I recently got back from a trip of a lifetime. For our honeymoon, my husband and I wanted to do something truly memorable. We ended up spending a few weeks in eight different European towns and cities, most of them being in Italy. While all of it was amazing, the day we spent touring Tuscany was one of my favorites. Besides seeing some fantastic medieval Italian towns and the beautiful Tuscan countryside, we were lucky enough to stop at an organic winery for lunch and wine tasting. Now that we’re home and the weather is pretty much perfect, we are just dying to find local wineries to enjoy. Lucky for us, Northeast Pennsylvania isn’t too far from some great wineries!
The Bartolai Winery in West Pittston is now a fourth generation winery with an original Italian background. The Bartolai family began making wine in the hills of Northern Italy and brought their skills with them when they came to Pittston. Known for their delicious, award-winning wines, the Bartolai winery offers 12 different wines and a variety of olive oils. Whether you’re looking to learn about wine, throw an event, or simply taste some local wine, this is the place.
Pavlick Hill Vineyard is another winery relatively close located on Route 118 in Dallas. Bill Karlotski and his wife Denise opened the winery a few years ago and turned their hobby into a business. The winery is named after the farm, Pavlick Hill, where the vineyard grows. Here you’ll find wines like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, but the Karlotskis introduce new wines each season. A favorite wine is the Mon Pere, named to honor Bill Karlotski’s father, who grew grapevines at his house. This wine was created from the vines of his father’s grapevines.
Nimble Hill Vineyard and Winery is a family winery located in Tunkhannock. Owned by Gary and Ellie Toczko, the winery opened in 2007, producing more than 3,000 gallons of wine. Nimble Hill Vineyard and Winery makes an array of both red and white wines, varying from sweet to dry. In the past, Nimble Hill has also won several awards for their wines, including a gold medal from Eastern International for their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail is home to eight family-owned vineyards and wineries in the area and allows you try a lot of different wines. This weekend is their Chambourcin Weekend, which celebrates the official wine grape of the Lehigh Valley. Chambourcin is the only grape grown by the eight different wineries. On Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20, each winery will be celebrating their Chambourcin wines and will feature wine tastings, live entertainment, tours, and even food and wine pairings. The event is free; however, some wineries charge for tastings. For directions, visit lehighvalleywinetrail.com.
So get out there and support your local wineries by drinking some wine!