We finally got a sunny Saturday in Harrisburg so Brenda and I hit the road to the Twin Brook Winery in Gap, PA. Owner Dick Kaplan opened the winery in 1989 after purchasing the 60 acre parcel of land in 1983. Prior to being a vineyard and winery, the site used to be home to a dairy farm. The winery itself is located in what used to be a barn that was built in the 1930s.
Winemaker Tim Jobe planted the first grape vines at Twin Brook in 1985 and these are scheduled to be replaced soon. The vineyard itself now covers 30 acres and another 10 acres are going to be planted in 2009. Twin Brook grows a very large percentage of the grapes they use in their wines. In fact, the only two varieties they purchase from other Pennsylvania growers are the Niagara and Norton grapes that are used in their Springhouse White and Springhouse Red wines respectively. Twin Brook is among the largest growers of Pinot Noir grapes in Pennsylvania. Among the other varieties grown locally are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Cayuga, Merlot and Chambourcin. Twin Brook Winery now produces about 10,000 cases of wine per year.
Diane H. was nice enough to take us through our wine tasting. As usual, Brenda concentrated on the sweet white wines while I tasted the dry reds. Her favorite wine was the Springhouse White which is a sweet, fruity Niagara which Diane told us is best served very cold. This wine is reasonably priced at $12.00 per bottle. I especially enjoyed the Merlot. This is unusual because Merlot is not normally one of my favorite wines but this barrel aged dry red was smooth and the oak flavor was subtle but noticeable.
Twin Brook Winery is perhaps as well known for the events they host as they are for their wines. During the summer months, Saturday evenings come alive with the sound of live music. Each Saturday from 6:30 to 9:30 you can bring your picnic basket, buy some fine wine and listen to some of the local and regional musicians display their talents. The winery also has a 250 seat greenhouse which is home to craft fairs and business meetings. Weddings at the winery are especially popular in the autumn months. Twin Brook also has two outdoor decks where you can enjoy the scenery while enjoying your picnic lunch and a glass of wine.
On January 24 and 25, Twin Brook Winery will host Souper Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy the week between the playoffs and the Super Bowl with a variety of soups and stews in bread bowls that the winery will offer for sale. Diane suggests that you stop in, purchase some soup and wine and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Aside from at the winery, Twin Brook’s wines are available at The Iron Horse Restaurant in Strasburg, PA and on the Strasburg Railroad. They also have five satellite outlets in Chestnut Hill, Downingtown, Lancaster, Exton and their newest location on the Grounds of Miller’s Smorgasboard between Gap and Lancaster.
The winery is located in Eastern Lancaster County about 55 miles from both Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Check out the map below for more details. I strongly recommend that you include Twin Brook Winery on your tour of the Brandywine Wine Trail. When you visit, don’t forget your wine carrier and tell them that The Pennsylvania Wanderer sent you.
I’d also suggest you visit Picnic Baskets and More for all your picnicking needs.
Map of the area.