Celebrating the art of food
● By Steven Hoffman
October is the time to celebrate the harvest and good wine, good food, and art that showcases the beauty of the Brandywine Valley will be showcased on the Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail throughout the month.
Nine wineries and their satellite locations throughout Chester County are celebrating the art of food this October by incorporating a variety of locally made cheeses and other artisanal foods into their winery tasting rooms. The celebration of the art of food will include cheese pairings, chocolate pairings, harvest dinners, harvest festivals, and pumpkin carvings throughout the month. There will also be a special promotion for tickets to the upcoming NC Wyeth show at the Chester County Art Association.
Tammy Liberato and her sister, Julie Wehner, operate the Flickerwood Winery's tasting rooms in Oxford and Kennett Square. Liberato said that it was a natural fit to combine art with wines and artisan foods.
“This is a good event for us,” Liberato explained. “A lot of wineries in the area already showcase artisan foods. We already see that art and wines go together.”
At Flickerwood's tasting rooms in Oxford and Kennett Square, they will be introducing a new line of chocolates from Dipped Delights, which is a small chocolate company located in Oxford. The company provides Flickerwood with a wide variety of chocolate-covered items, ranging from strawberries to rice krispy treats to cashew clusters. Flickerwood will also be celebrating its partnership with DiBruno Bros. a maker of cheese products. Flickerwood even have a specially created ice cream flavor, raspberry wine ice cream, made by La Michoacana of Kennett Square. A local jam company, Wicked Concoctions, has also made three jams with Flickerwood wines that will all be highlighted in the tasting rooms during October.
“We have a lot of different foods that we highlight in the tasting rooms in Kennett Square and Oxford,” Liberato said.
Liberato credited Lele Galer, owner of Galer Estate Winery in Kennett Square, with taking the lead on planning the Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail. What Liberato likes best about this relatively new collaboration among the wineries is that each participant has the opportunity to be creative. There is a
new and interesting theme for each month, and each winery comes up with their own way to celebrate the theme.
There are numerous events related to the celebration of the art of food for October.
On Oct. 18, Galer Estate Winery will host the Chester County Artisans, including The Farm at Doe Run, Amazing Acres, Birchin Hills Farm, Meadowseat Farm, Yellow Spring Farm, Conebella Farms, and Shellbark Hollow Farms. Most of these cheese makers only sell to wholesale customers, so this event is a rare one for consumers. Eclat chocolates will be paired with Galer Estate wines during the event.
Paradocx Winery in Landenberg and the tasting room in Kennett Square is partnering with Neuchatel Chocolates from Oxford for wine pairings. Kreutz Creek Winery's tasting rooms in West Grove and West Chester will feature dark chocolate from Bevans in combination with their Ruby K Port. Ten Gallon Hat Winery in Chadds Ford will feature Bridge Street chocolates all month. Penns Woods Winery will also have fun at the winery with pumpkin pairings on Oct. 24 and 25. Wilson Winery will be pairing wine with locally grown cucumbers in a variety of ways. Borderland Vineyard in Landenberg is hosting the annual Harvest Festival on Oct. 10 and 11, with artisanal food such as local Sweet Salvation Truffles, live music, and much more. Grace Winery will be celebrating harvest with a dining-in-the vineyard event on Oct. 18.
As for the “art” aspect of the celebration, thousands of visitors are expected for the Chester County Art Association’s NC Wyeth show from Oct. 10 to 18. NC Wyeth is considered the founding father for arts in the Brandywine Valley, and he also founded the Chester County Art Association in 1932. The show will feature seventeen different paintings, on loan from The Hill School and the Westttown School, which have never been seen together before. To help promote the exhibition, the wineries will have different art cards available, each one with different images from the Wyeth show. When customers collect five different images or more, they get two-for-one pricing for exhibition tickets at the door. They can also enter to win a a wine basket from the Brandywine Valley wineries. No purchase is necessary to collect these art cards at the local wineries.
Liberato said that the Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail works closely with the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau, which is another positive to the collaboration.
The Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail's theme for November is “The Art of Thanksgiving-ceramics,” with different wineries on the trail will showcase the work of local ceramic artists.
For more information about upcoming events, visit www.brandywineartisanwinetrail.com.