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.
The Wine Room of Cherry Hill spotlights more than 25 Californian grape varieties, which guests handcraft into their very own batches. Under the tutelage of winemaking pros, students de-stem and crush the fruit, then learn to press it with authentic Italian wine presses. Finally, each batch is ready to be poured into bottles adorned with customized labels, which guests may opt to purchase and take home.
Besides winemaking, The Wine Room plays host to a variety of events—from food and wine seminars to private birthday parties—in a reception area inspired by a Tuscan courtyard.
Amid a 22-acre estate, Heritage Vineyards's grape grapplers craft award-winning wines and pair them with sumptuous finger foods. Visiting pairs can choose a lunch dish and a glass apiece from the grandiose wine list. Sip the 2007 cabernet sauvignon, which comes tinged with a deep crimson hue and flavors of cherry and currant, or the Jersey blush, a semisweet concoction that can be smeared on the cheeks to express embarrassment. Meanwhile, the newly released 2009 chambourcin has been aged for 14 months in French-oak barrels and brandishes a complex bouquet of tastes. Or find matches for your wines without filling out 30-page questionnaires by scanning the lunch menu, which pairs the wines with compatible cheese-laden fare such as the warm pepperoni-and-cheese bread or the baked brie, formed with a fig spread and served with sesame crackers.
Chris, Cardinal Hollow Winery's owner and winemaker, ferments more than 2,000 gallons of juice each year to fill the facility's wood-paneled, cabin-like interior and its tasting room with more than 25 innovative varieties of the potent potable. Both independently and as part of the grape-cobbled highway of the Montgomery County Wine Trail, Cardinal Hollow invites visitors to wet their whistles at tastings and nourish brain orchards in classes. A two-hour lesson includes a full tour of the facilities such as the tasting room, which can be rented for parties of up to 100 people. Along with a tasting, guests will be given an overview of the history and the process of winemaking. During the class, oenophiles sink incisors into salty cheese and crackers while absorbing lessons on wine-and-food pairings at a bar that's supported by sturdy wine barrels. Guests can also peruse Cardinal Hollow wearables at the winery?s retail shop or groove to the live music that permeates the air about once a month.
People eat three times a day to prevent rebellious stomachs from escaping in search of peanut brittle, their natural prey. Today's Groupon uses the power of South Asian cuisine to placate restless tummies: for $15, you get $30 worth of international cuisine and drinks at Shanti: Taste of India in Dorchester. This Groupon is not valid for Shanti's lunch buffet.
More than 10 years ago, Shanti opened to provide the South Boston area with fresh, authentic Indian food. After realizing that the subcontinental focus limited the range of noshing experiences, the founders soon expanded their menu to also include Pakistani and Bangladeshi dishes. Now, stylish lamb, beef, and goat parade onto plates in a variety of spice suits, including the Indian gosht vindaloo ($11.99) and the Pakistani gosht kadai ($11.99). A well-equipped squadron of nine vegetables guards the nabaraton korma's creamy sauce ($10.99). Authentically stamp a palate-passport with the shrimp bhuna, seasoned shrimp imported from Bangladesh ($12.99). Tour the menu by blindfolding yourself, spinning around, and pointing randomly at your dinner, or engage the knowledgeable staff in a friendly game of 20 Questions to receive a personal recommendation.
The rich red walls and tablecloths give Shanti a regal ambience that reaches its full and inevitable consummation when the delectables arrive in gilded dishes. At the nod of your head, goblets full of beer ($3–$6.95), wine ($5.50–$7.50), or a creamy yogurt lassi ($3.99) levitate to the table in anticipation of exuberant toasts. Reservations are suggested for parties of eight or more and can be made online here.
More than 100 Yelpers give Shanti an average of four stars. Eighty-eight percent of more than 90 Urbanspooners recommend it, and three Insider Pagers give it a four-star average.
- This is amazing Indian. Since we don't really know anything about Indian food, we always end up asking questions; the staff always helps us choose the best meal for us. – Cassie M., Yelp
- Shanti is the real deal - high quality food at reasonable prices. – Mark P., Yelp
- This is some of the best Indian food I have had. I come here with my family and we each get different things and share. The flavors are so rich. ─ Emma M., Insider Pages
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.