Red White and Brew Trips, LLC’s maiden voyage on September 17, 2016 will showcase four wonderful, but distinct wineries on the Lake Erie Wine Trail.
The first stop will be at Courtyard Wineries. Courtyard has been in existence since 2007 when Laura and Randy Graham, who moved to North East, PA from California, decided to commercialize their love of wine. Randy’s grandparents grew grapes in North East for sale, so grapes are in his blood (pun intended).
The Graham’s built one of the finest tasting room facilities in the region. They make wines under two labels: Le Courette (Small Yard), which have their drier wines including Noiret, Chardonnay, and dry Reisling, and Barjo Bons (Crazy Friends), which house their fruit and sweeter wines. The tasting room is divided between the two brands, but you do not have to limit your sampling to one or the other. The Beach Glass Red and White are excellent semi-sweet wines, and are at the Barjo Bons bar.
Make sure you take time to shop at the excellent gift shop.
21 Brix Winery
Even though 21 Brix opened in 2011, the winery has a strong reputation. Kris Kane worked on his family’s grape farm growing up, and spent 10 years at Presque Isle Winery. Along with his parents, Mike and Marion Jordan, the winery has gathered many award, and Kane was named one of the 100 most influential winemakers in the United States.
The winery has produced several distinctive wines, including Chardonnay, Noiret, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy the wonderful tasting bar and gift shop, but please do not climb on the elephant in the parking lot.
Mazza Chautauqua Cellars at Five & 20
Mazza’s name is synonymous with Lake Erie wine, as the family has two other locations in North East, PA (South Shore and Mazza). We will be visiting its Five & 20 location, where you can sample the company’s beer and spirits as well as its wine.
Mazza was founded in 1973, and has been making high quality wines for a long time. It is the largest producing winery in Pennsylvania. Their Merlot is the standard for the region, and they also make outstanding Reislings, b. lends, and other varietals, including ice wine, sherry and port. The current winemaker is from Uruguay.
Liberty Vineyards and Winery
Liberty was named New York’s Winery of the Year in 2016 by the New York Grape and Wine Foundation. Some of the still-producing vineyards have been in the family of owners Gary and Pam Burmaster since the 1860s. Despite the history and tradition, the Burmasters have been highly advanced in their winemaking techniques, and grape selection.
Liberty was an early importer of Carmenere’ stock from South America, and have been making wines from Cornell University’s hybrids Noiret and Traminette for almost 10 years. They have a wide variety of wines from sweet to bone dry.
We will get to taste some of the finest wines being made along the Lake Erie Wine Trail, and will visit four outstanding facilities. If you haven’t signed up for this trip yet, what are you waiting for? The bus leaves Saturday morning, September 17, with or without you. Don’t regret missing this bus.