Some days you just need to get out of the city, and that feeling is especially strong in the summer. So Nicole and I decided it was the perfect time for a Sourced Adventures day trip out of Manhattan.
Sourced Adventures offers active trips, like whitewater rafting and tubing, but we were feeling lazy, so we decided on their Pennsylvania Wine Tour. We boarded the bus early in the morning, and the two-hour drive to Lehigh Valley flew by, partly because they showed the film Dirty Dancing on the bus ride down. How fun is that?!
We arrived at our first location, Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery, and the day could not have been any more beautiful.
Here we could choose between six different dry wines, or six different sweet wines, and Nicole and I quickly developed a system. She would pick the dry wines, I would pick the sweet wines, and we’d taste each other’s. This usually ended up with me making a face when trying her wine. It turns out I do not like dry wine!
My favorite was their Autumn Gold white wine, which was sweet, but not too sweet, and tasted like fall!
After the tasting we spoke with the owner a little bit (Nicole had answered one of his questions correctly and he recognized a kindred wine-loving spirit in her), browsed the store, and then headed out to enjoy the nice day.
It wasn’t long before we wandered into the vineyards.
While we were walking Nicole tried a grape, and afterwards warned me not to try one too. Apparently these grapes are very bitter. They must be used for that dry wine I hate!
Next the tour took us to Blair Vineyards for another tasting.
When we pulled up I was excited to see this adorable patio where guests can sit outside and look out over the green grass with the vineyards in the distance.
So I was shocked when we were taken to the ugliest room I’ve ever seen for our tasting!
The wine at this vineyard was awful. Nicole, always one to look on the bright side, pointed out that often wines all taste the same, so at least Blair Vineyards’ wine was unique!
Afterwards we were able to sit on the pretty patio for lunch, so at least we weren’t in the ugly room forever. We weren’t given wine with lunch, however, and instead Blair Vineyards said if we wanted more we had to buy it by the glass. I can’t imagine anyone wanted any more of that wine!
The Sourced Adventures itinerary indicated we would have a locally-catered, picnic gourmet lunch. However in reality we were given potato chips and basic sandwiches they had brought from New York. It definitely wasn’t the quality they had advertised.
But at least it was a pretty location for lunch.
After we ate we once again got up to explore the vineyards.
And I wandered over to the cornfields because they reminded me of my Illinois childhood!
Then we were off to our final wine tasting, which was held at Weathered Vineyards.
The wine here was fine, but nothing blew us away. I commented to Nicole about how disappointed I was in the wine during this tour, and she pointed out that we couldn’t expect much, since the Lehigh Valley doesn’t have the best grape-growing conditions. So it’s not surprising that you can taste it in the wine.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Nicole is a bit of a wine connoisseur. I, on the other hand, just figured out during this trip that I’m not a fan of dry wine!
After the tasting the owner gave us a tour of the vineyards.
And I finally tried a grape! It wasn’t too terrible, luckily!
Overall I was disappointed in Sourced Adventures’ Pennsylvania Wine Tour. Besides the wine not being good, the tastings were very formal, where we would sit in a room and taste wine as a group. I had gone on the Long Island Music & Wine Tour a couple of summers ago, and that one was SO much fun! Those vineyards had lawn games and live music, and you could taste the wine at your leisure, rather than having to sit down with the entire group to taste. It was a much better experience than the formality of this Pennsylvania Wine Tour.
Also, the places we went, besides not having that great of wine (I don’t mean to keep harping on that, but come on! It is a wine tour!) weren’t well equipped for our group. They were small, and each only had one or two bathrooms to accommodate all 38 of us. So often we left the locations late since the bathroom line was so long.
That morning I had run into my friend Nick at the meeting point, and he was doing the Sourced Adventures whitewater rafting trip. He ended up having a really good time. So it may be worth trying a more active Sourced Adventures trip. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a winery day trip out of Manhattan, I recommend this one rather than the one through Sourced Adventures.
Even though the trip itself was lacking, I still had a really fun day with Nicole. Which just goes to prove that good friends can get you through anything… even awful tasting wine!