Greg Alexander

Wine Tunes: Summer Music at the Vineyards

Mason-Dixon Arrive, July 2008

Summer’s here, and quite possibly the hardest decisions every weekend seems to be what fun event or festival to attend, as the Mason-Dixon region really packs the calendar offerings in July. Do you head to a fair and see the adorable animals or attend one of the many ethnic festivals during the summer and expand your horizons? Well, this month, I’ve decided to combine two of my favorite things in life to help give our readers some ideas – wine and music.

The region is home to a bounty of vineyards (check out our Web site,, for a complete list of area wineries), and many of them host special events, festivals and live music. Many times, the food served matches the theme of the music, so why not the wine? I asked a few wineries to give suggestions as to what type of wine should be enjoyed at certain musical events, keeping in mind the food, music and how your hips will be swaying to the tunes. I tried to focus on a variety of musical types, knowing that while some of our readers enjoy old-time rock-n-roll, others like the soothing sounds of jazz or the zesty offerings of Zydeco.

It’s a good idea to bring a blanket or lawn chair and check the vineyard’s Web site to confirm times, food and beverage restrictions, band information and admission prices, if any. So, raise a glass of wine, enjoy some live music and have fun!

Red, White & Listen to the Blues

Oakencroft Winery, July 4, 11am-4pm

1486 Oakencroft Lane, Charlottesville, Va.


Celebrate Independence Day at Oakencroft Winery with its gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a lake with Virginia waterfowl fronting the winery. Oakencroft, celebrating its 25th anniversary and founded by Felicia Warburg Rogan, “Virginia’s First Lady of Wine,” will feature the music of The Ryalls Brothers, a Virginia band that rocks the house. Carolyn Graves of Oakencroft suggests the Oakencroft Countryside Red, a soft and fruity blend wine that features tannat, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot and cabernet Franc.

Chicago Blues

Adams County Winery, July 5, 1-5pm

251 Peach Tree Road, Orrtanna, Pa.


You don’t have to go to Chicago to hear great blues! Adams County Winery, a small farm winery just eight miles from Gettysburg, is featuring the Skyla Burrell Blues Band, a Pennsylvania-based band that plays 200-plus shows a year all over the world and touts a high-energy electric blues sound. Gavin Green, event coordinator at Adams County Winery, recommends two wines for the concert. “The first is our award-winning red wine, Rebel Red, and the second is another red wine called Three Ships to the Wind. Either would be a tasty complement to the blues music. Both wines are fruity and flavorful, yet have transitions to drier finishes, offer multiple levels of flavors and are enjoyed by a variety of consumers. Each wine also complements our menu of “All-American” classics – burgers and hot dogs – fantastically.”

Big Wheeley & The Whitewalls

Naylor Wine Cellars, July 11, 8-11pm

4069 Vineyard Road, Stewartstown, Pa.


Head to southern York County to Naylor Wine Cellars, an 80-acre winery that produces a multitude of wines, many with a German flavor, for this rocking Friday night concert. For over 25 years, Big Wheeley & The Whitewalls, “The Hottest Old Time Rock-n-Roll Band On The Planet,” has entertained fans with its blend of classic rock-n-roll of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Dick Naylor, suggests concert-goers try one – or more – of these wines: Niagara, a sweet wine that’s like eating fresh grapes right off the vine; Concord, a sweet Old Eastern favorite; and Rhinelander, a “German-style” semi-dry wine.

Jazzberries concert

Nissley Vineyards & Winery Estate, July 19, 7:30-10pm

140 Vintage Drive, Bainbridge, Pa.


The 26th season of “Music in the Vineyards” is underway at Nissley, a series of eight open-air lawn concerts, perfect for a romantic evening under the stars and enjoying live music. The Jazzberries, a 16-piece big band swing group based in Hanover, Pa., are sure to get you up on your feet and dancing! Judy Nissley recommends trying the Rhapsody in Blue, “a semi-dry white wine made from a blend of French hybrid grapes grown in our Lancaster Valley vineyards.”

Zydeco Music of Roy Carrier and Night Rockers

Boordy Vineyards, July 19, 7-9pm

12820 Long Green Pike, Hydes


Boordy Vineyards, Maryland’s oldest family-run winery and situated on a 230-acre farm only 15 minutes north of the Baltimore Beltway, has an annual Summer Concert Series that offers great live music, delicious food, dance instruction before each concert and, of course, wine. Gates open at 5:45pm so that you can relax before the concert or take part in a dance lesson at 6:30pm. Roy Carrier and Night Rockers will perform Zydeco – fast-tempo Creole-style music. Dorothy Bistransin, director of events and public relations at Boordy, says, “We would suggest the Chilled Apple or Riesling with a spicy New Orleans dish.” The Chilled Apple, an American traditional sweet apple wine made from freshly pressed Maryland fruit has a rich flavor and fresh aroma and is as close as a wine can get to an apple without hanging on a tree. The Riesling, on the other hand, has an alluring apricot and honey aromas and a sweet, refreshing flavor on the palate, perfect for pairing with ripe cheeses or spicy dishes.

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