Last Saturday Brenda and I visited Chaddsford Winery in Chadds Ford, PA. The winery is conveniently located on US 1 near Longwood Gardens and the Brandywine Battlefield from The Revolutionary War. Owners Eric and Lee Miller purchased the winery which had formerly been a dairy barn in 1982 and produced 7,000 gallons of wine in the first year. Production grew steadily through the 1980s and 1990s and peaked at 200,000 gallons in 2005. This is the legal limit for a Pennsylvania Limited Winery and Chaddsford has remained at that production level ever since. All this wine is bottled on a line capable of bottling 42 bottles per minute.
Approximately 25% of Chaddsford’s grapes are grown at the 30 acre Miller Estate Vineyard located nearby in Chester County. Among the varieties grown there are Pinot Noir, Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, Barbera, Syrah, Vidal Blanc and others. They are getting ready to add Pinot Grigio to the selection of grapes grown in the vineyard. The remainder of the grapes are purchased from other vineyards in south east Pennsylvania.
Wine tasting at Chaddsford is a pricey $8.00 per person which includes a glass with the winery’s logo. As you can see from the picture, the price doesn’t scare many people away. Brenda and I didn’t taste all the wines because of the long line but I did get a chance to sample the Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a deep dry flavor with a smooth finish. Brenda enjoyed the Holiday Blush, a sweet wine made for the Christmas season. We took home some of each.
The winery also offers guided tours although they were cancelled the day we visited because they were short handed. We were, however able to take a self-guided tour which allowed us to overlook the barrel aging room and many of the fermenting tanks. Several of their wines including the Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin are aged in oak barrels.
Chaddsford hosts many special events during the year. The next one is their Wine and Chocolate Reserve Tastings every weekend in February. The $25.00 per person event will pair some of Chaddsford’s wines with premium gourmet chocolates from Eclat Chocolate in West Chester, PA. They also have a very nice outdoor patio on which you can enjoy a picnic lunch and a glass of wine. Every Friday during the summer months you can enjoy a picnic dinner and some great music as Chaddsford hosts its Friday night concert series.
Chaddsford Winery is open daily from noon to 6:00 pm except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. When you visit Chaddsford Winery, you’ll need a wine carrier and picnic basket. Visit Picnic Baskets and More to find a great selection of these and other picnic accessories.
Map of the area around Chaddsford Winery