Wine Trail hosts “Grape to Plate” foodie event

Great Grape! Celebrate the hallowed grape during this delicious event weekend, “Grape to Plate.” Take “farm to table” to the next level: eat your wine as well as drink it! Visit the Berks County Wine Trail wineries during “Grape to Plate” a new gourmet, creative cuisine & wine pairing weekend. This super foodie tasting event takes place Saturday April 20th and Sunday April 21st, Noon to 5 PM both days at all 8 participating Berks County Wine Trail Wineries.

This event is part of the wine trail’s annual “Taste of...” weekend, during which the Berks County Wine Trail celebrates its anniversary. Each April, the Berks County Wine Trail pours a very special, and new culinary adventure to celebrate the absolute dynamic between food & wine. This year, explore the world beyond the very popular restaurant movement known as ‘farm-to-table” or “fork-to-table’ - attendees of “Grape to Plate” will enjoy true local vineyard fare during this unique event. Recipes for all dishes served will be made available at each winery. To further celebrate the wine trail’s anniversary - 9 years of being a wine trail, the wineries are giving away a gift to all wine trail attendees during this event weekend. A special treat to celebrate the theme of food and wine as enjoyed on the wine trail. Collect all 8 recipes during your weekend adventure visiting all 8 wineries, and receive a free gift at your final winery stop.

As “Grape to Plate” is a twist on the popular “farm to table” theme, food sampled at the Berks County wineries during this event, will be made with wine from grapes from that winery or vineyard. Each creative dish sampled will be paired with samples of that locally made wine. Enjoy the spectrum of wines boldly produced in Berks County both in glass and in delicious dishes.

“Grape to Plate” wine & gourmet food pairing Event Weekend is a self-guided tour of all 8 Berks County Wine Trail wineries. Spend an early Spring afternoon savoring the wines of Berks County, stopping in at various wineries to taste an array of cuisine inspired with Berks County Wines. Plan your travels based on wineries’ location, or based upon the menu of wine pairings, or based on wineries that you have never before visited along the trail, or by your favorite wine grapes! If you are in the Reading area, you can start your day at Clover Hill Winery in Robesonia, then make your way North to additional wineries, returning home via Route 61. If you are coming from the Philly area, you can start your day at Kog Hill Winery in Morgantown and move your way North to Manatawny Creek, finishing up in Kutztown which puts you minutes from the Allentown town exit of the PA Turnpike for your return home. If you are coming from Harrisburg area, you can toast the start of your day at Calvaresi Winery or Bashore & Stoudt Winery (off of I-78) and make your way South or East to additional wineries, returning home via Route 222. Or, if your visiting the Berks County region from the North, you can begin your adventure at Long Trout Winery (off of Route 61) and make your way to wineries to the East or South, returning home via I-78 and the PA Turnpike North. Addresses, directions and a map are available: www.berkscountywinetrail.com

No reservations required; no tickets necessary for this event. “Grape to Plate” wine & food pairing event is free (please note that two or three wineries do charge a nominal fee for tasting of their full wine menu - fee refundable with purchase of a bottle of wine). Recipes will be available at each of the 8 wineries, collect all 8 and receive a free wine trail gift!

For a quick bite & sip of the complete menu of wines & cuisine to be sampled:

Manatawny Creek Winery (Douglassville) will be pairing their Soleil Wine, made from Cayuga and Seyval Blanc grapes with a dish created with Soleil Wine, braised pork with onion jam. Seyval Blanc has origins in England and has become popular to grow in the North East including Berks County. Cayuga is a cousin of Seyval, was created by the viticultural department at Cornell. Because it enjoys cooler weather it as well thrives in the Northeast as well Berks County.

Calvaresi Winery (Bernville) will be serving up little bite size wine snacks called “Grape Jells” made with their Niagara wine. These little treats will are made with fresh grapes and raspberries will be paired with the Niagara white wine. Equally delicious, Calvaresi’s Niagara Wine won a double gold and best white wine in the recent PA Wine Association competition. Niagara is unique to North America in that it was created in New York State in the mid 1800’s. It grows very well here in the Berks County area.

Clover Hill Winery (Robesonia) Are you familiar with the saying, “I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food”? While we all laugh at that quote we really should use a bit of the wine to add to the meal we are preparing. By adding wine to the food during preparation and then serving that same wine with your meal you encourage the process of marring the flavors which contribute to the perfect pairing. During this event weekend, Clover Hill invites you to travel the eight wineries of the Berks County Wine Trail and learn about this process. At Clover Hill they will have a special pairing for you which includes: Concordian Meatballs prepared with and served with Clover Hill’s sweet, red Concord wine. Concord grapes are indigenous to North America, truly a local grape! Note: this pairing will only be served at Clover Hill’s Robesonia location.

Blair Vineyards (Kutztown) Welcome springtime during this “grape to plate” event when you visit Blair Vineyards during this event. Team Blair will be serving samples of a Spring Risotto made with seasonal vegetables including asparagus. This fresh dish will be prepared with the winery’s 2011 Riesling; and what a treat to pair this dish with that wine as well. The Riesling grape, a classic cold-climate grape, originates from the Rhine Region in Germany and grows well in our county.

Pinnacle Ridge Winery (Kutztown) Enjoy samples of Chef Ben’s tender chicken breast marinated in Pinnacle Ridge Dry Riesling and spring herbs; gently grilled and served in a creamy Vidal Blanc Wine Sauce. This savory dish will be paired with samples of the winery’s Dry Riesling white wine. The Riesling grape is also known for its beautiful and deep aromas as well as floral character.

Long Trout Winery (Auburn) Get an early start with your wine trail adventures with Long Trout winery’s “brunch” theme. Enjoy samples of Chef Brandon’s sausage-stuffed-puffed-pastry with a wine reduction sauce paired with Bloody Mary’s made with Old One Eye. Old One Eye is a refreshing and crisp white wine made with veggies and dried grapes. Wine is often the basis for a great mock-tail and the combination of local grapes and veggies is a unique twist during this event weekend.

Kog Hill Winery (Morgantown) Sample succulent Riesling-infused slow cooked Pork Tenderloin paired with the winery’s 2010 Riesling. This tenderloin is slow roasted with Riesling and served with Black Plum and Granny Smith Apple garnishes. Riesling wines are very popular with Springtime dishes - accents the fresh flavors of many dishes.

Bashore & Stoudt County Winery (Shartlesville) will also be serving up a creative dish made with their wines as well. Visit the “Events” page at www.berkscountywinetrail.com in the coming days for more wine & food menu details.

So raise a glass and toast the wine trail; join in on the celebration of the 9th year of the Berks County Wineries as as a wine trail during “Grape to Plate” weekend. Enjoy great food, great wine and a free wine trail anniversary gift! And if you can’t take a ride out onto the trail during this event weekend, you can visit any of the Berks County wineries any time. Most are open seven days a week. For more information about these family owned wineries, directions, hours and links to their individual websites: www.berkscountywinetrail.com

Article submitted by the Berks County Wine Trail.