The adventure below is the latest in a series sharing my quest to explore Pennsylvania by visiting each of the sixty-seven county seats and eating a hot dog while in town.
Today we are heading for Erie Pennsylvania by way of several detours. The first detour was The Whistle Stop Antique Mall in Corry a few miles inside the Erie County line on Route 6. Remember how I once wrote that our car always stops at a DQ? Well, the car almost always stops at antique shops as well. We went away with a dry sink and other dustabiles.
We didn’t have any choice about the next unique detour when we came across a farmer’s daughter herding the milk cows across the road to the barn. A sign assured us that this happens regularly every day. There are more than 1,000 farms (I am only guessing but I think that number includes vineyards) in Erie County. And the cash crops are fruit (grapes) and vegetables.
My favorite detour on this trip was in wine country. The thought of not stopping in wine country in Erie County just never came up. So, we turned a slight right and stopped in North East Pennsylvania in the heart of Pennsylvania grape country. If you savor wine and you haven’t heard of Lake Erie Wine Country it is time you found this place. Here is a paragraph from the Lake Erie Wine Country brochure. “Lake Erie Wine Country, formerly the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail, is located in the largest grape growing region east of the Rockies, now known as America’s Grape Country. It extends roughly 50 miles from Silver Creek, NY to Harbor Creek, PA and is home to over 24 commercial and estate wineries.”
We might just have discovered our next quest!! I wonder how many days it would take to visit all 24 of those wineries? North East is not just about wine. The community is also the site for a Mercyhurst University campus. I wonder if they have a wine tasting major?
Our first stop in grape country was the South Shore Winery which is housed in an amazing historical cellar. Ken was a gracious and knowledgeable host for our wine tasting and purchasing pleasure. Leaving South Shore Winery we tooled on up to Freeport Beach in Halli Reid Park (less than 5 miles) to breathe in the lake air before heading to our second stop in Lake Erie Wine Country.
The Mazza Winery and South Shore Winery are somehow connected. Ken explained the whole thing but I was tasting wine at the time. Enough said? Lydia met us upon entering the shop and helped us enjoy our wine tasting and purchasing experience in Mazza Winery. Lizzie (on the right) came by for a brief visit during our wine tasting and joined Lydia for a photo.
Lydia started in the tasting room during High School and is working her way up in the company while enjoying learning about the whole wine production process. I’m thinking she may one day be a Master of Wine. For those of you who have never heard of this title don’t feel bad. There are only 26 MWs in the United States. These are the folks who can tell you which French vineyard the wine they are tasting comes from as well as which side of the river the grapes grew on. Stuff like that! I, on the other hand recognize when wine is white or red! One of my expert wine statements is; “This wine goes good in a glass.”
We enjoyed lunch at The Cork restaurant in downtown North East. This is a neat place to eat and savor local wines. Lake Erie Wine Country is definitely on the list of possibilities for our second quest.
See you next time.