Va La Vineyards
A family-owned winery in bucolic Chester County
Va La Vineyards, a family-owned vineyard located in Avondale, Chester County, focuses on rare varieties and unusual blends of Italian and French grapes, most of which are designed to accompany food.
These vintners produce very small quantities of wine, so picky wine tasters should call ahead before visiting to see what’s available.
The winery is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
You won’t find many of Va La Vineyard’s grape varieties anywhere else on the East Coast, or, for that matter, anywhere this side of the Mississippi River. The family specializes in combining rare grapes to create innovative blends.
The good news is that the family produces wine in very small batches, so the quality meets their standards. The bad news is that they produce wine in very small batches, 1,200 – 1,900 cases per year, so quantities are limited. Picky wine tasters should call ahead before visiting to see what’s available.
The Brandywine Valley Wine Trail
The Brandywine Valley Wine Trail bridges six Chester County wineries. You can visit each winery individually or purchase a passport for $20 that grants you entry to all six wineries (Twin Brook Winery, Folly Hill Vineyards, Va La Vineyards, Chaddsford Winery, Kreutz Creek Vineyards and Paradocx Vineyard), plus a free wine glass.
The wineries actively promote themselves as a group through free annual festivals, wine dinners, summer concert series and crafts fairs. Notable festivals include Barrels on the Brandywine every weekend in March and the Harvest Festival in September, held simultaneously at all of the wineries.
Information about Winetasting Passport Packages at nearby hotels and B&Bs is available at www.bvwinetrail.com.
Open for wine tastings Friday – Sunday. Fee for tasting includes an array of local foods. Be sure to bring your ID so you can sample their wines. The Vineyard offers tours by appointment only.
The “Road Kill Barbecue” every July 4th weekend is the ultimate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” barbecue — it features whatever they feel like throwing on the grill, whether it has two, four or six legs.
Va La’s small batches of wine sell out fast so sign up for their newsletter to get the scoop on what’s coming up and get first crack at buying your favorite wine.