Central Pennsylvania wineries offer much to do this fall.
There are harvest festivals, concerts and other events galore through December.
Pack up your kids and pets -- many of the region's wineries cater to them, too -- and take a drive through the midstate to enjoy some of the best wine York, Adams and Lancaster counties have to offer.
Twenty-three vineyards and wineries in southcentral Pennsylvania and northern Maryland make up the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail.
Wineries on the trail feature year-round wine tastings, festivals and other events that cater to wine aficionados, as well as those who wish to learn more about the region's winemaking history.
The trail is hosting the fourth annual Wine Just Off the Vine event noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Nov. 10, 11, 17 and 18.
Tickets are $15 each and include entrance to more than 20 wineries for both weekends, a wine glass, wine tastings, light refreshments and presentations by winemakers.
Designated drivers can purchase tickets for $5 each.
Proceeds from the event benefit the York County Convention and Visitors Bureau for continued support and development of the wine trail and other events.
York County wineries on the Mason-Dixon trail include the following:
ALLEGRO WINERY is at 3475 Sechrist Road, Brogue, Chanceford Township.
Events planned this fall include a harvest celebration 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 9, which will feature the 2012 Nouveau, and a holiday open house Dec. 8.
Allegro also hosts Sip Happens, a weekly happy hour 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Fridays at its wine gallery at 2549 S. Queen St., York Township.
FOUR SPRINGS WINERY is at 50 Main St., Seven Valleys, right next to the York County Heritage Rail Trail.
HUMMINGBIRD RIDGE WINERY is at 735 Kise Mill Road in Newberry Township.
On Sept. 28 and 29, Hummingbird Ridge will host a Relay for Life charity event and on Sept. 29 to Sept. 30 it will feature its wines at the Hanover Wine Festival.
From 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 13, there will be a country music tribute. Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs.
Dec. 8 and 9 marks Hummingbird Ridge's third anniversary and holiday open house.
The winery is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. For details on Hummingbird Ridge and any of its events, call 717-315-0209, email email@example.com or visit www.hummingbirdridgewinery.com.
LOGAN'S VIEW WINERY is at 8892 Susquehanna Trail South in Springfield Township.
In the past, the winery has hosted a wine cruise, as well as participated in wine trail events.
The winery's hours of operation could change throughout the year, but for now it is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. For details, call 717-741-0300, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.logansviewwinery.com.
MOON DANCER VINEYARD AND WINERY is at 1282 Klines Run Road, Lower Windsor Township.
The winery will host its annual Bluegrass Harvest Festival 2 to 10 p.m. Oct. 7. The event will feature music, wine tastings, barefoot grape stomping and more.
Cost is $15 and children and pets are admitted free of charge. Tickets are available at the winery or at the door on event day.
Moon Dancer is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. For details, call 717-252-9463, email Moon
email@example.com or visit www.moondancerwinery.com.
NAYLOR WINE CELLARS is at 4069 Vineyard Road in Hopewell Township.
It was started in 1975 and is York County's oldest winery.
Naylor will hold its Harvest Music and Wine Festival 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 6 and noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 7.
The event will feature performances by local bands, wine tastings, wagon tours, food and a grape-stomping contest.
A silent auction Oct. 6 will benefit the American Cancer Society. Cost of the event is $10 for a one-day ticket, $15 for a two-day ticket and $5 for children 5 to 15 years old.
SEVEN VALLEYS VINEYARD AND WINERY is at 885 Georges Court in Shrewsbury Township.
Seven Valleys is hosting End of Summer Songs at the Winery, 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 29. Guests are invited to pack a picnic lunch and listen to tunes by Dani Hoy. Max Prejean of Agin Cajun's Back Porch will have Tex-Mex food available for purchase during the event.
The vineyard also will have a ladies' day, 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 7. The event will include Talus Spa, chair massages, Tastefully Simple representative, handcrafted jewelry, food and entertainment.
Wear a costume and get entered to win a prize when you visit the winery 3 to 9 p.m. Oct. 27. The family event will feature food from Max Prejean and entertainment by Wick & the Geezers from 5 to 9 p.m. The vineyard is open noon to 7 p.m. Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For details, call 717-235-6281, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sevenvalleys.com.
Vineyard lingoLEARN TO SPEAK LIKE AN EXPERT before your trip to the winery with some of the terms below:
· Cuvée - a blend of many different base wines, which could also be blends.
· Estate-bottled - wines that come from grapes grown on a winery's own vineyards like many that you will find along the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail.
· Reserve - the term a winemaker uses to designate his or her best product.
· Varietal - a wine made from a single type of grape that bears the grape's name on the label. Varietal wines include Merlot, Riesling or Chardonnay. These wines must contain at least 75% of that grape, according to law.
· Vintage - denotes the year the grapes were harvested and the wine made. Most wines state a vintage year on the label.
· Acidity - refers to the tartness of a wine. A wine can be described as crisp or soft, depending on the amount of acidity.
· Balance - describes the harmony among the wine's elements.
· Body - describes how weighty a wine feels in the mouth. Wines that feel heavy and rich are full-bodied and wines with little weight are light-bodied.
· Complexity - refers to the aromas and flavors in a wine and how they interact with each other.
· Finish - describes a wine's aftertaste. Usually, the longer the flavor lasts after you swallow, the better quality the wine.
· Legs - the trickles of wine that run down the inside of a glass after you swirl it.
· Tannins - come from the skins, seeds and stems of the grapes and also from the barrels, are usually found in red wine. Tannins taste bitter and can make your palate feel dry.
· Texture refers to a wine's mouth-feel.
Types of wine
ALL TYPES OF WINE fall into one the following categories:
· White - White wines are made by growing and processing white grapes. Among the most common white wines are Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Reisling and Sauvignon Blanc.
· Red - Red wines are made by growing and processing red - or black - grapes. Among the most common red wines are Brunello, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.
· Rosé - The color of a rosé will be determined by the grapes used in production. All kinds of red wine grapes can be used to make rosé. White Zinfandel is the most popular rosé in the United States.
· Sparkling - Sparkling wines are made from a variety of grapes and with different production processes. All sparkling wines have in common is the presence of bubbles, which come from carbon dioxide produced during fermentation.
· Dessert - All dessert wines are sweeter than traditional wine varieties. They are meant to be drank after a meal's main course, but some people like to drink them before the meal, instead.
· Fortified - This wine has a higher alcohol content than other table wines. Fortified varieties have a longer aging process than most other wines. The most common are Madeira, Marsala, Port and Sherry.