Is there anything better than a long, lazy summer afternoon that stretches into the cool twilight? How about a long, lazy summer afternoon that stretches into the cool twilight at a vineyard? There’s certainly nothing wrong with your humble backyard-hammock, but let’s be honest; the food and drinks—not to mention the views—are probably way better at any of the vineyards scattered throughout the Delaware River Towns. Fortunately for you, there’s no shortage of incentives to put a shirt on and check them out for yourself. (We promise, that’s the extent of the effort involved.) Here’s a rundown:
Nektar, New Hope | Tuesdays through August 27
Yes, we realize Nektar isn’t a vineyard. It’s even better because it’s air-conditioned. This is a wine tasting for people who traditionally steer clear of wine tastings because they think they’re pretentious. Fifteen bucks buys you three glasses of various red or white wines. You’ll also be given a sommelier’s grid to help you figure out what you’re drinking. Or, just leave it and savor the view—and the fact that no one’s going to lecture you.
Alba Vineyard, Milford, NJ | July 13 and 27 and Aug. 10
The epitome of summer on a plate is one of Alba house chef Anthony Fiore’s buffet dinners: a smattering of salads and perfectly-grilled proteins and farm-fresh veggies. In other words, pile it on, find a comfortable spot, open a bottle of something (wine’s sold separately), and consider yourself settled in until the sun sets.
Unionville Vineyards, Ringoes, NJ | July 19
As if a Maine lobster feast in a pastoral setting could get any better, Unionville’s also rolling out its not-yet-released Chardonnays for the occasion. The best part about this dinner, though? Leaving the decisions to the experts. Come prepared to eat until you’re uncomfortably full and to have your glass refilled without request—freeing you up to, just for the night, shelf your strange preoccupation with pairing red wines with raw bars.
Crossing Vineyards, Washington Crossing | July 25 and Aug. 29
If you’re thinking, But what about my drinking buddy? Well, for a couple of afternoons this summer, Crossing Vineyards is opening its gates to dogs, too. (And that includes access to the air-conditioned bar and lounge.) From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., there will be drink and snack specials for you and doggie treats for your significant other.
Washington Crossing Historic Park | July 27
With more than 40 varieties of wine—all from Pennsylvania vineyards—available for the pouring, our only advice is: Pace yourself. And that’ll be easy to do. Situated right on the banks of the Delaware, guests are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs. And at four hours long, there will be plenty of time for cat naps along the way. Just be sure to eat something, too. (Food will be served, but it’ll be sold separately.)