Picnic! Picnic! Picnic! The art-filled tasting room at 868 Vineyards is lovely, but the real star of this show is out back.
Tables and chairs and picnic tables are tucked beneath big shade trees and far, far out along the grassy lawn. An old whitewashed barn set atop a rugged stone foundation is the backdrop for one of the most charming wineries in the state, reminding us of a cross between the Civil War-era barns of Aspen Dale Winery and the jewel-box landscaping of Hillsborough Vineyards.
A creative series of special events keeps regulars coming back; at this writing, the winery was hosting a monthly women's wine tasting event, called The Vine, and had named August "Butterfly Month," with butterfly walks and talks to introduce visitors to the Monarchs in the estate's milkweed patch. A stash of crayons beneath the bar were ready to be put into action by customers buying the next day's new release - the white-labeled (color your own) Canvas White and Canvas Red.
The Grill is the casual food venue in the Pavilion at 868 Estate Vineyards, open weekends from May through October. Burgers, bbq, and other treats are available, along with live music on Saturday and Sunday afternoons throughout the season. (No outside food in the tasting room or Pavilion.)
For a more upscale dining experience, the popular farm-to-table Grandale Farm Restaurant is also located on the estate. The outside patio is the place to be on warm summer evenings, where no matter where you sit, your view is framed like a photograph.
Pets, kids and weddings all welcome here.
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