Thanks to Groupon, a few friends and I went in and got tickets to the VIP Educational Tasting and Tour of Sand Castle Winery, right outside of New Hope, PA. We went up last weekend, to enjoy and learn about something other than beer.
The drive out to New Hope from Philadelphia was beautiful, and not too far for an afternoon trip. The winery is tucked away up a hill, with a gorgeous mountain view.
When it began, we were able to taste the unfermented juice of freshly squeezed grapes. Much sweeter than Welch’s! It was really neat to see the almost “wine-y” taste you get from just the grapes. Then, they sent us all into a big room, where Joseph gave a talk about the history of the winery, and about the types of grapes that they grow.
He was an excellent host, humorous and knowledgeable, and guided us all on how to properly examine, smell, and taste the 11 different wines, and also how to pair them with different flavors, such as thyme and rosemary.
After the tasting, we were able to make choices as to which, if any, bottles we would like to bring home, and then Joseph showed us thier wine cellar. We got to see the big fermenters, and the barrels of wine conditioning. We learned about the different types of oak that their wines age in, and the difference between using natural cork, plastic corks, or twist off wine caps.
The tour was lovely, and after we picked up our bottles of wine, we went upstairs to the art gallery. Here there were also doors that led outside and we were able to take in the magnificent view from the top of the castle.
I couldn’t believe how much fun I had during the hour and a half tour. I definitely can’t wait to be back.