Have you ever walked around a corner and seen a sight that took your breath away?
On a fantastic spring day in Washington Crossing, PA at Crossing Vineyards and Winery, we had the most enchanting views and hospitality that kept us coming back. It’s not just wonderful views and incredible wine – it is a welcoming feeling of warmth and serenity. It was that feeling that made me ask about her story.
One fine winter day, my husband and that I ran into Christine and Tom Carroll Sr. to speak about how it all started. Tom and Chris started to explain that their son, Tom Jr. when he was 10 years old, got the idea for this vinery. They were having breakfast and he clearly stated how the estate would become a perfect Vineyard and Winery. Tom Sr. did not think much of it, after all, he was 10 years old and positively not old enough to know about wineries and vineyards. As time went on and Tom Jr. working in California, he taught himself everything he needed to know about winemaking– viticulture, and enology. “Tom Jr. working with expert winemakers as a consultant in the winery’s early days; not long after, the student became a teacher and Tom went off and worked on his own,” explains Christine. He called his family and explained an elaborate plan to turn their estate into a Winery and Vineyard. It is destiny.
Today, the vineyards stock wines that captivate both traveling and discerning palates. This winery has grown to be an experience the Carroll family wants to share with everybody who comes there for wine tastings, shows, weddings, or whatever memorable event the vinery is hosting. Carroll actively travels to different regions of the world tasting wines and bringing back all of their favourite flavors. Their wine selection is very similar in taste to those found in Europe (particularly France).
Last Spring I remember asking if their Viognier was just called Viognier or did they export wine from France? Dustin (Wine Connoisseur/ Mixologist) response, “No, we started growing Viognier grapes on our Vineyard.” It just feels right. I’m no wine connoisseur, but from my growing appetite for wine, I’m very precise at identifying regions. I noticed they offer a drink called “The Crushie” which is essentially a Rosé mixed iced drink. In Winter their equivalent is “The Cozy” which is a delicious rich hot chocolate drink made with their cherry chocolate truffle wine. The Cozy lives up to its name. You feel snug after the first sip. The selection is incredible and that I wanted to find out about their process. We’ve been impressed with every wine flight to date.
We knew we’d found something special when we heard more about the winery and vineyards from Tom Carroll Sr. He explained to us how they converted their stables and cellars into the winery we see today. His son Vintner Tom Carroll Jr. uses computerized weather stations to collect data on microclimates. His work in creating the same conditions found in European vineyards capable of growing Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, and Viognier. They have a complicated cooling system that is ready to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the fermentation. I learned about their green practices and sustainable farming methods. Instead of using chemicals in their vineyards, they combine organic and biodynamic methods to control weeds, insects and disease. This keeps the taste clean and natural, as it should be.
The Carroll family has created wineries and vineyards that perpetuate happiness. Crossing Vineyards and Winery is hosting the Summer Wine & Music Series. It has few players on weekends. It hosts private events, parties and weddings. They even have a Wine Club! According to their website, you buy 12 bottles each quarter and enjoy 20% off all additional bottle and one box purchases. Member benefits include unlimited free tastings, free summer concert tickets, members-only events, and more!
If you travel to eastern Pennsylvania this is a must experience.