Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Over the past few weeks, several people have asked me for directions to the Williams Grove Flea Markets. So rather than answer every email, I thought I would post the directions here.

General Directions

Cross the river on Interstate 83 South and stay to the left so that when 83 South and route 581 West split, you can stay on 581. Once the two roads split, go about 2 miles and exit on Route 15 South. Make sure you slow down becuase there is lots of construction. Take 15 South for about 3 or 4 miles to the Lisburn Road Exit. Get off and make a right at the bottom of the ramp. You will come to a signal light almost right away. Make a left at that light. Go about 1/2 mile and you will come to a stop sign and a sign for Aschcombes. Make a right at that stop sign and follow the road around until you pass Aschcombes and come to a stop sign. Continue below depending on which flea market you want to go to.

For the Top Flea Market

Make a left at the stop sign and go about 1/4 mile. You will cross a brand new bridge. You’ll see a huge sign for the flea market on your right. Once you get onto the driveway there are signs telling you which way to go if you’re a customer or a vendor.

For the Bottom Flea Market

Make a right at the stop sign just past Aschcombes. Go about 1/4 mile and turn left at the sign for Williams Grove Speedway (I think the road is called Park Place). Go another 1/4 mile and the parking lot is on the right. I believe that vendors can drive their vehicles into the park to unload.

If you’re coming from the west, from Interstate 81, take the exit for route 581 East. Get off at route 15 South and follow the same directions.

If you’re coming from either direction on the turnpike, take exit 236 and follow route 15 South to the Lisburn Road Exit and follow the above directions from there.

If you’re coming from Gettysburg, take Route 15 North through Dillsburg and turn left on route 74. Go about a mile and turn right on Dogwood Run. The entrance to the upper flea market will be on your left in about half a mile. For the lower flea market go another 1/2 mile or so and turn left on Park Place. The parking lot will be on your right.

I hope these directions are helpful. Have fun at the flea market and happy hunting.

Please check out Picnic Baskets and More for wicker picnic baskets, barbecue tools, picnic backpacks and other picnic accessories.

Read Full Post »

Nissley Vineyards and Winery Estate

Nissley Vineyards and Winery Estate

Brenda and I spent a beautiful fall Saturday touring and tasting at Nissley Vineyards and Winery Estate in Bainbridge, PA. J. Richard Nissley first planted wine grapes on his 300 acre farm in 1974 and the winery opened for business in 1978. Today, 50 acres of the farm are dedicated to growing 14 varieties of wine grapes that range from vinifera to Native American Varieties. In total, Nissley produces 20,000 cases of wine per year.

The Limekiln

The Limekiln

My favorite part of a visit to Nissley is the self-guided tour. The winery will lend you a guidebook that shows you the root and explains everything you’ll see. Your first stop will be the 19th century limekiln that was used to create lime by burning native limestone. The lime was then used for cement, fertilizer and whitewash. The limekiln has stood idle since before 1920 but looks like it could still be used today. Next you’ll visit the vineyards. If you’re lucky enough to be there in June, you’ll enjoy the sweet aroma of grape blossoms. A short walk back toward the fermenting room will take you past the outdoor crushing area. Once inside the fermenting room you’ll be able to see the many fermenting tanks, the filtering equipment and the bottling line. Nissley uses only metal fermenting tanks for its 25+ wine varieties saying that the metal tanks are more sanitary and less expensive to use than wooden barrels and tanks. The bottling line can handle up to 1,800 bottles per hour and because of that high capacity, Nissley can bottle all its wine for the year in approximately 30 days.

Our New Friends

Our New Friends

After our tour, we headed to the tasting area which was outside the front of the winery since it was such a beautiful day. There we were joined by a bridal party for a very pleasant time.  I’ve tasted Nissley wines many times before and Nissley wasn’t our last stop of the day so I limited myself to a couple of dry whites that I hadn’t had before.  I really enjoyed the 2007 Seyval Blanc which had a clean crisp flavor with just a hint of citrus.  I always wonder where citrus undertones come from in a wine.  I also tasted the 2007 Vidal Blanc which had a somewhat fruitier flavor than the Seyval Blanc.  I think I’m starting to develop a taste for dry white wines.  Brenda decided not to taste today so her analysis of the sweet wines will have to wait for another day.

The reason I’ve been to Nissley so often is because of their Music in the Vineyards series held every Saturday in July and August.  They offer a variety of music that includes big band and swing, top 40, classic rock and Motown.  There’s a very nice bandstand and a roomy dance floor for your pleasure.  The best part of the concert series is that you can bring your own food, buy some wine and sit outside and relax.  I’ve seen some groups bring spreads that rival any tailgating party I’ve ever seen but I just pack up my wicker picnic basket and buy a bottle of Nissley’s 2006 Cabernet Franc.  I’d highly recommend that you pay a visit to Nissley Vineyards and Winery Estate for one of these concerts.  If you do, please tell them that The Pennsylvania Wanderer sent you.

Map of the area around Nissley Vineyards and Winery Estate

Read Full Post »

The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex

The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex

Well Pennsylvania, it’s that time of year again.  Saturday, January 10th will kick-off the 93rd Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.  Held annually since 1918 with the exception of the World War II years, the Farm Show has something for everyone.  It’s 1,030,740 square feet of exhibition space and eight day attendance of over 500,000 people make it the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the Nation.

For me, the highlight of the Farm Show is the wine competition.  Last year, the the Best of Show winners were Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery’s non-vintage Concord and Antler Ridge Winery’s 2007 Raspberry Bramble.  In all, 34 Pennsylvania Wineries claimed a total of 157 medals including 20 gold medals.  I can’t wait to find out who will win this year.  The Wine Competition winners will be announced on Saturday, January 10th between 2:00 and 2:30 on Stage I of the Main Exhibition Hall.  Unfortunately, all judging times and locations are subject to change so I’d recommend you get there early.  In addition to the competition, there will be an ongoing wine display in the Main Exhibition Hall where two wineries each day will be displaying their products.

Another highlight of the Farm Show is the food court.  Here you can purchase a great selection of Pennsylvania cullinary delights presented by a variety of Pennsylvania Associations.  Among them are the PA Bee Keepers Association who will offer honey ice cream and honey waffles among other things; the PA Cooperative Potato Growers, Inc. who will offer baked potatoes, french fries and their world famous potato donuts (they’re the best); the PA Livestock Association who will be selling pork barbecue, roast beef and ham and cheese sandwiches and other treats and 10 other associations selling everything from deep fried mozzarella cubes to maple ice cream sundaes.  If you leave the food court hungry, it will be your own fault.

Of course, no agricultural show would be complete without animals and agricultural displays.  There will be horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, poultry and more for you to see.  Judging in the different livestock categories will take place throughout the week.  The new Exposition Hall will be home to the farm equipment and agricultural displays.  I plan to check this area out on Saturday so check back and I’ll fill you in on the details.

Admission to the Pennsylvania Farm Show is free although they will hit you for $8.00 to park your car.  On-site parking is available for those with handicapped placards and shuttle buses from the off-site parking is included in the $8.00 fee.

To be honest, in previous years I haven’t spent much time at the Farm Show.  It’s one of those things that we tend not to visit the attractions that are closest to us.  This year will be different as I plan to spend all day Saturday and Sunday there and may possibly go back during the week.  Stay tuned for my reports and if you want more, go to The Farm Show!  If you want more information, visit The Pennsylvania Farm Show’s website.

Map of the area around The Farm Show Complex


Read Full Post »

The Brownstone Cafe

The Brownstone Cafe

Are you looking for a restaurant that features delicious food, large portions, low prices and a bring your own wine policy?  Well, who isn’t!  Last week Brenda and I stumbled upon one of those places.  In 1988, Keith and Carole Matinchek bought the former Hamilton Bank building and opened The Brownstone Cafe.  The beautiful building has been around since 1893 and was built for The National Bank of Middletown by Houshour, Dice and Company of Glen Rock.  The bank became Farmers Trust Company of Middletown in 1962 and National State Bank in 1970.  In 1988 it became Hamilton Bank and was purchased by Core States Bank in 1983.  There is still evidence of the bank inside where you can see the old vault and a bank of safe-deposit boxes supports the beverage bar.

Brenda and I at The Brownstone Cafe

Brenda and I at The Brownstone Cafe

The menu features everything from traditional sandwiches such as Grilled Turkey (they make their own fresh turkey every day) and a Hot Tuna Melt to entrees such as Filet Mignon and Chicken Parmesan.  Brenda decided to have the Baked Meat Loaf Dinner which she described as “the best I’ve ever had”.  I had a prime rib that couldn’t have been better.  It was done to a perfect medium rare and came with Au Jus and horse radish.  I enjoyed every bite.  Each entree comes with two sides which range from bread stuffing to a creamy cucumber salad.  Best of all, our check, including beverages came to under $30.00.  The Brownstone Cafe truly offers home cooking at its best.

When we arrived, we didn’t know The Brownstone Cafe was a bring your own bottle restaurant so we didn’t bring our wine carrier.  But since you know, you’ll be able to bring yours.  What, you don’t have a wine carrier?  If you honor us by visiting Picnic Baskets and More and we’ll be glad to take care of you with a complete selection of wine carriers and wine totes.

Map of the area around The Brownstone Cafe

Read Full Post »

Twin Brook Winery

Twin Brook Winery

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.

Brenda and Alan at Twin Brook

Brenda and Alan at Twin Brook

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.

The Gazebo and Vineyard as Seen from the Deck

The Gazebo and Vineyard as Seen from the Deck

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.

Read Full Post »

pizza-grille2Do you like to bring your own wine and enjoy gourmet pizza?  If you do, then pack up your wine carrier and head to The Pizza Grille in Lemoyne, PA.  The Pizza Grille has won Harrisburg Magazine’s “Simply the Best” award for pizza in each of the last four years.  A few of their specialty pizzas include “Seafood Pizza” which includes crab meat, shrimp, clams and scallops with a garlic infused olive oil sauce, “Three Mushroom” pizza which features Portobello, Shiitake and white mushrooms with Monterrey Jack cheese and “Spinach & Artichoke” pizza with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.  My favorite is the “Hawaiian BBQ Chicken” pizza which includes chicken breast, caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and pineapple with a barbecue sauce.  For those who are less adventurous, The Pizza Grille also offers traditional cheese and pepperoni pizzas.  All together there are 23 different pizzas on the menu and each comes in two sizes.  The small is perfect for one person and the large is great for two.

If you’re not a pizza lover, The Pizza Grille also offers a selection of salads including an Organic Greens Salad, a Caesar Salad and a Fruit and Nuts Salad which features dried cherries, candied walnuts and goat cheese on chopped greens.  They also offer several sandwiches including a Grilled Chicken Sandwich on focaccia bread with a house salad (that’s what I had tonight), a Pork Tenderloin sandwich and a variety of burgers.

The Pizza Grille also offers a great selection of desserts which change from day to day.  Ask your server for today’s choices.

The Pizza Grille has two locations.  The one that allows you to bring your own wine is located at 907 State Street in Lemoyne.  The other one, located at 3817 Gettysburg Road in Camp Hill, has a full service bar for your enjoyment.  I recommend that you head out to the Pizza Grille for an enjoyable meal in a comfortable atmosphere.  When you go, don’t forget to tell them that The Pennsylvania Wanderer sent you.

Map of the area around the Pizza Grille in Lemoyne.

Read Full Post »

Cullari Vineyards and Winery

Cullari Vineyards and Winery

It was a cold, gray day in Harrisburg on December 7 so Brenda and I decided not to wander very far from home.  The closest winery to our home is the Cullari Vineyards and Winery on Route 422 just outside of Hershey and we had never been there.  We knew we could get there, take a look around and still get home in time for the Steelers game.  So we did just that.

Founded in 2007, Cullari Vineyards and Winery is the culmination of many years of effort for owner and wine maker Salvatore Cullari.  A native of Italy, Salvatore has been making wine for over four decades but until last year, only family and friends were able to enjoy the fruit of his labor.  The Cullari family has a farm located a couple of miles from the winery and began growing wine grapes there in 2000.  The vineyard covers four acres and accounts for about 65% of the grapes they use in their production.  The others are produced in Pennsylvania and neighboring New York.  By state law, all out-of-state grapes must be grown within 350 miles of the winery.

Dante Cullari in the Tasting Room

Dante Cullari in the Tasting Room

Brenda and I were greeted in the tasting room by Salvatore Cullari’s son Dante. It immediately became apparent to me that Dante shared his father’s passion for wine and that the family business will be in good hands for many years to come.  Dante showed us around the tasting room and shared a lot of information about the family’s history and the wines they make.  He was especially enthusiastic about the Cullari’s White on White and Old County Red wines.  The White on White is a unique semi-dry wine that can only be purchased at the winery.  Dante proudly told us that the 2007 White on White sold out in less than a month.  The Old Country Red is a very dry wine blended from a “secret family recipe” that his father has guarded for over 40 years. It was definitely my favorite of the Cullari wines.

Salvatore Cullari also blends a series of three dry red wines known as Simply Red Number 1, Number 2 and Number 3.  The Simply Red Number 1 is a blend of Chancellor and Chambourcin grapes with just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon.  At an inexpensive $8.00 per bottle, this dry wine is quite a bargain.  The Simply Red Number 2 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc.  It was my favorite of the Simply Red series.  The Simply Red Number 3 contains equal amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with just a touch of undisclosed hybrids.  At $13.00 per bottle, Number 3 is well worth the money even though it’s the most expensive wine in the series.

Brenda is one of the 90% of wine drinkers that enjoy sweet wines.  Her Cullari favorites, which she would recommend to anyone, were the Niagara and the Catawba.  These wines are very reasonably priced at $10.00 and $9.00 per bottle respectively.

The tasting room itself is spacious and comfortable.  Cullari Vineyards and Winery invites you to bring your own food and enjoy a picnic on their deck (weather permitting) or in the tasting room. So pack up your picnic basket and head out to Hershey and visit Cullari Vineyards and Winery. When you do, tell them The Pennsylvania Wanderer sent you.

The Cullari Vineyards and Winery is a proud member of the UnCork York Wine Trail.  Please call them at 717-533-8985 for their winter hours.

Map of the area around Cullari Vineyards and Winery

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »