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“A Rare Good Surprise”

Nassau Valley Vineyards
Ranked #13 of 52 things to do in Lewes
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed July 13, 2014

After visiting friends in New Jersey, my wife and took the Cape May-Lewes Beach ferry instead of I-95 to start our trip back home to North Carolina. As she likes to browse the shops in the area , we take this route from time to time.
Apparently she was talking to one of the other guests at the hotel where we stayed and they mentioned that there was a winery in the area which turned out to be about 15 minutes from our hotel.
As I write a wine column for our local newspaper, I had no great expectations but thought it might be interesting and to me almost anything beats going from store to store.
We found the vineyard/winery with no problem. It has a small parking area out front-perhaps 15 cars and the entire setup was small but set amongst the vineyards where some of the grapes are grown which are made into their wines. As they have about 4 acres under production, they source some of their juice from other vineyards both within and outside of Delaware.
The woman behind the counter was quite knowledgeable about the wines produced at the site and was very friendly and attentive. There were 2 other couple when we arrived.
There is a $5 charge per person and they give you a list of 14 wines and you get to pick 6. As is proper, they start with a light Pinot Grigio and end the list with sweet wines 2 made from fruits I(Peach and Blueberry) and one white and Red sweet wine.
As I am not a sweet wine fan although I would never turn down a Sauterne, I found several good choices. The wines were better than I expected. A decent Cabernet Sauvignon and a vintners blend comprised of Cabernet Franc (53%), Chambourcin (37%) and Merliot (10%). Aged for 13 months this wine in 100 % new French Oak, the wine is pretty good and has some tannins which give it aging potential.
I dislike paying full retail for wine but I did buy 6 bottles including 2 of their Rose which is in the French style which makes it a lot of steps up from Blush wine. I think the Rose will pair well with light BBQ fare or Pizza and even with cheese (cheddar), crackers and grapes.
I found the time well spent and there was a self guided tour which included some historical wine related items such as old bottles and corkscrews and a number of pictures and a description of the winery and how they go about producing their wines.
They also sell a limited amount of wine related items.
I would recommend stropping for a visit. It was a good surprise. The phone number is 303-645-wineand the address is 32165 Winery Way Lewes Beach Delaware 19958.

1  Thank wydrune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 3, 2014

We had never been to this vineyard even though we had lived in the immediate area for decades. Since our neighbors enjoy wine, we thought this would be a thoughtful souvenir gift from our trip to the beach. So off we went...

Once at the vineyard, we parked in front of the tasting room. We saw the sign painted on the side of the building for the FREE tour. So, we decided we would take the tour before purchasing our souvenir. This was a self guided tour & had little to do with the actual wine making process at Nassau Valley Vineyards. There was a gallery with local artwork for sale (expensive). IF you looked through the glass windows on the floor behind the banquet tables in that gallery you could see the fermentation tanks and equipment, but there were no informational signs or videos. There were a few more galleries, but they just were not that interesting either. I was more impressed with the wall of wine racks and wine barrels that lined the gallery leading to the tasting room.

Once we finished the last gallery, we were dumped off into the gift shop & tasting room. The tasting room had a country-rustic feel to it. It was nicely decorated with some pretty twinkle lights. Entering the room, I noticed some t-shirts & bottles of wine. However, there was also a big dog laying on the floor. The little kids that went on the tour with us are afraid of dogs & they were afraid to enter the tasting room. The staff, which appeared the be the owner, did not make any attempt to move or harness the dog. Instead, she told the kids that the dog would not hurt them & that he "keeps the animals away" on the farm. After a few minutes of screaming, crying & trying to get the kids to move through the door so they could exit through the tasting room, the owner finally did move the dog to the side. The kids went outside with Dad & so I could purchase the one bottle of wine I had come to get. The owner half-heartedly helped me make a wine selection for our friends & rang me up. Even though I told her this purchase was a gift, there was no offer to gift wrap OR even sell me some sort of wine gift bag. The bottle of wine was placed in a brown paper sack & handed over without even a Thank You, Have a Nice Day OR Come Again. The owner did not apologize for the dog or even try to make conversation. Really poor customer service.

Back outside, the kids were enjoying the flowers that surrounded the tasting room. No doubt about it, it is a beautiful place. They even have an outhouse that makes a cute spot for a souvenir photo. There were picnic tables that lined the parking lot. It might be a nice place to eat lunch with the family after taking the tour (IF that is even allowed). They have a spot on location where they hold weddings. It is adjacent to the parking lot. It seemed OK, but nothing spectacular to look at. Maybe you have to see it all decorated to appreciate it.

Overall, the vineyard grounds are beautiful. I enjoyed the setting & flowers. The tour was not what I expected. We have taken SEVERAL winery tours while on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains region & none of them were like this. ALL of the tours in TN were guided and informational. Plus the staff were always energetic & willing to answer questions. The tastings & tours in Tennessee were ALWAYS FREE!! Most of the time they are paired with complimentary cheese & crackers. NOT here! The staff at Nassau Valley was almost bitter and had no personality. No common courtesy. Wine tastings at Nassau Valley are NOT FREE. A wine tasting here is $5 for 6 samples & you get to keep the tasting glass. I know because I read the papers laying on the counter, NOT because I was offered a wine tasting at Nassau Valley. How do you expect to sell your wine if you cannot engage the customer? A little bit of common courtesy goes a long way. Self guided tour leaves much to be desired. You can learn more about Nassau Valley Vineyards on their website than the actual tour. Not to mention that I have never seen a dog on a wine tasting tour before...well, not until Nassau Valley. It just doesn't seem appropriate to have animals in an area where you serve the public, whether it be food, beverages or wine. Not to mention that some people are allergic to them or even afraid of them.

Bottom line...this place has so much potential, but it is run poorly. Not a true winery tour, so not worth a special trip OR detour. IF you are in the area & love vineyards...take a peek, but don't expect stellar service OR even a smile.

6  Thank daisyferret1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2014 via mobile

It takes a certain type of person to deal with the public.......it takes a certain sense of respect and customer service.....it takes a certain level of morals and character. Without these things you cannot make a business prosper. The business becomes stagnant....and just makes due with clientele they already have.
It amazes me that Nassau Valley Vineyards has been in business for as long as it has with the disrespect shown by their owner Peggy. Before attending this establishment I have heard nothing but good things about this business as well as their eclectic owner. This owner is not a professional woman. She is extremely disorganized and does not work with you on planning events. She is next to impossible to get in touch with.....something as simple as returning my 6 phone calls....seems hard to achieve for this woman. As a mother of a bride I am extremely stressed as it is and Peggy does not help relieve this stress in the very least. I will no longer be recommending this business to anyone.

4  Thank beachtan_sun63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2014 via mobile

It amazes me the lack of attention this establishment seems to recieve. The outside of the buildings on site are very nice with a rustic theme to them.
But I have never been more appalled....and just overall disgusted with how the inside of their retail room looks. The "walk through tour" is not only completely outdated and far from modern....it lacks any credibility to the actual business I am visiting. The displays on the tour have NOTHING to do with Nassau Valley Vineyards. You would think the tour was about the vineyard you are visiting.....With a few wine facts here and there. Not have a tour about items completely unrelated.
This business has alot of work to do on the inside. ....they could start by not serving me my wine overtop of stacks of paper. And make their retail room something with class....Instead of a junked up closet.

3  Thank maryphillips45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2013

Nassau Valley Vineyards has been advertised all around southern Delaware and a little upstate as Delaware's AWARD WINNING and first Vineyard. You would think with such advertising they would present themselves in a better way.
My Daughter had her wedding out there and although the buildings were decorated nicely the woman who was "in-charge", her name is Peggy, was very flustered and seemed to be disorganized. My daughter had her wedding booked for months with Nassau Valley Vineyards....and to be running around cleaning the bathrooms and I believe she was leaf blowing...hours before my daughter walks down the isle is unacceptable. We paid a lot of money for this place.
These "maintenance" tasks should have been done before hand. We had guests showing up and the woman was still cleaning.
Nassau Valley Vineyards is a nice Vineyard but they truly lack in Presentation and Organization.
If they work on that this could be a wonderful attraction for Southern Delaware.

4  Thank Melissa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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