Shaed Mountain

Jenny Zimmerman, of the Shade Mountain Winery shop in Riverside, holds up a bottle of the spiced-apple wine in 2015.

If a glass of wine brings on that festive feeling for you, this might be the perfect holiday event.

The Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau (CMVB) announced a Holiday Wine Trail that starts this Friday and runs through Sunday, Dec. 13, at participating Columbia and Montour County wineries.

Trail-goers can taste seasonal wines and get their tickets stamped along the way. Participants with a stamp from each winery can turn in their completed tickets to be entered to win winery gift baskets and a grand prize basket. The grand prize basket will offer a selection of wines from each winery.

“The idea is just to get people out, get them into the winery briefly to enjoy the atmosphere of supporting local businesses before moving on to the next stop,” said Jenny Nicola, manager of Shade Mountain Winery and Vineyard, in Middleburg. Shade Mountain also has a Riverside location.

In deference to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, visits at the wineries will be brief. Unfortunately, lingering cannot be encouraged.

“It will be sort of a grab-and-go thing,” Nicola said.

As an added incentive, wineries will offer a free souvenir wine tumbler glass for the first 50 wine trail starters at each location. Trail tickets are available at no cost, but tasting fees may apply at the wineries.

“Come out and try our limited edition Christmas wines,” said Rich Chesney, co-owner along with John Motyka of Kulpmont Winery at the Ol’ Country Barn, in Benton.

Kulpmont Winery has four holiday wines on its list: Christmas Blush, Santa Sangria, Winter White and Rudolph Red.

Shade Mountain Winery will have warmed cups of their Grinch Grog for participants to take with them.

“The label is fun, too,” Nicola said. “It makes a nice holiday gift.”

Participating wineries besides Kulpmont Winery at the Ol’ Country Barn, in Benton, and Shade Mountain Winery & Vineyard, in Riverside, are: Cardinal Hollow Winery Outlet at Winding Creek Shops, in Benton; Colonel Ricketts Hard Cider Winery, in Benton; Juniata Valley Winery Outlet at Nature’s Outdoors, in Benton; and Red Shale Ridge Vineyards Outlet, in Danville.

Wineries will be open during their normal posted hours, which can be found, along with COVID-19 guidelines, on winery websites or by calling the businesses.

“The Holiday Wine Trail is a way of remembering to shop local and support small businesses,” Nicola said. “And to remember that wineries do have great gifts to offer for the holidays.”

For directions to the 2020 Holiday Wine Trail wineries, visit “Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau” on Facebook or call the Visitors Bureau at 570-784-8279. Trail-goers can also download the CMVB mobile app for portable wine trail directions and information about each winery.

Email comments to CindyOHerman@gmail.com

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