Grape Arbor Bed and Breakfast

Lake Erie Winery Update/Take 2

We are off again on our quest to re-visit all of the wineries!  This time we chose two other local North East wineries, Presque Isle and Courtyard.  We get many requests from guests about wineries that serve good–so we wanted to include Presque Isle (they serve lunch and snacks).

Presque Isle Wine Cellars

9440 W Main St, North East PA

(814) 725-1314

Hours thru October– Mon-Sat  11am-6pm  Sunday  11am-4pm

Presque Isle is not directing tasting and snacking to the white farm house on the property.  The building that formerly housed the tasting room down by the creek now primarily sells wine making supplies.

There is a gift shop and tasting bar as you walk in, then seating in the back for the menu items.  The waitress was unable to accommodate our request to conduct the tasting while we were eating, so, if you plan on having some wine while eating–taste first, so you can decide what you want.

The menu was varied and interesting; portion sized were ample and prices were reasonable.  The range of items offered included wraps, flatbread pizzas, soups, salads and sandwiches.  If you call ahead, they will pack your order as a picnic lunch which can be enjoyed outside–a 10% discount on any bottle of wine purchased with picnic lunch.

We ordered the Seafood Bisque, the Grapes of Wrath flatbread pizza, Pineapple BBQ Chicken Wrap, and Build your own Mac and Cheese.  Yea, it’s a lot of food–more than two people could eat…but we wanted a good sampling of what was offered.

Our hands down favorite was…drum roll..the Chicken Wrap–the chicken was moist and warm, with a good contrast between the sweet pineapple and the smoky barbecue sauce.

Grapes of Wrath flatbread consists of pesto covered toasted flatbread with chicken, red grapes and red pepper flakes.  Our sample was heavy on the red pepper, and the chicken was a bit dry.  Nice flavor combination.

The Seafood Bisque is always available, and arrived hot..(a bit too hot).  Flavor was good, but it was a bit thick, with a nice presentation.

The Build your own Mac and Cheese is a unique and fun concept–you pick the type of cheese, seasoning, veggies, and meat.  We ordered it with chipotle pepper and garlic pesto, artichokes and pepperjack cheese.  The overwhelming flavor was the cheese.

Overall assessment is–nice atmosphere, and eclectic choices for lunch.  After the food…onto the tasting.  We will just comment on the new offerings since our last article.

Viognier 2013–Very oaky nose, which was a bit hard to get past

Bianco Fresco–billed as an aperitif, it is lightly carbonated and wonderfully clean and grassy

Freeport White–nice smooth and easily drinkable blend of Sevyal and Cayuga

BluSecco–sparkling mix of Niagara and blueberries; it was hightly carbonated and the Niagara taste dominated the blueberries

Hot Kisses–an ice wine from Vidal grape with the addition of Thai pepper. We found the pepper overwhelming.

Carmine–a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carignan grapes aged in oak.  The description was intriguing–lemongrass, sassafras and mint, but our palates were unable to detect any of those.

Merlot–a nice fruit forward and very drinkable example of the grape

Our server was pleasant, but new to the winery and still on a learning curve.


Courtyard Winery

10021 W Main St, North East PA  16428

(814) 725-0236

Hours:  Mon – Sat 10am – 6pm,  Sunday 12-5pm

I always like to send guests to Courtyard when one party member loves sweet wine and the other prefers dry wine.  Why? Because they have a separate tasting area for each..and, in our opinion, they have good examples of both!

On the dry side (La Courette)

A correction from our previous article, separating out the Captain’s White and Red from the Beach Glass Samples.  The former are dryer and the latter sweeter.  Both the Captain’s Red and White are nice, drier drinkable wines.

All other varieties are available with no changes.  Definite thumbs up for the Vintner’s Reserve and the Noiret.

On the sweeter side (Barjo Bons)

The Beach Glass Red and White are smooth, drinkable, fruity wines.

Dazzle is a Niagara/Cayuga blend that is one of their best sellers.  It is definitely sweet!

White Lies is a three grape blend with an almond/cherry nose that is quite pleasant.

First Kiss is a Cayuga/Catawba blend that has in interesting tart initial taste, then eases into a smooth sweetness..pucker, then kiss!

Mechant is a dessert wine that is..not quite an ice wine, but smooth and pleasant to drink.


Our server was the same server we had almost two years ago!  Knowledgeable and funny!






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