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mediamode's Wine Journal Entries

Brick Arch Winery (written Sep 04, 2016)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 3 stars Ambiance: 5 stars

Favorite Wine: Barn White

I stopped by on a Sunday afternoon and had a great time. I got there before the band started setting up, so I enjoyed my tastings in piece and had time to enjoy a cigar with a glass of Barn White on the small deck out back. Once the band started, I grabbed a table inside. The place had filled up and everyone enjoyed both the band and the wine. After two cheese trays and one bottle of Barn White, I reluctantly pulled myself out of there after buying another bottle of Barn White to hit the road.

Sarah's Vineyard (written Sep 04, 2016)
Wine: 1 stars Winery: 2 stars Ambiance: 3 stars

Favorite Wine: Vidal Blanc

Tastings here cost 50 cents per sample. Okay, I can live with that. However, the staff that was working the day we stopped by didn't seem to know anything about the wines or what differentiated one from another. I mean, I can read the description on the wine list; I don't need that regurgitated back to me. Tell me the story behind the wine. Surely there is one. The front garden has picnic tables with umbrellas and is a pleasant place to sample the wines on a sunny day. There's also a large seating area off the back of the main building that overlooks the vineyard. The tasting room is fairly large with a lot of tables and as it neared 5 p.m., I understood why. The winery serves food, and after 5 p.m. you can order fire baked pizza. When I went inside at approximately 6 p.m. to pay my tab, I could swear that I was in a hip wine bar restaurant; people were bellying up to the bar to buy glasses and bottles of wine and staffers were taking food orders. You'll notice I haven't mentioned the quality of the wine. The only wine we could stomach was the "Wine of the Month," their Vidal Blanc. 'Nuff said. Time to head to Winery at Wolf Creek.

Winery at Wolf Creek (written Sep 04, 2016)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 3 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

Favorite Wine: Rhapsody

After leaving Sarah's Vineyard without buying a single bottle of wine, we made a brief stop to check into a local hotel before heading to this winery. The difference in staff knowledge and quality of wines between the two wineries is night and day. Liz, the staffer who conducted our tasting at Wolf Creek, was extremely friendly and knowledgeable about their wines. Tastings here also cost 50 cents a sample, and after tasting about eight different wines, we couldn't decide which one to buy, so we bought a glass each of Rhapsody and Chardonnay. After drinking about half a glass of both, we noticed that the Rhapsody consistently had a smooth finish. That was the one. We bought three bottles - one to drink there and two to take home. Unfortunately, we arrived after dark, so we couldn't enjoy the view off the back deck. We sat out there anyway, enjoying the beginning of a cool summer night. The winery also has a distillery on site, which conducts tastings every Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m. They are currently making brandy and vodka. I would've loved to stay another day to tour the distillery and actually see the grounds, but hey, it's a great excuse to come back to Winery at Wolf Creek.

Mallow Run Winery (written Aug 28, 2016)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

Favorite Wine: Traminette, Cayuga

I'm glad I stopped by, and not just because of the atmosphere (there was a great band playing in the pavilion and six food trucks on site). I'm a dry wine sort of guy, so I was pleasantly surprised when I was delighted by a few the their semi-sweet and sweet wines, particularly the Traminette (their version of Gewurztraminer) and Cayuga (their version of Riesling). They have a few hard cider wines that are carbonated, which for me takes them out of the realm of actual wine and into that nether region of wine/spritzer/beer, but maybe that's just me. I got lucky - it was a Saturday when they had a great band playing and six food trucks dishing up great grub. All in all, I came away surprised that I bought two bottles of sweet wines - the Traminette and the Cayguga. Well worth the visit.

Buck Creek Winery (written Aug 28, 2016)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

Favorite Wine: Golden Label Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cranberry Crush

Granted, I happened by on a Saturday when there was a bachelorette party already at the tasting bar when I walked in (the second of the day), and the place was jumping even though thunderstorms were abounding in the area earlier in the day. However, I was not disappointed when I bellyed up to the bar. 6 tastings for $5. For my money, this winery excels with their dry wines. I was blown away by their Golden Label Cabernet Sauvignon, which came about by a mistake of their Napa supplier, who told them they couldn't supply them with the grapes they had already paid for. So Buck Creek bought grapes from a vineyard in Sonoma and produced this vintage. Outstanding. I'm a dry wine sort of guy, so I can only say that I loved almost all of their dry wines. I can tell you that their dry reds are better than those of Mallow Run Wineries. Of their sweet wines, I especially enjoyed the Cranberry Crush. Another note - their hard cider wine is exactly that - it is not carbonated, and it's made with locally sourced apples from Indiana. As busy as it was, the wine attendants were still engaging and attentive to everyone. I love the fact that most winery visitors are patient and respectful of others when the place is a mad house.

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