Va La Vineyards in Avondale, Pa., is achieving cult winery attention from national wine media.
Where: 32165 Winery Way, Lewes
About: Peggy Raley-Ward and her father, Bob Raley, opened the vineyard in 1993 on a family farm site just outside historic Lewes. Today Raley-Ward and her sister, Suzette Hopkins, are partners in the venture. The vineyards are comprised of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The winery uses other regionally grown fruit to produce the 14 wines in its line.
You’ll find: A tasting room, which is also a wine shop that also offers bottles of wine and other items, from corkscrews and jam to T-shirts.
Tours-tastings: Self-guided tours are free. A tasting is $5 a person and includes a glass to take home. The winery’s five-gallery museum chronicles the history of wine. Guided group tours are available by appointment only for motor coaches, service organizations and other groups of 15-plus people.
Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Closed on Mondays from January through April and select holidays. Contact: 645-9463, www.nassauvalley.com
Where: 1683 Peach Basket Road, Felton
About: Tony and Pete Pizzadili planted their first grapes in 1993. Now their family-run vineyard grows more than 12 varietials. All of the wines at Pizzadili are made from grapes grown at the vineyard.
You’ll find: In addition to venues for large events, the winery also offers an intimate space called the Bacchus Cave, which seats about 35 people. It has a wine-cellar ambiance with barrels of Pizzadili wine. The room is named after Bacchus, the Greek god of wine.
Tours-tastings: Wine tasting and winery tours are available daily, but call ahead for a tour. A wine tasting is $5 and includes a Pizzadili Winery wine glass.
Hours: Daily, noon-5 p.m. Contact: 284-9463, www.pizzadiliwinery.com
Va La Vineyards in Avondale is devoted to the production of four dry table wines. The vines are farmed by the winemaker.
Where: 3000 Lincoln Hwy., Sadsburyville
About: Black Walnut Winery is housed in a 200-plus-year-old bank barn that the owners (Lance and Valerie Castle and Jack and Karen Kuhn) renovated for wine tasting and events. It opened in 2009.
You’ll find: Varieties of white, red, Port-style and seasonal wines.
Tours-tastings: $7 to sample five wines, $10 for seven wines and $5 for Port-style wines. There is also have a tasting room in downtown Phoenixville.
Hours: Wed.-Sun., noon-6 p.m. Contact: (610) 857-5566, www.blackwalnutwinery.com
Where: 332 Indiantown Road, Landenberg
About: At the family’s Fall Line Farm, Kurt Kalb joined forces with his sister Karen Kalb Anderson in 2008 and planted Borderland’s first vines. The vineyard includes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and some experimental rows of Malbec and Syrah.
You’ll find: Unoaked Chardonnay, dry Riesling and Merlot aged in French oak.
Tours-tastings: From November until April, the tasting room is open by appointment only. The wines are also available at several area farmers’ markets. Tours are available by request.
Contact: (215) 436-9154, www.borderlandvineyard.com
Nassau Valley Vineyards in Lewes.
Where: 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford
About: Winemaker Jim Osborn carries on the tradition of locally sourced wines at the winery, founded in 1982. The facility is housed in a 17th-century dairy barn.
You’ll find: The shelves may include dry varietals such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, and small-lot wines like the multiple award-winning 2012 Blaufränkisch. The winery also produces varietals such as Niagara, a Sangria and a Spiced Apple wine.
Tours-tastings: Tastings are $7 on weekdays and $10 on weekends for six to seven wines (includes a logo glass to take home). Reservations are not required, Guided tours are offered at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Contact: (610) 388-6221, www.chaddsford.com
Where: 700 Folly Hill Road, Kennett Square
About: Owners Brad and Lele Galer produce and sell wines made from Chester County grapes in their state-of-the-art winery behind Longwood Gardens.
You’ll find: Galer Estate icon-etched wine glasses for purchase, $10 each.
Tours-tastings: Flights are $10 for four 1-ounce pours. Tastings are complimentary with the purchase of two or more bottles of Galer Estate wine. Locally made cheeses and bread are also for sale.
Hours: Fri.-Sat., noon-8 p.m.; Sun., noon-7 p.m. Contact: (484) 899-8013, www.galerestate.com
Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery in Felton.
Where: 50 Sweetwater Road, Glen Mills
About: The 50-acre property houses a manor that dates to 1734 and renovated cottages that are part of The Inn at Grace Winery, a luxury bed-and-breakfast, plus the vineyard. The first vines were planted in 2008.
You’ll find: A renovated 1750s bank barn.
Tours/tastings: Features five to seven wines, $15 a person.
Hours: Fri., 4 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. Contact: (610) 459-4711, www.gracewinery.com
Where: 553 S. Guernsey Road, West Grove
About: Carole and Jim Kirkpatrick began making wine in 1989. Today, they are producing dry white, dry red, semi-dry and dessert wines.
You’ll find: Seasonal outdoor events where you can bring lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic meal. Well-behaved pets are invited, too.
Tours-tastings: In addition to tastings at the winery in West Grove, there is a tasting room atâ€¨44 E. Gay St., West Chester, (610) 436-5006, with live music every Friday and Saturday. It’s BYOF (bring your own food) and is pet friendly.
Hours: Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Contact: (610) 869-4412, www.kreutzcreekvineyards.com
Black Walnut Winery.
Where: 1833 Flint Hill Road, Landenberg
About: The vineyard is owned and operated by the Hoffman and Harris families. The name of the winery is a play on words, as the four principles are practicing physicians (pair of docs).
You’ll find: A retail shop, plus 100 acres of picturesque land, 30 of them under vine. Head winemaker Gabriel Rubilar uses grapes from vinifera, Chambourcin and Vidal vines.
Tours-tastings: Choose from more than 20 varieties for wine flights at the vineyard’s tasting room-retail shop. The wines are also available at area farmers’ markets, restaurants and retail shops.
Hours: Fall-winter hours are Fri.-Sun., noon-6 p.m. Contact: (610) 255-5684, www.paradocx.com
Where: 1051 Wickerton Road, Landenberg
About: This rustic, Italian-style winery is dedicated to using local grapes. The first vintage was planted 2008.
You’ll find: Owner Mario Patone striving to make traditional, European-style wines.
Tours-tastings: The tasting room is under construction.
Hours: By appointment. Contact: (302) 545-7388, Mario@patonecellars.com.
Stargazers Vineyard & Winery.
Where: 124 Beaver Valley Road,
About: Winemaker Gino Razzi and his daughter, Carley Mack, produce award-winning wines from Pennsylvania-grown grapes. Wines range from light and fruity Traminette and Sauvignon Blanc to Italian-style Bordeaux.
You’ll find: A gift shop that sells fair-trade items, locally made candles, art, wine totes, cheeses, honey, chocolate and more.
Tours-tastings: Two different flights are available, each with five wines for $9 at the bar, $12 for a seated tasting. Also offered are artisan cheeses and spreads (starting at $7.50) or a cheese plate for $14.99 (available weekends only). Outside food is not permitted inside the tasting room, but visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic and enjoy it on the patio or lawn seat.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs., noon-5:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Contact: (610) 459-0808, www.pennswoodsevents.com
Where: 1024 Wheatland Drive, Coatesville
About: Stargazers was founded by John Weygandt and his late wife, Alice. The vineyard was first planted in 1979. The winery was established in 1996.
You’ll find: Visitors are welcome to stroll in the vineyard. Bring a picnic—tables and chairs are available—and look out over the lavender garden in season.
Tours-tastings: Tasting-room hours are every Saturday and Sunday and other times by appointment. The tasting includes five samples for $5. Buses and limo groups and parties of more than six are asked to make reservations.
Hours: Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. Contact: (610) 486-0422, www.stargazersvineyard.com
Crow Farm & Vineyard.
Where: 8822 Gap Newport Pike (Rt. 41), Avondale
About: The small farm is devoted to the production of four dry table wines. The vines are farmed by the winemaker.
You’ll find: A 100-plus-year barn converted into a tasting room.
Tours/tastings: The wines are offered by the bottle and by the glass;â€¨a tasting flight of four is available for $20. The winery is unable to accommodate groups larger than six.
Hours: Fri.-Sun., noon-5:30 p.m. Contact: (610) 268-2702, www.valavineyards.com
Where: 12441 Vansants Corner Road, Kennedyville
About: The vineyard produces New World-style wines from local grapes at the third-generation farm. The 10-acre vineyard was planted in 2010 and 2012. The winery houses state-of-the art equipment for crushing varietals and winemaking.
You’ll find: Crow Farmstay B&B on the property.
Tours-tastings: A tour of the winery and vineyard is offered with each tasting, $7 for a flight of five. The tasting room is housed in the property’s renovated milk house.
Hours: Daily, noon-5 p.m. Contact: Tasting room, 304-0551, www.crowvineyardandwinery.com