The region around Gettysburg -- Adams County -- is known for the Civil War battle that raged there in 1863. But if you confine yourself to the just an exploration of Adams County's Civil War sites, you'll be missing out on a whole array of other wonderful day trip destinations. Long time readers of this blog understand that I love checking out wineries! One of Adams County's wineries is Hauser Estate, home to both wine and hard cider.
For the tasting fee of $5, you can pick six wines or six Jack’s Hard Ciders to sample; we tried the flight of hard ciders. (You can do both, wines and ciders, for $10.)
The hard cider are varieties of Jack's Hard Cider. There are several options to choose from: The Original, of course, which goes down smooth and easy. Helen's is sweet and crisp, like, as the blurb says, eating an apple, although I was struck by the hint of peach in the Peach Hard Cider. I also tried the Pear Hard Cider, but didn't like that as much as the peach (I'm also a fan of peach wine, when I can find it, so I'm sensing a trend here).
I also tried the Breakfast Hard Cider, based on the description that it has a taste of coffee, and although when I heard that I wondered how cider and coffee can go together, the answer is, "just fine, thank you!" Others in my group very much enjoyed the Dry Hopped Hard Cider, which offers hints of lemongrass and citrus.
My favorite of the hard ciders, and what I walked away from the winery with, was a growler of the Bourbon Hard Cider. It gets its bourbon flavor -- just a hint of it that enriches but doesn't overpower the cider -- by being put into oak barrels that formerly were used to age bourbon whiskey.
Like many other regional ventures, there are references to the Civil War battle that raged not far away: there is Devils Den Red (featuring strawberries and bramble fruits) and the semi-sweet Jenny Wade White and the dry and fruity Wheatfield White. There is also Abe's Apple Wine, and in retrospect, I should have requested a small taste of that wine, given the apple theme of the day!
Tours are at 1 pm daily, most days. The wine production facility was built into the hillside, so it's all but invisible as you drive up to the winery. The day we were there, we saw workers picking over red grapes, which will be used to create the winery's cabernet franc. I've been on winery tours before, but never while the work was actually in progress, so the tours seemed somewhat sterile to me. This one showed, I think, what it's "really like" to work in a winery. A little bit hectic, a little cluttered, loud, busy.
Wineries vary regarding whether they welcome your bringing a picnic along to enjoy with your wine samples or a bottle you purchase to enjoy onsite. Hauser Estate allows you to bring your own picnic -- something I appreciate. However, they do bring in caterers periodically, for special events and such, and when the caterer is onsite, they request that you patronize the caterer. Okay, that sounds like a fair deal. Kids are welcomed on the premises, and there are non-alcoholic beverages available to supplement whatever you bring for them. Dogs are also welcomed, although not in the building, but the roomy patio and deck are open to your well-behaved pooch.
While you're enjoying your wine or hard cider, check out the gorgeous view, including that of the unique round barn, below. On your way there, or on your way home, be sure to check out the Round Barn and Farm Market.
Built in 1914, the Round Barn is one of Adams county's most unique landmarks. The barn is constructed around a central silo that rises 60 feet. Now the first floor serves as a family owned and operated farm market, offering a variety of produce and locally produced items. Check the Round Barn's website for operating hours and events. The second floor serves as a wedding or events venue.
Getting there: The Hauser Estate wine production facility and the tasting room is located at 410 Cashtown Rd, Biglerville; however, they also have a store front in Gettysburg at 19 Lincoln Square
|The Farm Market inside the Round Barn.|
Hours: The tasting room is open Monday - Wednesday, 11 am to 6 pm; Thursday, 11 am to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm; Sunday, noon to 5 pm. The Gettysburg storefront has slightly different hours.
Dogs: Both pets and children are allowed to be here! The kids can come inside, but pets must remain on the patio/deck areas.
Websites: http://www.hauserestate.com/ and . Round barn: http://roundbarn.farm/
For other day trip destinations in and around Adams County, go to the Blog's Find a Great Place to Day Trip or click on the Gettysburg or Destination Gettysburg label below.
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