Happy (Wine) Trails

Winterthur provides good reason to to explore the Brandywine Valley
Brandywine Wine Trail

We're usually too captivated by the liquid in our glass to explore wine's rich history. Fortunately, the Uncorked! exhibition currently on display at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware's scenic Brandywine Valley provides a trip-worthy education. So head out for an overnight excursion complete with farm-fresh eats, a scenic wine trail and the requisite long country roads (click to see the slide show).

1. Uncorked! Wine, Objects & Tradition at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library: Drive two and a half hours to your destination. There, you'll tour a vast array of more than 300 objects from England and America between the 17th and 19th centuries, ranging from bottles, glassware and decanters to antique wine lists, song sheets and theater posters. 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Winterthur, DE; 800-448-3883 

2. The Orchard Restaurant: Chef Gary Trevisani took a bucolic turn with this elegant farm-to-table spot. The daily-changing, French-inspired menu is reason enough to visit, and Pennsylvania's arcane liquor laws enforce a blessed BYO policy that make it the ideal spot for uncorking that special bottle. 503 Orchard Ave., Kennett Square, PA; 610-388-1100

3. Sweetwater Farm B&B: A renovated 18th-century Quaker farmhouse with original guest cottages, Sweetwater Farm doesn't just do lip service to its name. Visit the estate's friendly family of horses, sheep and goats after a fresh breakfast in the manor house's antique-laden dining room. 50 Sweetwater Rd., Glen Mills, PA; 610-459-4711

4. Grace Winery: Recently constructed on the property of Sweetwater Farm, this fully functioning winery is planted with five acres of vines and operates out of a malting barn that dates back to the 1750s. Although Grace's current releases are limited to two vintages of Chardonnay, plus a tangy, refreshing rosé, new bottlings of Pinot Gris and Merlot can be expected later this summer. 50 Sweetwater Rd., Glen Mills, PA; 610-459-4711

  • Champagne Charlie

    Champagne Charlie, a popular 19th-century music-hall character, serves as Uncorked!'s official ambassador.

  • The Uncorked! display

    Greco-Roman-inspired objects on display in the "Classical References" section of Uncorked!

  • The Orchard restaurant

    The Orchard elegantly lit up for the evening.

  • Day-boat sea scallops

    A Mediterranean-inspired plate of day-boat sea scallops crusted with a Niçoise tapenade in a saffron beurre blanc, which paired gorgeously with the bottle of 2008 Jean Louis Chave Céleste St. Joseph Blanc that we brought from home.

  • Duck breast at the Orchard

    Perfectly crisp duck breast with a side of creamy ramps, one of the Orchard's seasonal specialties.

  • Sweetwater Farm stone farmhouse

    The original stone farmhouse that gives Sweetwater Farm its title.

  • Breakfast at Sweetwater

    One of the best breakfasts in recent memory, served in Sweetwater's comfy dining room.

  • Grace Winery

    Grace Winery's renovated 18th-century barn isn't just ideal for tasting wine; it can also be rented out for events.

  • Grace Winery bottles

    The finished product: bottles of 2009 Grace Winery Chardonnay and 2010 Rosé (based on Merlot grapes).

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The Orchard Restaurant 503 Orchard Ave. Kennett Square PA 19348 610-388-1100 Sweetwater Farm B&B 50 Sweetwater Rd. Glen Mills PA 19342 610-459-4711 Grace Winery 50 Sweetwater Rd. Glen Mills PA 19342 610-459-4711 Winterthur Musuem 5105 Kennett Pike Wilmington DE 19735 800-448-3883

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