Who doesn't need a good road trip every once in a while and for anyone considering relocating here, you should know that this is the area for some of the best. One of the truly fabulous things a Pittsburgh resident can do in the fall months, is take a short trip up I79, and visit some wineries. I had just such an opportunity this past weekend, when the weather was so amazing. We are so very close to some really amazing places, and every thriving city resident needs a good escape route every now and then. Fortunately for us, that escape can take place as an uber-relaxing day trip. It might not be Napa Valley, but it was perfect for us!
I am, as I have mentioned before, from a place up north that may as well be Canada (hence my love of all things hockey). Mom and Dad are still there, and when they gave us a ring on Friday night and said - "Hey, wanna come up and look at some art and drink some wine", well, who were we to decline!
Specifically, our trip took us first to Campbells Pottery in Edinboro, PA, which is minutes from my old stomping grounds, but only about an hour and forty-five from the 'Burgh. Campbells Pottery is primarily a first-rate gift shop of handmade local and national crafts, specializing in, you guessed it, pottery. In what appears to be an architectural marvel of a barn, there is, on the lower level, The Stonewall Art Gallery. On this day works from three local artists; Lainie Addessi, Victoria Brogden and Deborah Sementelli, were on display. It was some captivating work, and if I would have had a spare $225, or done a better job of the big eyes and trembling chin thing with the BF, would have left with a very cool photo collage of the Kohler Brewery (an Erie landmark), by Brogden. I call it a photo collage, but I am not an artist and I am quite sure that it was much more than just that, so my apologies to Brogden!
Heaven forbid I should enter a gift shop without leaving with something, so a Murano Glass little penguin would have to do. He now sits in front of my TV as good luck. I named him Max. get it?
Another short drive from Edinboro to Northeast, PA would bring us to the tail end of a wine tour (the rest of our tour got an early start). We managed to make two stops of note. The first was the well known Mazza Vineyards. We sampled some pretty good stuff, or at least my very amateur palate thought so, and left with a bottle of "Reflections", a white blend. I also recommend the Cabernet Franc, a spicy red that would be the perfect accompaniment for Holiday Dinner.
Our last stop was primarily impressive for the gorgeous interior. Quincy Cellars, actually located right over the border in New York State, was just prepping for what appeared to be a rehearsal dinner as we arrived, but they certainly did not make us feel rushed. As we sampled away and took in the vaulted ceilings and stonework, I noticed that they also featured an impressive menu, and made mental note to do my best to find an excuse to have an event here. Niagara wines can sometimes be unbearably sweet (I have sampled some in the past that taste just like liquid grape jelly), but the "Chancellor" here hit all of the right notes.
I am sad our day of art and wine has ended, but it is always great to land back in the 'Burgh!
Want to take our trip?
For more information on Campbells Pottery and the Stonewall Gallery please click here.
For more information on Mazza Vineyards please click here, and.........
For more information on Quincy Cellars, yep, click here.