Even before Richard Naylor and his wife, Audrey, founded their winery in 1978, the Naylor family had been fascinated by the winemaking process. What began as a backyard vine-growing experiment first transitioned into an barrel-producing operation in a potato cellar. It then blossomed into today's idyllic Pennsylvania winery, full of vineyards, rows of wooden barrels, and a staff of friendly wine experts. Richard and his family lead groups through tours of the picturesque estate, imparting their wisdom about the fine varietals grown there, such as cabernet franc or chambourcin. Guests can sip fine vino during regular festivals and front-porch tastings, or they can experience live bands, competitive wine-tasting events, and even weddings in the welcoming, rustic setting of the Pavilion.
Blue Mountain Vineyards owners, Joe and Vickie, are pinot pioneers. Beginning with a 5-acre experiment in 1986, they discovered that the soil of the Lehigh Valley does a fine impression of French terrain, making it suitable for growing the grapes of cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and other European varietals. Since then, they've expanded to a 50-acre plot, where they now produce wines that have won awards from the Fingerlake International Wine Competition and Appellation America.
Panoramic views of the Blue Mountains overlook scenic terraces at the vineyards, where grapes spring from soil that soldiers roamed during the Revolutionary War. Tastings, concerts, and other events fill the winery's glass-flanked deck, spilling onto an outdoor patio surrounded by ponds as tranquil as a silent lullaby. Visitors admire the vines during tours, and they can also adopt their favorites to preserve the vines' flavorful histories.
One glance at the exposed brick and stone that surrounds you at Gas Station Kitchen and Bar?itself a former gas station?and it's clear you're feasting inside a gastropub. But Chef Forest Dunlap's complex flavors don't make that deduction so easy. His Maryland crab-cake sliders and old-bay chips transport you to a classic New England seafood shack, and his wood-fired pizzas conjure up visions of Italy with toppings such as goat cheese and balsamic reduction. He also uses a house smoker to summon Southern comforts, creating dishes such as the pork platter?a medley of smoked pork shoulder, pork belly, and housemade sausage.
To complement the kitchen's eclectic servings, head bartender Gary Weisinger pours a variety of international and domestic brews, including several from Hershey's own Troegs Brewing Company. On the cocktail front, he sticks to the classics, such as daiquiris, singapore slings, and rum runners, which were once the official drink of America's least successful track team. Along with these meals, Gas Station hosts frequent events, such as live music, beer launches, and Irish dances, to entertain patrons until its 2 a.m. closing time.