It was harvest time and we had a special invite from Jerry Chessman to see his vineyards! We plotted and planned our way to Pennsylvania. This time we would be bringing the Classy Canines with us!
The boys were loaded into the car before the sun was up. Brody and Snickerdoodle settled into comfy spots in the back seat on their special blankies.
As the sun came up, Peanut was very interested to see what excitement this new adventure had in store for him.
Then he took it upon himself to guard the cooler. I’m guessing he knew there were roast beef sandwiches and hard boiled eggs in there!
You know what they say about the best laid plans. Our first winery stop quickly revealed a change in itinerary. A large tour bus had arrived just ahead of us and the place was packed. Along with their restrooms being out of order. So we headed down the road to another winery, but the Classy Canines could not be allowed out of the car.
Our third stop at a winery we had crossed off our original list. They had some good wines and the Classy Canines were allowed on the patio. We learned from the owner that just like our previous stops, we were likely to find that even though the wineries we had called ahead who said they were “Dog Friendly”, most likely would not be.
That turned out to be pretty accurate. Fortunately we found that most facilities had patios or outdoor areas where the boys were welcome.
Of course we had to take pictures with them to record their road trip.
Our winery stops for the day included:
- Breitenbach Wine Cellars
- Silver Moon Winery
- School House Winery
- Slutz & Slutz Winery
- Barrel Run Crossing Winery & Vineyard
- Mastropietro Winery
- LaPorte Winery
We will be featuring each winery and its wines in the next series of posts so be sure to check back.
After seven wineries, the boys were all tuckered out!
But they quickly adjusted to their luxurious hotel accomodations.
And had no trouble settling in on the large king size bed.
The next morning they were ready to roll.
Once again, our plans shifted around a bit but it was all good. We made our first stop at the country market. Then it was off to another winery, which according to the owners, was run by their Irish Setter. Peanut and Brody made friends quickly with Cabernet.
And the ladies who arrived after us on a tour.
They were such gentlemen and so well behaved. But of course! They are the Classy Canines!
At the next three wineries, the boys were again welcomed inside and loved all the attention they received.
The wineries we visited included:
- Burch Farms Winery
- Lakeview Wine Cellars
- Heritage Wine Cellars
- Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards
- Courtyard Winery
When Bushmaster took the purchases we made at the last winery to the car, they were a bit concerned he might be leaving without us.
Their concerns were unwarranted as we all piled back in the car ready to find somewhere to have dinner.
We didn’t have to look too hard or too far to find delicious Lake Erie perch dinners.
It was just about dusk when we made our way to Jerry Chessman’s vineyard. We visited a short time with him, his family, and friends. Harvesting is pretty much a round the clock operation this time of year and all the vineyards work together to help each other out. We made it an early night and headed to our hotel so we could be back at the vineyard bright and early the next morning.
We got there early to see that harvesting activities were already underway. The smell of fresh grapes wafted through the air.
The Classy Canines were loaded into the back of the Gator and we were off for a special tour of the vineyard.
They really seemed to enjoy the ride!
We had seen the miles and miles of vineyards from the road during our travels the previous day but it was really amazing to be up close in amongst the vines.
Noiret grapes hung in huge clusters.
The dark area just above the distant tree line was Lake Erie. Vines stretched all the way to that tree line.
Concord grapes were large, full, and oh so juicy. They hung everywhere on the vines.
It took us nearly an hour to complete our vineyard tour. It was just beautiful!
We were invited out to do some picking of our own. Bushmaster came back with buckets of Noiret and Concord that we are currently making into a blend that will be called Brody’s Road Trip Red.
Time flew by and soon it was time to pick up Diamond and Niagara juices and begin our trip home. We made one last winery stop on the way:
- Presque Isle Wine Cellars
We had hoped to find another perch dinner as we traveled along the lake but unfortunately there was none to be found.
Even with all the delays from rush hour traffic, we made it to Grandpa’s Cheese Barn before closing time and picked up some special goodies.
Peanut again guarded the cooler knowing full well there were some tasty cheeses inside.
What a great trip! We look forward to returning to Lake Erie Wine Country again. A huge thank you to Jerry and crew for making our trip so special!