Originally published in Mode Magazine July 1996
Our maiden voyage was spent at the Nissley Vineyards in the Bainbridge/Marietta area — approximately a half-hour drive from downtown Harrisburg.
Getting there – its so easy,
even Grandma Mabel could find it!
From Harrisburg, take Route 283 East to Route 441 South (Middletown/Airport exit). Follow 441 South through Middletown. Approximately 10 miles past Middletown, you’ll enter Bainbridge. Marietta is a few more miles down Route 441.
Along the way, there are some stops you might want to make right along the main road. First, if you forgot to pack your picnic items (which you won’t if you pay attention to the Pack Along information) you’ll want to stop at Karn’s grocery store in Middletown (open on Sundays). Be creative. After all, there’s a lot more to a picnic than plastics and potato salad!
The ultimate Central Pennsylvania tour is through Three Mile Island. You’ll know you’re there when you get to the, oh heck, you’ll figure it out. This will be theMAJOR PHOTO OPPORTUNITYso get the kids out of the car and do a pose.
All along the way there are produce stands dotting the street. You can also find some nifty antique shops along the way — a highly unusual sight in Lancaster County, to be sure. You can also stop off at the driving range or take a side trip to Haldeman Mansion. After you pass the junction of Route 241 to Elizabethtown, you’ll find a gas station, which should be utilized, if needed. Conoy Township Park will be further along Route 241.
Now what do I do?
The main attraction of your visit will probably be spent around Nissley Vineyards, not too far after the Scuba place. You’ll see the signs instructing you to take a left onto Wickersham Road and then Stackstown Road. After taking another left into the Winery, follow the driveway and you’ll find an ample gravel parking lot.
This 46 acre winery offers self-guided tours (guided tours are available for groups of 15 or more people), wine tasting and lots of picturesque areas to drop your blanket and laze around.
It should be said that this is not an intimidating winery. The Nissley family is still very involved in the day to day operations and the staff are all very friendly. So, who cares if you don’t know what you’re doing? Get in there and taste the varieties. (Of course, those of you who like to fake it — and your friends know who you are — can still talk the talk). After the tour and the tasting, the most important thing you can do is pick up a chilled bottle of wine at their shop and relish in a civilized picnic. Find a spot on the property and laze and daze as long as you want. You deserve it! (If you forgot your picnic and elected not to stop along the way, the Nissleys sell cheese and crackers, available at the wine shop)
If you brought along your bikes, the country roads offer numerous trails throughout these farmlands and small communities. Just be careful, except for Route 441 and other major roads that offer large shoulders, you’ll be sharing the road with the, albeit limited, traffic.
Fishing in the streams on the Nissley property is also available, but is subject to the hours posted at the fencepost just before the parking lot.
If possible, plan your One Tank Getaway on a summer Saturday evening during their Music in the Vineyards series. These musical events add extra magic to the charm of the Nissley Vineyards. You are encouraged to bring the family, pack picnics and dance on the outdoor dance patios, but you can’t bring in pets or alcoholic beverages.
You can contact Nissley Vineyards at 717-426-3514 for additional information.
• Blanket and/or lawn chairs
• Picnic: basket, corkscrew, plastic wine glasses, utensils, etc.
• Sunglasses, Sunscreen/insect repellent
• Bicycles/Kites/Fishing gear
• Dog and leash (except for the “Music in the Vineyards” festivities
• Cooler with ice and alternate beverages — only water and wine are available at the Vineyard
• Portable tables
• Camera, memory card, extra battery pack
1. From Harrisburg, follow 283 East
2. Take the 441 South exit (Airport exit, but stay on 441 toward Middletown)
3. Follow 441 South approx. 10 miles
4. Turn left at the sign for the Vineyard
5. Follow the signs to the Vineyard
PLACES TO STAY
Cameron Estate Inn & Restaurant
1855 Mansion Lane
Mount Joy, PA 17552
Olde Fogie Farm B&B
106 Stackstown Road
PLACES TO EAT
The Pantry Restaurant (Breakfast and Lunch)
2715 Marietta Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17601