Every March a bunch of us get together to experience "Vino in the Valley," one of the many events throughout the year organized by the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail. It is a lot of fun because by then, we can't wait to get out of the house after a long winter of cabin fever.

Well, coming up on October 17 - 18, we can take the scenic drive around Lehigh Valley to the nine family-owned wineries that make up the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail before we batten down the hatches for winter. It will also be a great time to check out the fall foliage as we celebrate Chambourcin Weekend.

The Chambourcin grape grows very well in our area and is the only one grown at all nine vineyards. The versatility of this grape allows each winery to put its own spin on the style of wine they produce. You can find anything from semi-sweet, sweet, dry barrel aged, sparkling wines, and even port. I love seeing how each wine maker adds their personality to this local grape.

As a Lehigh Valley Wine Trail event, you can enjoy tastings, live entertainment, tours or food pairings at the various tasting rooms. For example, Franklin Hill will have a mulled wine bar and Chef Phil from Social Still's award-winning chili for purchase.

Vynecrest will host Vince's Cheese Steak Food Truck and will pair their 2013 Estate-Bottled Chambourcin with "Mini-Vinnies" steak sandwiches where the meat is marinated in their Chambourcin wine. Chili will also be on the tasting menu at Galen Glen using Brian Eager's recipe, winner of their 2015 chili competition. 2016's title is up for grabs, so start honing your favorite chili recipe.

For something a little different, Clover Hill will also have samples of fresh pressed Chambourcin grape juice so you can see how it tastes before they work their magic. Juice will also be available for sale while supplies last. On Saturday, Tolino Vineyards will pair their 2012 Chambourcin with Vanilla Bean Pudding by Trixie's Treats. YUM!

Don't miss your opportunity to stock up for the upcoming holiday season. Grab your favorite fall sweater and hit the trail to celebrate Lehigh Valley's favorite grape!