wine tasting the weekend away

The husband and I met up with some friends of ours in North East, PA for a weekend of wine tasting.  I am not sure what I was expecting, but I was completely blown away by the wineries up there.  I guess Napa turned me into a bit of a wine touring and tasting snob, because I was not expecting much.  I think I assumed North East would be a lot like Erie, which in my opinion (and no offense to anyone who lives there) is pretty depressing.  But the quaint town of North East was just adorable.  I mean how can you not fall in love with a town surrounded by at least two dozen wineries? 

Since our day got off to a later start than had planned, the husband and I waited for our friends at South Shore Wine Company.  Apparently South Shore was Erie's first commercial winery, established in 1864.  As soon as you walk down the stairs and into the cellar, you can immediately sense the history.  The husband and I split 6 tastings (for $3 by the way - you should have seen the husband's face!) and bought a bottle to have with a bowl of broccoli and cheese soup while we waited for our friends to arrive. 

We met up with our friends at the hotel, and since we liked South Shore's environment so much we went again once our friends got there.  While the wine was good and you felt you were part of history just standing inside, no one was overly impressed with the staff there.  The pourer was not very friendly and seemed to be very annoyed to have to do her job.  And I am not sure about you, but the pourer really make the experience that much better. 
We initially intended on biking the 14 mile route from winery to winery, but since we got such a late start, we decided to just drive instead.  The weather was rather chilly and it ended up raining so it was a good thing we did.  Our next stop was Mazza Vineyards, which South Shore is under.  Apparently Mazza is not very good at hiring friendly people because we felt the same way about Mazza as we did South Shore, good wine, fun environment but the pourers were not very friendly.

Our last two stops were my favorite.  Sparkling Ponds Winery was just across the New York state border and you got as many tastings as you wanted for only $2.  We even got a food pairing with one of the wines!  As much as I love my wine, I pretty much only know the difference between sweet and dry and red and white.  That's as far as my knowledge goes, so most of the wines started to taste the same to me but this one was probably my favorite because the pourer was extremely friendly and knowledgeable.  You could tell she loves what she does. 

Next stop, and second favorite of mine, was Lakeview Wine Cellars.  Lakeview is run by a sweet older couple whose dream it was to always open their own winery one day.  So the man went back to school after he retired, and got a degree in wine making.  Which seems about the only thing worth going back to school for these days.  Just my opinion.  They were awesome and so friendly.  Even gave us some recommendations for places to eat and what not for that night.

Since I am 30 (31 on Friday), I was not up for a crazy night so I was completely content with dinner and a few drinks and chatting over a few glasses of wine before hitting the hay by 11.  Like I said, I am 30.  And I think everyone was pretty happy about turning in early.  We all woke up pretty refreshed the next day and since we all brought our bikes (but hadn't used them yet), we decided to head on over to Presque Isle to bike the 12.6 mile loop.  It was a perfect day for it, even though my butt is still telling me different.  Before we headed home, we went to The Tap House for lunch and bloodys.  Perfect end to a great weekend.  I am pretty sure if we were closer to home, those bloodys would have turned into a few more and a Sunday Funday. 

How was your weekend?
Do you like wine?
Do you close to any wineries?

Linking up with Shanna and Melissa today!

until next time 
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  1. Wow how fun! That is so crazy the winery is from 1864. How cool!

  2. Sounds like an awesome weekend! Napa now seems incredibly over-priced in comparison, too.

  3. WAHHHH.... I wanna go wine tasting {says in a winey voice}. Sounds like SUCH a fun time!! :)

  4. this makes me excited for the wine tasting i am doing this weekend. Oregon has some of the best :)

  5. hey hey! hope you had a good birthday on Friday! :)


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