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Nassau Valley Vineyards, Lewes

(3.6/5 based on 70+ reviews on the web)
Nassau Valley Vineyards was the first winery in the state of Delaware in the United States, and is currently the largest in the state. When jazz singer Peggy Raley decided to open a winery in Delaware, she first had to get the local state legislature to pass a law allowing wineries in the state. By 1991 she drafted the necessary legislation, and she obtained a license and opened the vineyard in 1993. Until October 2007, when Pizzadili Winery opened, it was the first and only winery in the state. There are eight acres of property at the site, and it caters to the beach-bound tourist traffic in the area.HistoryNassau Valley Vineyards is a pioneer in the modern Delaware wine industry, helping to resurrect the industry in the late 20th century. Prior to the winery's foundation, the history of viticulture in Delaware was sporadic. In the 1630s, the Swedes encouraged their New Sweden settlers in the Delaware River valley to plant grapevines and produce wine that could possibly be exported back to Sweden, a country with little native viticulture of its own. When the Dutch took over the area in the mid 17th century and renamed it New Netherland, they similarly promoted viticulture in the area but found the area more suited for apple orchards. From then on, viticulture and winemaking in Delaware was mostly confined to home winemaking until the late 20th century when Nassau Valley Vineyards opened up the first commercial winery in the state.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a worthwhile visit. The self-guiding wine tour is quite informative though informal. It includes lots of artwork and sayings worth reading. The tour leads you right into the wine tasting room ...  more »
  • I stopped in on a Sunday to drop a freind off after a wedding the night before and the vineyard had a small market set up with local merchants and products paired for wine fanatics. I grabbed some gar...  more »
  • We were the only visitors close to closing time, off-season. Enjoyed the leisurely walk through the building. Display was informative without being overwhelming. Cute gift shop with entertaining sloga...  more »
Google
  • Take some time and drive up to Nassau Valley Winery for the tasting and tour. We really enjoyed the wines, and Maryann was very helpful and knowledgeable both about the wines and about the area and its history. The tasting was $6 for 6 samples and you get to keep the glass. We ended up buying a few bottles to take home. They have a good variety of styles, from dry chardonnays to sweet fruit wines and everything in between, including a great chambourcin. Make -sure- you try the French-style Rose'! It was the highlight of our visit.
  • We are visiting from MN and looked for something casual to do. We stumbled upon this place and were delighted by the scenery and the tiny tour. It's straight forward and was a nice activity for us as a couple. It was very inexpensive to sample 6 of the 12 varieties of wine ($5) that we found very tasty.
  • Great tour. Farmer's market on Sundays in the summer is wonderful. Excellent wines
  • One of our favorite places to stop on the way back from Lewes each. Try the peach and blueberry wines, they're excellent!
  • A quaint repose to explore the history of wine and taste a few delicious samples. We enjoyed spending some time here speaking with the staff as we tasted samples of wines.