Local wineries and cideries unveil new drinks & events to make your summer shine
By Cara Aungst
Summer is here, and you're going to want to spend some of it at our local wineries. First of all, the locations are stellar. Our local wineries are each situated in a beautiful piece of central Pennsylvania, and many of them have events where you can enjoy their wines and locations in equal measure. Add in summer wines bursting with seasonal flavors like Seven Mountain's Rhubarb and Hungry Run's Blackberry Lemon, and you have the ingredients for a perfect summer evening.
This summer, you don't have to travel far to find the best summer beverages and entertainment; it's all right here.
Campfire Nights at Seven Mountains Winery
Located in Spring Mills, the vineyard is open for tastings and events. This summer is even more special with their campfire series, featuring a campfire and music by local musicians on select Friday evenings from June through August. Held in the evenings from 6 to 9 p.m., they feature live music, tap take-overs by PA breweries, magic and food trucks. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs or blankets and your valid ID! You can purchase a season pass on their website. See Facebook or their website for specific event dates and details.
Another fun event this summer is Sips and Giggles Comedy Night on July 19. Featuring Derrick Knopsnyder and Mike Travers, this evening promises fun and your favorite wines in one great event. Tickets are $20. Call 814-364-1000 to reserve your spot!
Keep your eyes peeled for seasonal favorites like Blondie, Rhubarb and Strawberry, and make sure to try their wine popsicles in Just Peachy, Strawberry, Red Raspberry and Tickled Pink. (sevenmountainwinecellars.com; 814-364-1000)
Margarita-style wines headline at Hungry Run Wine Cellars
If you haven’t participated in a tasting at Hungry Run Wine Cellars, you’re missing out on some of the more unique tastes the Central Pennsylvania wine scene has to offer.
They offer one-of-a-kind finds like sultry, smokey Crimson Smoke and Strawberry Watermelon, and just in time for summer, they are offering margarita-style wines that are great chilled and even better frozen. Rockin Rita is Pinot Grigio blended with a special mix of limes & lemon. If you like a classic bartender-style lime margarita, you will love this wine. It tastes just like it! Seriously. Rollin Rita is Pinot Grigio blended with fresh strawberry juice and lime and tastes just like a strawberry margarita. It's perfect over ice.
You can find their wines in their tasting room inside Squire Brown’s in Reedsville or at their retail shop located at 10042 US Hwy 522 South in Lewistown. (hungryrun.com ; 717-242-0444)
Enjoy live music at Happy Valley Winery
Located on Foxpointe Drive in State College, Happy Valley Vineyard and Winery is also a vendor at the popular North Atherton Farmers Market, where you can find the best local produce and summer treats in the area.
You can make a day of it by touring their facilities and sampling some of their favorites from their jammy Cabernet Sauvignon to their Governor's Cup Best of Show Vidal Blanc. Many wines are award winners and bring with them a unique local flavor.
On Friday nights from 6-8 p.m., enjoy live entertainment and a selection of locally made cheese and crackers to enhance the flavor, culminating in an evening that is pure Centre County magic. (thehappyvalleywinery.com; 814-308-8756)
Welcome a new cidery to the area
J.L. Farm and Cidery, home of 814 Cider Works, had their grand opening in June. More than just cider, they offer an experience rooted in decades of passion to take what is grown on their land and share it with you. Check out their cider house on the 1st, 3rd and 5th (if applicable) weekends of every month.
They are located in the heart of Happy Valley at 3392 Shingletown Road, State College. For hours and more information, find them on Facebook and Instagram @JLFarmandCidery or on their website, 814CiderWorks.com.
Find a favorite picnic wine at Mt Nittany Vineyard and Winery
Amid the ambiance of a beautiful mountain scenery, stop in for a tasting of their award-winning 2017 Chardonnay Reserve or their 2017 Cabernet Franc that pairs perfectly with summer barbecues.
The Vitner's Loft private room is available for rentals and is where events take place, including food and wine pairing events and wine trails.
You can join their exclusive Wine Clubs to access quarterly wine shipments, discounts on private wine-tasting events and other special discounts and offers. There is no annual commitment. Benefits include hand-selected Mount Nittany wine each quarter, Free Tour and Tasting Certificate (normally $7.95/pp) for the member and three guests, discounts in their Vintner's Loft and much more. (mtnittanywinery.com; 814-466-6373)
You can find more about local wineries, breweries and cideries at HappyValley.com/eat!