History and Mystery in the Endless Mountains

As you probably saw in a previous post, we spent the weekend up in Sullivan County. Talk about a difference in climate! Temperatures hovered around 70 degrees in York last Friday, and we barely made it to 30 degrees up north. I’m one of those weird people that actually like winter, so I was happy with it…especially when it snowed during our stay.

We took a brisk walk through the woods around the cabin and just took in the wintry world around us. Take a look at what we found.
Winter Sky.jpg

Winter Stream.jpg

Now on to the really interesting part. While visiting the area last summer, we sampled some wines from a local winery, Grovedale. They had a table set up at a festival. With the first taste their Desert Rose wine, I knew it would be the perfect red wine to serve at the wedding. It’s just the right amount of dry and sweet…and very drinkable. We made a mental note to journey back up here closer to the big day and buy a case or two.

Last Saturday we made the short drive (from the cabin) over to Wyalusing to Grovedale. Sure, we bought our red wine for the wedding, among a couple other varieties, but we also learned about the history of the farm and winery…and the mystery therein.

Grovedale has been in the Welles family since 1812. It’s now into its 8th generation! In the early years, one could ride a horse from the main house in Wyalusing all the way to Scranton and they would never have left the Welles property. Around 1900, the Welles family living at Grovedale mysteriously disappeared. As we were told, they left with breakfast fresh on the table and their clothing hanging in the closet. They were never seen or heard from again.

The house, called the Big Red House, sat empty for 80 years, though it remained in ownership of the family. In 1980, the house was remodeled and restored by Dean and Kay Welles Homer. It is now on the National Historic Registry. You can even tour the building before heading over to the wine tasting room.
Grovedale Tasting Room.jpg

The tasting room is gorgeous, but not as great as their wines. There are more wineries than you would think up there. All are pretty good, but this one is my favorite. Grovedale has eight acres of vineyards, specializing in Riesling and Minnesota French hybrid varieties. Their wines are award winning. In fact, Grovedale’s Desert Rose took bronze in the Finger Lakes International Competition and Gold in the 2010 Pennsylvania Wine Competition. If you like a good port and you’re in the Wyalusing area, I highly recommend stopping by for a sample. You will want to buy a bottle or two.

So there you have it. We came for wine and left with a mystery!

If you go:
Grovedale Winery
RR 2
Wyalusing, PA 18853

For even more travel stories and photos, check out Bil’s Eye View at www.yorkblog.com/bil.

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