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williams-grove-flea-market-3Are you one of the many people in Central Pennsylvania who misses the Silver Spring Flea Market? Were you as disappointed as I was when the racetrack and flea market were turned into Wegmans and Target stores? If you were, you’ll be happy to know that the flea market is back and better than ever at Williams Grove Speedway. Every Sunday at 6:00 am, hundreds of vendors open their booths and offer everything you could imagine in new and used merchandise.

Yes I Really Said Deep Fried Pickles

Yes I Really Said Deep Fried Pickles

The flea market is actually two flea markets in one. The Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association has been hosting a Sunday morning flea market since April, 2007. The flea market consists of four rows of vendors selling everything from musical instruments to deep fried pickles (yes, I said deep fried pickles). Today I bought a like new heating and massage cushion for $5.00, 50 disposable lighters for $7.00 and four fresh cucumbers for $2.00. I passed on the deep fried pickles but someday… Vendor spaces are available for as little as $12.00 for a 15 x 30 foot space and $15.00 for a corner space.

Musical Instruments at the Flea Market

Musical Instruments at the Flea Market

The Park Market, located in the old Williams Grove amusement park is the rebirth of the Silver Spring Flea Market. The flea market winds around and through the old amusement rides and many of the buildings that used to serve as concession stands are now being used by the larger vendors who used to be indoors at Silver Spring. I’ve purchased everything from baseball cards to antique glassware to leather belts to fresh produce at The Park Market. During the spring and summer, The Park Market also features plants and flowers for your gardening needs and It seems like every time we go, there is more to see and more to buy. You could easily go to The Park Market every Sunday and find something different to bring home.  15 x 25 foot vendor spaces in The Park Market are only $10.00.

Whether you’re buying or selling, the flea markets at Williams Grove Speedway are for you.  I may even bring some of my picnic baskets or barbecue tool sets and set up a booth there soon. In any event the flea markets are a great walk in the park and offer everyone the chance to find a treasure!

I Brought Home Five Bottles

I Brought Home Five Bottles

In the first part of this series I talked about how Cheryl and Ed Glick came to own Brookmere Winery. Today it’s time to talk about the wine. When I asked Cheryl and Ed which Brookmere wines were their favorites, I got two very different answers. Cheryl’s favorite is the Pinot Grigio which is a semi-dry white and Ed’s favorite is the Alexander Red which is a dry blend of Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin. As I find to the true at most wineries, Brookmere’s best selling wine is a sweet blush named Frog Hollow. Brenda really enjoyed this Niagara based blend that sells for an economical $8.50 per bottle. I really liked Brookmere’s dry red wines. My favorite was the Carmine which is a blend of Merlot, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was great today but will be even better after it ages for a few years. I also liked the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon which was rich with just the right amount of tannins and the Chambourcin which was different from Chambourcin I’ve tasted at other Pennsylvania wineries. Ed explained to me that the flavor comes from the soil and no two vineyards have the same soil. I have to say though, that I agree with Ed and my favorite Brookmere wine is the Alexander Red.

Brookmere also makes some specialty wines including Spiced Apple and Berries Gone Wild that Brenda enjoyed and a Port that I really liked. This Port is different from most in that it’s not infused with brandy. Enjoy the Port with some semi-sweet chocolate or a great cigar. The most unique wine I tasted was the sweet and spicy Red Foxx. I promised not to reveal the Glicks’ secret ingredient but you will definitely taste a cinnamon finish when you try this wine. In total I brought home five bottles in my wine carrier and expect to go back for more this summer.

Brookmere's Pavilion

Brookmere's Pavilion

Another reason I’ll be returning to Brookmere is for the summer music series. If you happened to check their website and found that their pavilion is under construction, let me be the first to tell you that it’s done. The winery will be hosting a Saturday night concert this summer and you’re invited! Brookmere’s wines will be available and a caterer will be there to provide food. You may bring your own picnic dinner if you choose. Cheryl and Ed promised me that the website will be updated soon with a schedule of the summer events so check back often. The outdoor pavilion can accommodate up to 250 people and is available for weddings and other events.

The Brookmere grounds are also home to the only Bed and Breakfast in Pennsylvania that’s located at a winery. The Village Inn was built as a southern mansion farmhouse in 1866 by James Alexander. Today you can enjoy a romantic evening or weekend in one of their luxurious rooms or suites. The inn also has a grand room that can play host to your special event of up to 75 people.

I hope you have a chance to visit Brookmere Winery soon. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00. If you’d like more information, please call Cheryl or Ed at 717-935-5380 or visit Brookmere’s website. Brookmere Winery is a proud member of the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail and participates in all their special events. By the way, you’re going to want to arrive in style with a wine carrier from Picnic Baskets and More. We offer a great selection of wine carriers for one to six bottles. Have a great time at Brookmere Winery and please tell them that The Pennsylvania Wanderer sent you.

A few weeks ago I posted a story about the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, PA. The other day I received an email from Mary Linkevich, Communication & Grants Manager of the Sanctuary saying that some of my facts were not quite correct. Rather than paraphrase what Mary said, I requested and received permission to share her email with my readers.

“Hi Alan and greetings from Hawk Mountain Sanctuary!

I recently came across your blog about seeing our volunteer Lyle at the Farm Show and wanted to take the time to correct a few errors that came across. If you’d like more information about Hawk Mountain I would be happy to send you an information packet, and maybe you can visit the Lookouts sometime this spring, summer or autumn. This is our 75th anniversary year, so there is no better time to visit than the present!

I think your blog is quite wonderful and hope to keep up on your recent ‘wanderings’ in the future!

*********************************************************************************************************

STATEMENT: Did you know that a hawk can fly from Vermont to Tennessee without ever flapping its wings?

CORRECT: Hawks do use updrafts to save energy during migration, and soaring flight is one strategy used by migrants, but all hawks flap during migration. There is no bird that soars from Vermont to Tennessee. Some hawks are heavy flappers, others less so, but all birds flap when migrating.

STATEMENT: In total, there are over 300 species of birds of prey that frequent the sanctuary.

CORRECT: There are 16 species of birds of prey that typically PASS Hawk Mountain during migration. Raptors that ‘frequent’ Hawk Mountain could include among others the Red-tailed Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Black and Turkey Vulture and American Kestrel. I have also seen Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawk and Northern Harrier.

STATEMENT: No pets are not allowed for the safety of the raptors.

CORRECT: The biggest reason we don’t allow pets is to protect the fragile ecology of the forest, as well as improve overall visitor relations. More detail below — I like to take the time to explain this one because people are often upset not to bring his/her dog here:

Research has shown that dogs have a greater impact on wildlife activity and abundance than people. For example, wildlife in areas with trails used regularly by dogs show different behavior and lower abundances, as wild mammals avoid areas with dog smells.

We have studies that show even abandoned trails inhibit small mammal movement as long as 30 years after abandonment. If we allow one dog, we allow X number of dogs per 60,000 visitors a year, so the matter is not small.

Other points to consider:

  • The inevitable walking around rocks that dogs do, even on a leash, means a wider swath of our forest becomes disturbed.
  • Dogs by nature will disturb and eat ground nests and chase small mammals
  • Other pets–cats, ferrets, snakes, have impacts on wildlife as well particularly when they escape and become feral…all of which is possible if they are allowed to visit.
  • Limited width on our trails coupled with large visitation means dog-dog and dog-person interactions will occur. Big dogs may frighten both people and smaller dogs.
  • For visitor safety and to protect the forest, visitors are asked to remain on the trail at all times. One slip of the hand can create an incredible disturbance as an owner tries to control his/her pet.
  • Our hiking safety tips urge visitors to wear a daypack carrying any personal belongings, water, snacks, etc, and to have both hands free to negotiate more rugged trails. This is impossible to do if holding a leash.
  • Many people don’t realize that the hard rugged rocks can cut and bruise a dog’s paws, and in general, it is not easy for most dogs to walk the rockier trails.

Sanctuary versus Park

In summary, our mission is to maintain Hawk Mountain as a model observation area and wildlife sanctuary, and as such, we even limit areas that are open to people. Hawk Mountain Members support this approach and a large portion of Hawk Mountain is closed to the public and maintained in its natural state. Parks have a recreational approach, and are designed to endure traffic and visitor diversity including that of dogs.

I hope you find this information of interest — again, have a great weekend and hope to see you on the Mountain sometime soon,

Mary

Mary Linkevich, Communication & Grants Manager

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
1700 Hawk Mountain Road
Kempton, PA 19529
www.hawkmountain.org
linkevich@hawkmountain.org
610-756-6961

Celebrating 75 years of raptor conservation, 1934-2009.”

Just a couple more things from The Pennsylvania Wanderer:

  1. I apologize for any misinformation I may have provided you, my readers.
  2. I apologize to Lyle Russell for misunderstanding when he told me that nearly 300 species of birds have been spotted in the history of the Sanctuary.
  3. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a great place for a picnic. Pack your picnic backpack and head out for a great day in the outdoors.

From the moment we saw the old 1866 barn, Brenda and I knew we were in for a treat at Brookmere Winery in Belleville, PA. Owners Cheryl and Ed Glick were happy to share some of the winery’s history and other interesting facts with us. The prior owners, Susan and Donald Chapman planted the first three acres of grape vines on the 138 acre farm in 1981. The winery first opened in 1984 and has been a fixture on route 655 ever since.

Chery and Ed Glick

Chery and Ed Glick

In 1995, Cheryl Glick went to work for the Chapmans at the winery. In 1999, Ed joined the winery staff and began learning the wine making process. When the Chapmans decided to sell the winery, the Glicks were there to buy it and continue Brookmere’s fine tradition. Today the Glicks grow 10 acres of grapes that include such French hybrid varieties as Chellois, Vidal, Seyval and Chambourcin. These represent between 35% and 40% of the grapes that make up the 13,000 gallons of wine that Brookmere produces each year. The remaining grapes come from other Pennsylvania growers. Most of Brookmere’s wine is fermented in steel tanks although some is aged in oak barrels. The bottling line can handle between 150 and 200 bottles per hour and the entire bottling process takes about three months per year.

The Glicks have the capacity and desire to expand the vineyard and winery to 20,000 gallons per year. When I asked them about the impact of the current economic crisis on sales, they replied that there has been no impact whatsoever. People consider wine to be a relatively inexpensive luxury and won’t give it up. It also makes a great gift that won’t break the budget. In fact, the Glicks told me that 2008 holiday sales were actually up over 2007. There are things that Cheryl and Ed would like to see change in the Pennsylvania laws governing wine sales. Under the current law, Brookmere can only sell their wine at five state operated liquor stores within a small radius of the winery. They would like that number and radius to expand. In addition, they wish they could ship their wine to more states. They would have no problem at all if the arrangements were reciprocal and wineries in other states were able to ship into Pennsylvania. According to Ed, “we’re not big enough to hurt them and they’re not big enough to hurt us”.

Brookmere Wines

Brookmere Wines

Stay tuned for part two of my series on Brookmere Winery where I’ll talk about Brookmere’s wines, their special events and another, very special surprise. I hope you have a chance to visit Brookmere Winery soon. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00. If you’d like more information, please call Cheryl or Ed at 717-935-5380 or visit Brookmere Winery’s website. Brookmere Winery is a proud member of the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail and participates in all their special events. By the way, you’re going to want to take home plenty of Brookmere’s wine so don’t forget your wine carrier. Picnic Baskets and More offers a great selection of wine carriers for one to six bottles. Have a great time at Brookmere Winery and please tell them that The Pennsylvania Wanderer sent you.

Are you ready for Spring?  I sure am!  Things really heat up in March along Pennsylvania’s wine trails.  Get your wine carrier out and hit the road with The Pennsylvania Wanderer.  I’ll be on the road every weekend in March visiting some of the special events and tasting some great wine.

Adams County Winery

Adams County Winery

Welcome Spring to Central Pennsylvania with the 2009 Tour de Tanks wine tasting event on the UnCork York Wine Trail. Every weekend in March, the wineries of the UnCork York Wine Trail invite you to enjoy your first taste of the new year’s vintages straight from the barrels and tanks. You’ll also have the opportunity to talk to the winemakers and learn more about the wines and how they’re made. The event begins on February 28th and continues every Saturday and Sunday through March 29th. The wineries will be open on Saturdays from noon to 5:00 and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00. Admission to the event is only $15.00 and your ticked is good for all five weekends. You’ll also receive 10% off your wine purchases and stamps that make you eligible to win UnCork York Wine Trail prizes.

Hunters Valley Winery

Hunters Valley Winery

The Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail proudly presents March Madness, 2009, “A Ticket to Good Taste and Adventure”. Visit any of the six wineries on the trail and purchase your ticket to great food and wine. Each weekend, each of the wineries will present a spectacular food and wine pairing. The wineries will be offering tours and special tastings; and some will offer live entertainment. Each winery will stamp your ticket and once you’ve visited all six, your ticket stub will be entered in a special drawing that could win you a romantic night at a bed and breakfast or a meal at one of the local restaurants. In addition you will receive a complimentary gift at each winery. Tickets are only $18 per person or $30 per couple. Please check out the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail for much more information.

Last year I spend March weekends on the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail at their March Madness events. Alas when I checked their website this morning, I learned that this year’s event is completely sold out. I’d strongly recommend you plan ahead and enjoy March Madness on the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail in 2010.

Twinbrook Winery

Twinbrook Winery

March weekends mean Barrels on the Brandywine along the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail. Your $25 ticket entitles you to be among the first to enjoy tastings of the wineries’ 2008 vintages. The wineries also plan special events like music and art shows, barbecues and barrel tastings just for you. As a special gift, you’ll receive a Brandywine Valley Wine Trail logo glass with your ticket. Learn about the wine trail’s special March events here.

I love March along Pennsylvania’s wine trails. The only problem is that there isn’t enough time to get to every one of these great events. Oh well, there’s always next year. I hope you decide to head out to some of these March events. If you do, please tell them that the Pennsylvania Wanderer sent you.

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Wine Tasting with Amy

Wine Tasting with Amy

Our tasting at Naylor Wine Cellars actually happened in two parts.  When we first arrived, Amy was nice enough to take us through a normal wine tasting.  Amy’s dream is to host private wine tastings at customers’ venues where she would present the wines and representatives of local wineries would be available to sell the wine to the guests.  I don’t know the legal complications but it sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

As usual, Brenda tasted a series of sweet whites, blushes and fruit wines while enjoyed some of the dry whites and reds.  She started off with the Golden Grenadier Niagara which, at $8.95 per bottle, is Naylor’s most popular wine.  A reminder to we dry red lovers…90% of all wine drinkers prefer sweet wines.  She also enjoyed the Ruby Grenadier Catawba which she described as “as sweet as a bunch of grapes but with some kick”.  Her favorite wine of the tasting was Naylor’s Raspberry.  The thing that makes Naylor’s fruit wines so great is that they are actually made from the fruit.  This is not grape wine flavored with fruit juice.  Brenda recommends that you try the Raspberry wine when you visit Naylor Wine Cellars.

Of Course We Brought some Home!

Of Course We Brought some Home!

I started off with the 2006 Chardonnay, a dry white that I seem to be developing a taste for lately.  After that short diversion from my normal tasting, I moved on to the dry reds.  My two favorites were the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2007 Shiraz.  The Cabernet Sauvignon is aged for 18 months in American and French oak barrels leaving it with a rich deep flavor that I can’t get enough of.  Mr. Naylor first planted Shiraz grapes in 2006.  The 2007 wine is the first vintage from these young vines.  I’m telling you, this wine is delicious.  I’m rapidly becoming a fan of this Australian variety as more and more Pennsylvania wineries begin to produce it.

As I moved into the fermenting room to take some pictures, I had no idea that the best part of my Naylor wine tasting was yet to come.  In part I of this series you learned much of the history of Naylor Wine Cellars courtesy of a couple hours I spent with Dick Naylor after Ted Potter introduced us.  After we talked for a while, Mr. Naylor asked me if I wanted to try a few more wines.  Since some time had passed since my first tasting, I figured it was safe to drink a little more wine before heading home.

First Mr. Naylor asked me if I wanted to try the 2001 Seductivo.  Due to it’s scarcity, Naylor doesn’t include this Chambourcin on their normal tasting menu.  I have to tell you, this dry, rich red is my new favorite Pennsylvania wine.  Mr. Naylor then started talking about the versatility of the Chambourcin grape and to illustrate, opened a bottle of Naylor 2008 Nouveau.  The contrast between this young fruity wine and the Seductivo was stark.  From the color to the flavor, there was nothing similar about these two wines even though they come from the same grapes.  Next we moved on to the Summertime Red which is the same blend as the Nouveau but aged for an extra six months.  The Summertime Red has a much deeper color and drier flavor than the Nouveau.  Finally we tried the 2007 Chambourcin.  This wine was drier than the Nouveau yet lighter than the Seductivo.  It’s hard to believe that all four of these wines came from the same variety of grapes.  Needless to say, I enjoyed this lesson on the versatility of the Chambourcin grape very much.  I want to thank Mr. Naylor very much for the time he spent talking with me about the winery, his wine packaging business and the wine.  Thanks also for the bottle of 2001 Seductivo that I got to take home.  It was delicious.

The Pavilion at Naylor Wine Cellars

The Pavilion at Naylor Wine Cellars

As we were getting ready to leave, I took a walk toward the pavilion where Naylor’s summer concert series is held.  I couldn’t get too close because of the snow and ice but remember, Spring is coming soon!  Beginning in mid-June and continuing through mid-September, Naylor hosts a Saturday night big band concert and dance series.  People are invited to bring their picnic baskets, purchase some Naylor wine and enjoy the music from 7:00 – 10:00 pm.  Naylor also hosts several Friday night rock and roll events each Summer.  Check out Naylor Wine Cellars’ website for more details.

I strongly recommend that you pay a visit to Naylor Wine Cellars next time you’re in Central Pennsylvania.  When you do, bring your wine carrier and, as always, tell them The Pennsylvania Wanderer sent you.

As I sit back in my recliner enjoying a glass of 2001 Naylor Grand Reserve Seductivo I can’t help but think about the great time that Brenda and I had at Naylor Wine Cellars last Saturday. Located in Stewartstown, PA, Naylor Wine Cellars is the pride and joy of Audrey and Richard Naylor.

Mr. Naylor’s wine making adventure began way back in 1961 when he was in the packaging business.  One of his customers was a home winemaking supply store in Cockeysville, MD.  He had the opportunity to try some of his customer’s wine and was hooked.  He started by making dandelion and strawberry wines and planted his first 100 grapevines in his backyard in 1964, four years before commerical wineries became legal in Pennsylvania.  Soon he expanded to occupy 1/4 acre of a friend’s farm.

Mr. Naylor and Me in the Pressing Room

Mr. Naylor and Me in the Pressing Room

In 1974, opportunity knocked and Mr. Naylor had a chance to buy a fruit farm located at the current site of his vineyard and winery.  After a short period where he leased the farm back to the prior owners, Mr. Naylor and his best friend, Bob Eisenhart planted the first 1 1/4 acres of grapes in 1975.  The vineyard grew to just under five acres by 1977 when the first harvest was pressed and fermented in old milk tanks.  The first sales were made out of a potato cellar in February, 1978.  Tragically, Bob Eisenhart who built most of the farm equipment died of cancer in March, 1978 less than four months after complaining of severe back pain while pheasant hunting on Thanksgiving Day, 1977.  To this day, Mr. Naylor is still affected by the loss of his best friend.

Mr. Naylor built the current winery building in 1982 and started selling supplies to home wine makers in 1983.  During this time, Mr. Naylor was still in the packaging business and designed some unique boxes for protecting wine bottles while they were in transit.  IN 1992 he sold his interest in the packaging business but kept ownership of the designs for the wine boxes.  In 1993 he built a warehouse for manufacturing and storing the wine boxes.  This warehouse doubles as a banquet room although plans are in the works for a new warehouse so the current one can be dedicated to entertaining guests.

Mr. Naylor in the Fermenting Room

Mr. Naylor in the Fermenting Room

In 1992, executive chef Ted Potter joined Naylor as the winemaker.  Under his leadership the vineyard has grown to its current 30 acres that produces over 40 varities of grapes.  In fact, 95% of the grapes that make up Naylor’s wines are grown on the family farm.  Some Vidal grapes are purchased from Marty Keen who once owned the first commercial winery in Pennsylvania.  Mr. Potter and Mr. Naylor have no plans to expand the vineyards any further at this time.  Today, Naylor Wine Cellars produces 20,000 gallons of wine per year.  All of Naylor’s red wines except the Nouveau are aged in oak as is the Chardonnay.  The wine is bottled over 55-60 days per year by farm staff when the weather isn’t condusive to outdoor work.  The size of the winery could justify higher capacity bottling equipment but Mr. Naylor would rather put his people to work indoors rather than cost them their pay checks.

I could go on for pages with the stories Mr. Naylor told me about his years in the wine business and his 15 or more trips to Europe to visit wineries but I think I’ll stop here.  Stay tuned for part II of my report on Naylor Wine Cellars when I’ll talk about Naylor’s wines and the special events they host.  In the meantime, grab your wine carrier and head out to Naylor Wine Cellars for a great education and some excellent wine.  When you visit, please tell them that The Pennsylvania Wanderer sent you.