It’s time to wine at Tour de TanksErica Streisfeld
Well, it is possible during Tour de Tanks on the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail (formerly UnCork York Wine Trail)!
You heard me correctly — tickets are just $25, which includes access to the wineries, wine tastings, light food items, presentations by winemakers and a collectible wine glass. Bonus: Your ticket also gets you a 10 percent discount on wine purchases.
Since your ticket can be reused for all five weekends of Tour de Tanks, my fellow winos and I like to gather a small caravan and tour the trail together. Toward the end of the month, we often revisit our favorite wineries, and your ticket is valid for that, too. Just visit the handy-dandy interactive trail map to pick a route and get going! Here’s the breakdown:
Adams County Winery, Hauser Estate Winery and Reid’s Orchard & Winery are relatively close to each other, just outside of Gettysburg. Reid’s is the smallest, having been more orchard than winery until recently, but that means it also sells some pretty great fruit butters and such. At Adams County Winery, you’ll find the official wines of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as Scrapple (sweetly-spiced cranberry apple wine). I like to end (and linger) at Hauser Estate, with its circular, glass-enclosed tasting room.
Again, I would start small with West Hanover Winery in Harrisburg, which offers many sweet and fruit wine varieties. Then head to Cullari Vineyards & Winery, right off Chocolate Avenue in Hershey. Outside, it’s easy to miss, but inside, it has a darling, café-like setting with plenty of seating. Try its blended house wines like the Simply Red Number 2. Meanwhile, The Vineyard at Hershey, located in Middletown, has a swanky, brand-spankin’-new tasting room, so definitely make plans to spend some quality tasting time there.
Alas, Lancaster only has one winery on the trail, but it’s worth the trip: Tamanend Winery. Its flora-inspired wines will tickle your taste buds. Don’t miss the Velvet Ruby and Mountain Laurel varieties.
With five wineries in York County, you might have to make more than one trip. For me, Allegro Winery has the best wines, but Moon Dancer Vineyard & Winery has the best view. Make it a point to chat with Allegro’s winemaker, Carl Helrich, a super-personable guy, and ask if he has Riesling in stock. If so, try it! Hummingbird Ridge Winery is still a newer winery while Naylor Wine Cellars and Four Springs Winery have more established wine lists, yet all three offer some delightful novelty wines.
When the wine trail was renamed from UnCork York to Mason-Dixon, it also expanded into Maryland, and it’s a nice change of scenery. Fiore Winery in Pylesville looks like a cute little Italian villa. But Boordy Vineyards in Hydes left me most impressed. I might even go so far as to say that it brings the entire trail to a whole new level. Smooth wines and beautiful surrounds. What’s not to like?
Have you already gone wine tasting on the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail? What are your favorite wines and wineries?
Erica Streisfeld is the editor for custom publishing at Journal Publications Inc., parent company of the Central Penn Business Journal. She moonlights as a foodie and wino, and many people also know her as founder and organizer of the Harrisburg Cupcake Cup, a community cupcake competition that doubles as a fundraiser for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Follow her at @HbgFoodandWine.