This past Thursday I raided the wine rack (made of reclaimed shutters and purchased at Fresh Heirlooms – check out the shop on this year’s Joy of Cookies Cookie Tour in Lawrenceville) in search of a few bottles to take along to our friend Anne’s Thanksgiving dinner. Nestled between a Malbec leftover from a wine and cheese tasting and the bottle of mead I had refused to open on our wedding night, I found just the thing: a bottle of Black Currant wine from Greendance: The Winery at Sand Hill on the Southwest Passage Wine Trail. While my explorations of the trail took place with my almost-husband, now actual-husband, almost two months ago, there isn’t really a better time to revisit that trip as the holidays rapidly approach. If you remember, Sunday left me with Ben and Rachael (BK and RK respectively) as we finished watching a rainy concert on a lake at Stone Villa. BK, our designated driver for the day, navigated us to Greendance, our next stop, and parked in a dirt lot a few paces from the good-looking main building surrounded by a lush garden. We tore RK away from the parking-lot-adjacent goat pen and located the tasting room where the winery’s owner, Susan met us.
Susan was enthusiastic about explaining the winery’s history and philosphy, which she described to me as maintaining an intimate feeling and a green environment. (To read more about the history of Greendance and Sand Hill Berries visit the Greendance website. Sharon gave a great overview which I am hesitant to paraphrase here, I was tasting a lot of wines, remember). What sets Greendance apart from all of the other wineries we visited is its affiliation with Sand Hill Berries. Sharon described how through partnerships they began to envision a winery using only berries and fruits from the exisiting farm. Slowly that evolved to include grape wines and now Greendance stocks at least 5 varieties from grapes grown on-site. Other grape wines adhere to the requirements that grapes come from within a 350-mile radius. But let me get back to the berries! The above-mentioned Black Currant wine (oh, and there is a port as well) is divine with holiday fare (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, the fixins). I have to say I was surprised that I enjoyed this fruit wine (do I need to remind you I prefer the dry whites?) but the flavor was deep and not too sweet. I also enjoyed the Vidal Blanc and Pinot Gris, both of which I purchased, but I have to say I SO enjoyed (as did my compatriots) the Black Currant. My suggestion? Head to Greendance (only 29 miles away) before Christmas and purchase some to go along with your holiday dinner! And here is the secret of Greendance: Sand Hill Berries not only contributes to the fruit wines, you can buy homemade pies and locally made ice cream just 20 feet from the winery door!