The first thing you’ll notice when you pull onto the grounds at Basignani Vineyards is the welcoming committee. As you pull into the grounds, three of the most beautiful Border Collies I have ever seen will follow your car until it stops, staying wide of its tires, and then wait patiently as you climb out. When you do, they will lead you to the front door of the tasting room as if they’re actually saying, “Come on in. See what our humans have been up to.”
I have a special place in my heart for Border Collies. When I was a baby, my grandparents had the most amazing Border Collie who considered my twin sister and me “her” babies. Fiercely protective, this was the type of dog who would keep the mailman at bay, even when my mom was on the porch watching over us.
But my point is the wine, and Basignani has some awesome ones. Tastings are $5, but you run the full gauntlet, and a dollar is knocked off with every one of your first five bottles of wine. I especially loved the Marisa, a jammy red, the Elena, a dry white that’s a bit like Pinot Grigio, and the Monkton Moon Delight, a semi-sweet blush that would be perfect for evening picnics.
Speaking of those evening picnics, Friday nights in June and July bring the TGIF Movie night. The list of movies isn’t available yet for this year, but events in the past have included such family-friendly fare as Ratatouille, Mama Mia, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Tickets are $8. Bring a picnic, a lawn chair, and a couple of dog treats. The welcoming committee would appreciate it.
They would, however, also appreciate it if you didn’t bring anyone else who might be interested in sharing said treats. In other words, leave the pets at home, please, for both the movie events and all other visits you might make out there.
In the meantime, make plans for the Swing into Spring Weekend (May 1 & 2), the official roll-out for the Monkton Moon Delight and Marisa Dolce. Tickets are $8. You bring the picnic (and puppy treats), they’ll provide the wine glasses and desserts.
If you’re interested in learning how wines are made, make your reservations now for the Harvest Saturdays (September and October) by calling the Winery at (410) 472-0703. RSVPs are required because certain dates will fill up. Pick the grapes, learn how a grape becomes a wine, and enjoy a delicious lunch provided by the winery when you’re done.
Basignani Winery is located just off the Harrisburg Expressway and Falls Road, about six miles north of Hunt Valley. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11:30-5:30, and Sunday 12-6. For more information, please visit www.basignani.com.\