The Backyard

The Backyard

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Local Wine - Benigna's Creek

"We put Klingerstown on the map." Those were the words out of the mouth of the owner of Benigna's Creek Winery and Vineyard at last evening's lighting of the vineyard Holiday celebration. On Thanksgiving, we started talking about the local winery and on a whim, my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and Rick decided to check it out last evening. Boy were we in for a total shock. Klingerstown is a very tiny town in Northumberland county with a population of about 300. It's nestled in Mahantango Valley, with rolling farmland all around it. It's very rural, few stores and little industry. This area is clearly off the beaten path and seldom sees much traffic. It's about 5 miles from our homes. When we started up the hill to the winery, all of our mouths dropped. There were cones in the road to slow traffic (its a back road!), fire trucks set up in neighboring fields with portable lighting for the overflow, maybe 4-5 huge tents set up (about as big as you can get a tent), people everywhere along with lines and crowds. There were three horse-drawn wagons taking folks on tours of the lighted vineyards and that particular line was the longest. We were astounded at the magnitude of this event -- maybe 1,000 people? My mom thought maybe more. I estimate the owners had to recruit about 100 people to work at the event to serve folks. The event was totally free -- free admission, free food (cakes, cookies, chips, snacks, hot dogs), and free taste testing of local wine but you had to wait at least 15 minutes to break through the crowd to get to the stand to taste it. Once you tasted it, you then moved to another line to wait to buy bottles of wine -- another 15-20 minute wait. And boy were people buying. They were leaving with cases of it. Some weren't leaving -- they'd buy, then go sit in a tent and open it and drink it. Rick was getting a kick out of some of the half-drunk folks staggering around. And the wine? Well, we love it. But then again, we aren't big wine drinkers, so we can't be the true judges. Benigna's wine has been winning Pennsylvania awards (their most prize-winning, Sunshine, was completely sold out), so I guess its good. And it's local! Support local businesses.

1 comment:

The Wiser Weiser said...

Never heard of them!! thanks Chili!