There’s nothing I love more than finding a hidden diamond when traversing a wine trail. And indeed, Black River Farms Vineyard and Winery turned out to be quite a find for us weary travelers on a dreary January day. This Bethlehem, PA winery features two tasting rooms, live music, catered meals, delicious local cheeses, and an onsite distillery named Wardog. Speaking of dogs, Black River isn’t just dog friendly – it’s dog welcoming! Unlike most wineries, they let you bring your canine kids into their tasting room! But what truly made our visit memorable was their hospitality – owner Kris Warner not only took the time to chat with us but the other tables as well and her enthusiasm for her craft was quite infectious.
So, what about the wine you ask? Well, after indulging in two flights I am happy to report that I enjoyed almost every wine I tried. Highlights included Isabelle, an enchanting blend of Seyval/Viogner with notes of apple and pear, Sweet Saucona which was basically a fruity party in a glass, Sweet Vin Gris with its subtle strawberry notes and Sweet Winnie, a Concord/Chambourcin blend that won’t rot your teeth. But the wine that ruled the day was Mary, a delectable blend of Cayuga/Traminette/Chambourcin best described as a cherry-forward, semi-sweet Rose. While we do not usually partake in distilled spirits once Kris informed me that Black River Farms’ recipe for their Apple Pie Moonshine was over 150 years old, I just had to try it and all I can say is wow! Scarily scrumptious but strong. My husband also sampled the Peanut Butter Whiskey and loved it.
The only downside to our visit was the less than picturesque weather so our photos do not fully appreciate the grounds and gardens of Black River Farms. Plus, we also felt guilty about leaving Domino the Winery Dog home so that can mean only one thing – return visit! Yup, we can’t wait to come back in the spring with Domino and take new photos so we can present Black River in all its green glory. But know this, no matter the season you will always feel welcomed at Black River Farms Vineyard and Winery.