A sense of peace starts to settle on visitors who wind their cars up a gravel driveway toward the lovely tasting room at Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery. Located inside a bright red building, the tasting room has wrought-iron tables and chairs on a sheltered veranda, as well as a patio area protected by crayon-color umbrellas. Co-owners Dennis Reynolds and his wife, Cindy, work beside several other knowledgeable employees to keep sample glasses filled and questions answered. Selections include Flyboy Red, designed to satisfy Merlot and Pinot Noir lovers, and Ruby Red, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chancellor grapes that Cab lovers should enjoy. If there's any on hand, try the Chardonnay, one of the top sellers. And beat the heat with Citron, a chilled dessert wine with a bright combination of white wine, organic lemon juice and brandy.
On many Sunday afternoons, the winery hosts live outdoor music. And Somerset's wines, priced from $13.99 to $19.99 per bottle, are available in many local liquor stores. But sampling and purchasing wine on-site is far tastier and much more fun. Round out an afternoon by stopping at the nearby NightHawk Vineyard and Winery and Middle Creek Winery; they are part of the increasingly popular Somerset Wine Trail.