If someone had told me I would spend my Friday night with ghosts and pairing wine with Halloween candy, I would have laughed and thought they were crazy.
But that’s exactly how I spent Friday evening.
Concannon Haunted Hallow Wine Walk
The Concannon Haunted Hallow Wine Walk is not for the fainthearted or diabetic.
The idyllic setting of the Concannon Vineyard becomes transformed after the sun sets and the ghouls come out to play.
I arrived about 30 minutes before sunset, just enough time to snap a few photos of the grounds before the tour.
After downloading my photos, I discovered that my background photo of the Ellen Rowe Concannon Victorian home included additional details that weren’t seen by the naked eye.
The camera lens had captured these two apparitions. And they didn’t look pleased.
During the Haunted Hallow Wine Walk I would later learn that the specters were the ghosts of Ellen Rowe Concannon and a friend.
The fun begins when I pick a wine glass and neon glow stick wristband from among the scattered severed ears, fingers and other assorted body parts on the table.
After choosing my wine glass I’m directed to wait in the courtyard with the other guests and assorted jack-o-lanterns.
Assemblage Blanc and Skittles
I’m handed a pack of Skittles and realized that, ghosts aside, this was not going to be an ordinary wine tasting tour.
The first pairing on the Concannon Haunted Hallow Wine Walk is an Assemblage Blanc and Skittles.
Skittles goes with wine? Who would have thought?
Skittles actually pairs quite well with wine, in particular the Assemblage Blanc from Concannon.
(Because there wasn’t enough light, this will be the only clear photo of the wine and Halloween candy pairing.)
Sipping on Assemblage Blanc and eating Skittles in the courtyard, I begin to settle in.
Unbeknownst to me that there is a ghost among us.
A cool wind blows and the ghost of James Concannon appears in a long black pointed cape. He tells us that he “came over in his coffin” and regales us with tales of the early days of the Concannon Vineyard.
The spirit disappears as we walk towards the Ellen Rowe Concannon Victorian home.
Chardonnay and Candy Corn
The next pairing is a chardonnay and candy corn. The sweet candy corn pairs well with the buttery chardonnay.
Our guide tells us that Ellen Rowe Concannon’s body is not buried in the family plot. Because her body has never been found.
So how did Ellen Rowe Concannon die? Or did she…
Merlot and 3 Musketeers
We follow the dimly lit path to the Concannon Vineyward outside bar where we’re presented with a mini 3 Musketeers bar and a taste of Merlot.
Ironic because Athos ends up in the country at the end of the Three Musketeers, and the Concannon Vineyard is set in countryish setting of the Livermore Valley.
The chocolate flavor of the rich full bodied Merlot is enhanced by the 3 Musketeers bar.
I got lost in the flavor and didn’t pay attention to what the ghost was telling us.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Mounds
Our journey continues past the rows of vines, but it’s dark and the dimly lit path is long behind us.
We’re walking through dirt and along the grapes, the only light is from our iPhone flashlight.
It’s eerily quiet, too quiet.
Suddenly, a spook jumps out from among the grape vines. I barely held onto my wine glass.
After putting my heart back into my chest, I follow the others towards a small structure overlooking a makeshift cemetery.
The Concannon family is not buried in the vineyard. This is merely a fun addition to the Concannon Haunted Hallow Wine Walk.
And a chance to rest and enjoy another wine pairing.
For this pairing, we’re given cabernet sauvignon and bite-sized Mounds bar. The cherry and hints of spice in the cabernet sauvignon offset the coconut in the Mounds bar.
At this point, I’m enjoying the wine and candy and have tuned out on the ghost stories. I’m listening but not taking notes and my thoughts have drifted to, “I wonder what Halloween candy would pair well with champagne?”
Captain Joe’s Petite Sirah and M&Ms
We continue toward the Concannon Vineyard’s barrel room where we’re given M&Ms and Captain Joe’s Petite Sirah.
The small bits of chocolate M&Ms pair nicely with the hints of blueberry blackberry notes of Captain Joe’s Petite Sirah.
Captain Joe shares his story with us.
As we turn the corner, I see a faint glimmer of light. I can’t quite make out what it was, but there’s something luminescent about a set of barrels near the exit so I took a photo.
Someone has lost her way. Could this be the ghost of Nina Ferrario Concannon?
Petite Sirah Port and Snickers
Our last wine pairing was a petite sirah port with a bite sized Snickers bar. Normally ports are really sweet and I don’t like them. But Concannon’s Petite Sirah Port was like Goldilock’s, “just right.” It wasn’t too sweet and was a nice way to end the evening. Of course, anytime chocolate is involved, it’s the perfect way to close an evening.
You can read more Concannon Vineyard ghost stories here.
The Concannon Haunted Hallow Wine Walk is $25 per person. You have to buy your tickets in advance and you must be at least 21 years old to participate.
Costumes are encouraged, but not required. Although, a couple who came dressed as flappers won a tour for 8 people and a private tasting. Not too shabby for putting on a short fringy dress. Flashlights are needed.
I had a great time on the Concannon Haunted Hallow Wine Walk and would highly recommend it.
Moms and dads will appreciate Halloween more if they go on a wine and Halloween candy pairing. When it’s time to raid your kids’ Halloween stash, you’ll know which wine to pair with each piece of candy.
Would you go on a haunted wine walk?
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