Beginning on June 18, Friday nights will be for wine sipping while listening to live music and DJs spinning songs at Sand Castle Winery.
Ordinarily, the winery closes its doors at 5 p.m. each day – about the time guests start arriving to kick off the weekend, according to Sand Castle Managing Partner, Chad Sletten.
“There’s a lot of bed and breakfasts here and not a lot to do,” Sletten said of the after hours in the area surrounding the Erwinna winery, which is located a stone’s throw from Frenchtown, N.J. “There is definitely demand for it.”
The weather-dependent live music and DJ events will be held on the terrace area, which boasts new furniture for up to 40 guests; or in the center of the vineyard, in a tented area Sand Castle is calling The Pines. The covered tent comfortably seats 100, with another 150 accommodated in the adjacent area. Guests can also choose to bring their own chairs and blankets to relax and drink wine during live music events. (Outside food is not permitted).
For now, the later hours and weekly entertainment will be reserved for Fridays. Eventually, it could be expanded.
The goal, Sletten said, is to “open up all four corners of the vineyard.”
No matter when guests visit the 72-acre estate-grown winery, breathtaking views of the vineyards and the Delaware River are available from numerous vantage points. A good place to start the indoctrination of Sand Castle’s wines – and take in fantastic views – is with a tasting. Each wine tasting features the opportunity to sample 13 Sand Castle wines from the second floor Grand Hall. The space features a balcony overlooking picturesque vineyards. All of Sand Castle’s wines are produced from the four European vinifera grapes grown onsite.
During tastings, knowledgeable staff share the history of the winery and vineyards and offer food pairing tips for each wine. Some wine flavors are enhanced with nibbles of dark chocolate, white chocolate, and even spicy wasabi peas. The closer of each wine tasting is a warm sample of Sand Castle’s Alpine Spice, which blends Chardonnay, Riesling, herbs, and spice and features an apple pie flavor.
Wine tastings are held every hour on the hour. Online reservations are the best way to ensure your seat at the wine tasting table. Particularly on weekends, tastings sell out well in advance.
Once guests have had the chance to get to know Sand Castle’s wines, a bottle can be enjoyed on the terrace, overlooking the vineyards and Delaware River, or in a more secluded spot along the edge of the vineyards, where several tables for four are set up.
In addition to purchasing wine at the winery, five of Sand Castle’s wines are available at area Giant Food Stores. Alpine Spice is available at every PA Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores statewide.
Sand Castle is one of the seven top vermouth producers in the state. Soon, the winery’s dry and sweet vermouth will be available at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores as well. It is currently not available at the winery.