Built in 1750, the old bank barn on the Sweetwater Farm bed-and-breakfast property boasted a diverse resumé before it fell into disrepair more than two centuries later; it held malting barley for distilled spirits, sheltered herds of livestock, and even hosted a party or two. After a two-year renovation completed in 2010, the barn came out of retirement to fulfill its new purpose: hosting french-oak barrels and stainless-steel fermentation tanks—custom-made in South Africa—that quietly ferment and age small-batch wines from the property's 5-acre vineyard.
Grace Winery's European-origin varietals, grown on California vines that were transplanted by hand and carrier pigeon, include merlot, pinot gris, and petit verdot. Winemaker Sean Kramer combines new technology with tried-and-true tradition to create wines such as the bright 2010 rosé, which was served at the brunch the day after Prince Albert of Monaco’s wedding. His other wines include the 2010 chardonnay reserve, aged for 14 months in french oak that imbues it with dark caramel and butterscotch flavors, and the crisp 2011 pinot gris, whose light honeysuckle aromas lead to delicate hints of citrus and melon.
When Wagonhouse Winery owners Dan and Heather Brown were first starting their business, they were also starting a family. As the couple worked vineyards on land owned by generations of Browns, they raised three adorable boys?Dallas, Dawson, and Dower?honoring them with a specialty sweet-wine label. Visitors share in the family's joy with tastings, sipping cabs and chardonnays while snacking on cheese from Cherry Grove Farm. The rustic tasting room surrounds guests with dark varnished wood, rocking chairs, barrels, and a shuffleboard table, evoking the image of an old-timey colonial tavern or grandpa's secret man cave.
The Rosenbach Museum, which is built from the rare book, manuscript, antique, and fine art collections of the Rosenbach brothers, preserves cultural treasures such as the only surviving copy of Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard Almanac, illustrator Maurice Sendak's drawings, and artifacts from the Civil War. In addition to special exhibitions, the museum's diligent docents guide guests through the Rosenbach manse's nineteenth-century crannies, exploring the rare book library and fine-art rooms, a replica of poet Marianne Moore's living space, and the giant roll of quarters signifying entry into the National Register of Historic Places.
Philadelphia is no longer safe. That’s because Fright Factory, a house of charnel horrors featured as one of America’s scariest Halloween attractions on the Travel Channel, is reopening the portal to its haunted attractions from September 27 to November 2. The sinister site traps unsuspecting guests within four distinct settings, including a lab filled with horrible genetic aberrations, a mausoleum fallen into moldering disrepair, a mutinous asylum, and a physical manifestation of fear itself.
Philadelphia’s history fills the pages of textbooks across the world. William Penn, Benjamin Franklin, and the Liberty Bell fill the indexes. But these texts do little to educate people on and preserve the physical history of Philadelphia, specifically its buildings.
Enter the nonprofit Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. Its volunteer team of tour guides leads architectural walking tours past downtown Philadelphia’s landmarks, buildings, and cityscapes, and its staff coordinates an array of events each month, which have previously included graveyard tours, concerts, and archaeological digs. Proceeds from these activities, along with various grants, are then used to preserve the Philadelphia region’s historical buildings, subsequently preserving its historical communities and the story of the city's influential past.