Over the years of traveling the wine trails, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that it’s not the size of the winery but rather the people who can make or break the experience. Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Stargazers Vineyard in Coatesville, PA where I had one of the most enjoyable afternoons ever spent at a winery. While located a bit off the beaten path, Stargazers has plenty to offer – free live music, a homey tasting room with pretty views of the vineyards, affordability both in the cost of wines as well as their bring your own food policy, and best of all, its dog friendly! But what truly sets Stargazers apart is the warm and welcoming staff. I can’t recall the last time the actual winemaker himself sat down with us to discuss his process but that is exactly what happened at Stargazers. Michael Vorauer is a second generation winemaker who clearly has a passion for his craft as he described how his wines are sweetened naturally by allowing them to age longer on the vines as opposed to many others which are picked early and then sweetened by adding sugar. It was fascinating to hear his stories about his award-winning wines before delving into our tasting.
As usual, I chose white and sweet wines for my tasting. Standouts included the 2020 Gruner Veltliner, a crisp, fruit-forward white with a slightly dry finish, the unique 2020 Vermentino with its floral nose and a hint of caramel at the finish, the Rose Gold Rose, a semi-dry with cherry notes, and my person favorite – Tinto, a complex fruity sweet red with a peppery finish. Then under Michael’s encouragement I took a risk and tried some of his dry reds. And guess what? I actually enjoyed the 2016 Cabernet Franc and the 2016 Petit Verdot, both of which this sweet-lover found to be smooth with peppery finishes and quite drinkable. Wow, hats off to Michael in getting me to cross over to the dry red side!
So if you’re looking to enjoy sophisticated wines in a casual setting with friendly people, be sure to drop by Stargazers Vineyard. I promise, it is a trip worth taking.