If your lasting image of the summer of 2020 was you sitting on your back porch/deck/patio or simply in your backyard, maybe around a firepit, drinking a glass of wine as the day turned to night, you may be feeling a special determination to drink some wine anywhere but in or around your own home.
With restrictions lifting on restaurants and bars, that should be easy to do. If you’re hoping for something a little more, say, romantic or communal, the Bucks County Wine Trail is selling a passport that buys users wine tastings at five of its wineries, including two located in the Delaware River Towns, Crossing Vineyards and Winery, in Washington Crossing, and Sand Castle Winery, in Erwinna.
Passports are $40 each. You can buy them at any of the participating wineries, which also include Bishop Estate Vineyard and Winery, in Perkasie; Rose Bank Winery, in Newtown; and Rushland Ridge Vineyard and Winery, in Jamison.
Sampling a wine at the very vineyard that created it is an inspiring experience, and not only because you’re most likely to taste it as the winemaker intended it to taste. But also because many of these vineyards offer scenic views of the surrounding countryside.
If you were impressed by the sunsets in your backyard, picture an orange and violet glow settling over rolling hills lined with neatly arranged rows of grape vines. Most winemakers will tell you that they love what they do because they’re constantly challenged by the finicky nature of their craft. But it’s being a part of those moments that confirms for them, there’s nowhere else they’d want to be.
The passports are valid through August 31, so there’s plenty of incentive not to rush the experience. Theoretically, you could make a day out of it and hit all five wineries. But you’ll probably be better off doing a winery at a time. You’ll give yourself more of chance to soak it all in, either with your favorite person or a group of them. (If you are planning a visit with a group of six more, the wineries ask that you make a reservation.)
Though, once you’ve hit all five wineries, your passport will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win two cases of wine from the wine trail’s member vineyards.
The passport program was started in 2016. It appeared to be growing in popularity with each new year until last year, when the program was temporarily halted because of the pandemic.
Traditionally, the program ran from the fall through the spring. It was moved to the summer this year, organizers say, to help relieve lingering concerns about gathering indoors. To be clear, outdoor seating is available at all five participating wineries.
The Bucks County Wine Trail formed as a nonprofit in 2004. It’s comprised of six family-owned wineries across the county. (Buckingham Valley Vineyards is not participating in the passport program.) Among them, you’ll find a robust selection of Chardonnays, Chambourcins, and Cabernet Sauvignons, along with a growing body of dessert wines and specialties, like sangria.
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