Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Countryside Vineyards & Winery

When we detoured off I-81 after seeing Corey Ippolito Winery, we found another winery: Countryside Vineyards & Winery. Surrounded partly by the Appalachian Mountains and hidden from nearby I-81, Countryside looks like a secluded farm - with sheep and donkeys grazing near the vineyards. The vineyard grapes were planted in 1987 and the winery started operating four years later, selling just three wines. Today that list has expanded to 20 wines, most winning medals in state and national competitions.

The wines range from dry to sweet and from hybrids to labrusca and fruit wines. The dry Chambourcin is their most award winning red and they also produce a more fruitier nouveaux styled Chambourcin using whole berry fermentation. They also offer full bodied Merlot and Leon Millot wines; but their best selling wine is the sweet Countryside Red - made with the Buffalo grape. This is a less foxy sibling to the Concord and another product of the Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. Another sweet red is the Autumn Harvest - made from Steuben. For blush styled wines, their is the standard Blush - a blend of several varieties, a Muscat Blush, and the Steuben - one of their best sellers. For whites, they offer a dry Chardonnay and Vidal as well as a semi-dry Vidal. The sweeter whites are the Niagara, Countryside White, Muscadine, Just Peachy (grapes and peaches) and Golden Muscat - which has the unique floral muscat nose. And finally, there are two fruit wines: Blackberry and Strawberry.

We did not have the change to spend much time at Countryside - but based on the number of visitors who came through the doors - this is a very popular destination.

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