirling vineyards, floating butterflies and a whimsical little garden that looks out to acres of stunning property. The winery has been written up by The New York Times and was awarded the gold medal at the 2010 International Eastern Wine Competition for its “˜08 Chardonnay.

Opened in 2000 by Tom Carroll, whose aspiration was to one day harvest a vineyard on the historic property where he spent his childhood, the winery has become one of the best of its kind in the area. The success of the  fruitfully, robust grapes can be partially attributed to the use of laser planting technology which creates perfectly straight rows for optimal vine growth.  Today Carroll and his family having a thriving business on that same property he once dreamed about, providing his customers with a unique experience.

The day I visited I opted for the “standard” tasting””passing up the “premium” and chocolate pairing (I don’t know what I was thinking on this one, especially since the chocolate was from “Naked Chocolate” in Philly).  Tastings are held in a large, dimly-lit cellar on a long U-shaped table where guests gather around (it does get very crowded at some points) as servers rush to pour and provide a brief introduction to each wine.  I wasn’t keen on the setup, so I asked our server, Bob, if my husband and I could pop outside between refills so that we could enjoy the gorgeous grounds, and shaded patio area while the wines infused our palates.  He said it would be no problem which seemed to make all the difference in our overall experience.

After tasting a total of 12 wines””six whites (over-the-top Chardonnay), five reds (loved the “Vintner’s Select”) and a sweet sangria””I had to turn down the remaining dessert libations to save my liver from a fierce night of churning. I will not claim to be a connoisseur, but I have tasted some excellent wines in my day, and overall I was extremely pleased with the selections I sampled. Next time I visit I plan to purchase a bottle or two, buy some sandwiches at the gourmet deli around the corner, and relax on the patio with some family and friends as we watch the autumn leaves drift away.

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