It would seem that the nine wineries on the Bucks County Wine Trail are in competition with one another, but according to some of the owners, the collaboration has actually increased traffic during the holidays.
“I find them seeking us out more now at the holiday season than they used to,” said Christine Carroll of Crossing Vineyards in Newtown. “The Wine Trail has increased people’s awareness of us in general.”
The wineries and vineyards in Bucks have been in collaboration since 2004, when the Bucks County Wine Trail incorporated as a nonprofit. Now, more than ever, that collaboration has resulted in more business for each of them.
“I think our Wine Trail has really helped everybody, because each one offers something unique,” said Beverly Fleming of Rose Bank Winery, also in Newtown.
Through the fall, that is especially true as customers began to pick up on the Passport to Bucks cards. Started in November, the wineries offered the cards at $20 apiece. With that, patrons were offered a complimentary tasting at each winery. When all nine wineries are visited, marked by nine punches in the card, it can be entered into a drawing for several Bucks-themed prizes.
The list of prizes includes a VIP night at Parx Casino with $200 to Parx Grill and $200 in free slot play; a family four-pack of activity passes to Shady Brook Farm; an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn in Quakertown and dinner for two at Maize Restaurant in Perkasie; a weekend stay at Golden Plough Inn in Peddler’s Village and two tickets to a concert at the New Hope Winery; a hot air balloon ride for two; and a wine gift basket.
The cards are still available through April 30, when the Passport to Bucks ends.
Some people use them over nine different days, some people make a couple of stops in the same day.
“You don’t have to drive too far to make it to a few in the same day,” Carroll said. “We’re all pretty much around the county.”
Even if that doesn’t interest certain customers, the wineries are each preparing something special for the Holiday Celebration on Dec. 10 and 11.
Here’s a list of the wineries and their highlights for this weekend:
- Buckingham Valley Vineyards will be serving complimentary warm spice wine and homemade holiday cookies. Holiday labeled wine, Christmas tree ornaments, wine gift boxes and gift baskets will be available for purchase. Hours are Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For information, visit pawine.com.
- Crossing Vineyards and Winery will offer live music on Dec. 10 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. There’s a specialty pairing with a champagne cocktail of your choice with cheeses, cured meats and chocolates. Cost $20 per person. Riedel glassware is buy one, get one 50 percent off throughout December. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. daily. For information, visit crossingvineyards.com.
- New Hope Winery will be serving complimentary Holiday Spice wine served with cookies. All accessories will be 25 percent off. Hours are Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, visit newhopewinery.com.
- Rose Bank Winery will be serving complimentary tastings of Hallowine (a pumpkin and spiced apple wine) and spiced apple wine along with cheese and crackers. Additional wines can be sampled for a $6 tasting fee. On Sunday, in addition to tastings, the winery will host the Nicholl School of Irish Dance recital. Hours are Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, visit rosebankwinery.com.
- Rushland Ridge Winery will be serving a spiced red wine with holiday treats. Tastings cost $5. Hours are Saturday noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
- Sand Castle Winery will be offering special tastings of holiday food and wine pairings. Hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, visit sandcastlewinery.com.
Wycombe Vineyards will be serving warm spiced wine. Hours: Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For information, visit wycombevineyards.com.