Wineries and breweries often make popular choices as off-site venues, providing an unusual space for a cocktail reception, or a guided tour and tasting. But many wine and beer businesses are changing the game, adding larger and more fully equipped meeting space so that planners can take their entire program to the venue. Some locations offer lodging and full-scale restaurants, while others specialize in hands-on experiences such as chef’s tables, behind-the-scenes tours and classes on food and drink pairings.
Before planning your next event, consider hosting your group at one of the following wineries and breweries.
The Inn at Grace Winery
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
Surrounded by the towering trees of Sweetwater Wood in Brandywine Valley, the Inn at Grace Winery provides a scenic retreat in one of Pennsylvania’s most historic regions. The beautiful 50-acre property can host anywhere from six to 140 guests at one of its distinct venues, which include an 18th-century Quaker manor house, a renovated malting barn and an outdoor amphitheater.
The Barn at Grace Winery was originally used for malting barley and other grains into distilled spirits. In 2010, the structure was lovingly restored and transformed into a chic, rustic event space. Visitors will notice repurposed materials throughout the building, such as sinks made from old horse troughs and a bar top created from steps that once lined the entrance of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. On the lower level of the barn, groups of 15 to 30 can dine surrounded by large, steel fermentation tanks, rows of oak barrels and the farm’s original kiln.
“You can sit among the barrels and tanks, and depending on the day, you can even see the vintners making the wine,” said Elizabeth Clark, general manager of the winery.
Planners can also make use of the main event space on the top floor of the barn, which accommodates up to 140 guests, or set up a relaxing reception on the back patio overlooking Sweetwater Woods.
Built in 1734, the historic Quaker manor house features Georgian architecture and 15 elegant guest rooms. Over the years, it has served as a refuge for British soldiers following the Battle of Brandywine, a safe house along the Underground Railroad and, later, a Civil War infirmary. The manor’s speak-easy wine cellar is one of the most popular choices for corporate retreats. Smaller groups of six to 10 can make themselves at home as they sit down at a large, wooden barn table encircled by stone walls and then enjoy a five-course meal with hand-selected wine pairings from executive chef Scott Megill.