Delaware is known for a lot of things, and until recently, winemaking was not one of them. But that might be changing. With one very established and highly regarded winery, and a couple others that are gaining popularity, Delaware is a great place to go for a wine weekend getaway.
Award-winning Nassau Valley Vineyards is Delaware’s first winery, and is the most famous. Located in Lewes, it is by definition a”farm winery”. All of the grapes are cultivated, fermented, and bottled in the same place. The farm also serves as a tasting room and hosts weddings and other special events.
The vineyard produces several varietals, from dry to sweet, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Other fresh, locally grown grapes are used to supplement the production process.
Nassau Valley Vineyards is conveniently located near popular beach towns and resorts, but is tucked away on a private country road. The picturesque surroundings and peaceful atmosphere make the farm a perfect place to spend the afternoon. The farm is open for free tastings and tours all year long, and tours include a look at the on site History of Wine Museum, the cellar and production areas.
Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery in Felton offers a little taste of Italy to the wine enthusiast. The winery hosts tours and tastings, and special events including weddings and other parties in the large pavilion that seats 400 people. There is also indoor seating for smaller parties and corporate events.
Pizzadili wines include Pinot Gris, Vidal Blanc, Chardonnay, Reisling, Merlot and many other varietals. There is a five dollar charge for tastings, which includes a keepsake wine glass. Tours include a look into their cellar and production facilities, and exploration of their expansive farm and gardens.
Delaware’s youngest winery is Fenwick Wine Cellars, located in West Fenwick, a short distance from the beach. They offer wine tastings and tours, and grow a number of varietals off site, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The fourth generation of family farmers have been supplying grape juice to wineries across the region since 1989.