The following stories are the firsthand accounts of witnesses at the Historic Concannon Vineyard Estate.
Years ago, the Concannon Vineyard Tasting Room was very different. The small space was heated by an old fireplace, and a single candle made from an oil-filled Concannon bottle flickered behind the bar. The back wall was lined with racks holding case upon case of Concannon wine, treating guests to an impressive display as they crossed the threshold. When locked, the entry doors were barred by a thick, heavy wooden latch; when unlocked, they opened out onto a tranquil patio.
In the winter, it was necessary to light the stove at 7:30 AM to give it enough time to heat the room before customers arrived. Staff would show up in this still-dark hour to unlock every door, which had been securely latched since the evening previous. Often, employees would unfasten the entryway to be greeted by the gentle, friendly glow of the inexplicably lit wine-bottle candle, which they had most certainly extinguished the night before. Though mystified, the workers simply took this to be a sign from the benevolent spirit of James Concannon the 1st, founder of Concannon Vineyard, whom they affectionately called “Grandfather.”
Throughout the years, the ghosts of Concannon Vineyard have delighted in giving us playful little reminders of their presence. Their demeanor has always been benign and mischievous rather than scary. A favorite pastime of theirs has been to unlock the Tasting Room entrance and lift the heavy latch just seconds after a staff member has fastened it shut. Other times, they have waited for the pouring staff to step out momentarily, and then taken bottles off the shelf and placed them upright in various locations all over the Tasting Room. We can only imagine their amusement at the staff’s bewildered expressions upon returning.
One Tasting Room Pourer observed the act firsthand. On a cold, dark morning, she finished lighting the fireplace and turned back around to see a bottle of Concannon Petite Sirah sneaking off of the shelf behind the bar. As though carried by an invisible hand, the bottle pulled itself out of the rack and gently placed itself upright on the tasting bar. Surprised, the witness replied, “Alright, Grandfather. I know you’re there. Yes, we’ll make sure to pour the Petite Sirah for our guests today.”
More recently, our specters seem eager to be included in all our festivities. Once, during a fancy dinner in the Concannon Barrel Room, an employee observed a wine glass lift itself off a table, pour its contents onto the floor, and gently set itself back where it started. It is doubtful that this gesture was meant to express the ghost’s displeasure with the wine—more likely, the ghost had merely tried to steal a gulp of the wine for himself and forgotten his own discorporate inability to stomach it. Our apparitions also seem to enjoy interfering with our event duties. One witness reported that, while breaking down a dance floor after a party in the Barrel Room, the music he was listening to suddenly became quieter. After traveling across the room to his stereo to turn it back up, he walked away only to hear it soften again. Several more times he raised the volume, and each time it was lowered by an unseen presence. Finally, the unsettled witness left for the night, resolving to finish his task in the morning.
130 years and four generations of family history and winemaking is more than enough time to amass a few lingering spirits. Our ghosts form a rather eccentric part of our hospitality team, overseeing our activities, greeting our guests and taking pride in the legacy they left behind. Next time you visit, raise a glass to Grandfather James and the Concannon winemakers of generations past—they may be toasting back at you!
130 Years of Concannon Ghost Tour – SOLD OUT
Friday, October 25th at 6:30 PM
at the Concannon Vineyard Tasting Room
Must be 21+ to participate.
Listen to more haunting tales of Concannon Vineyard at our 130 Years of Concannon Ghosts event! Delight in ghoulish goodies, your favorite Halloween music, and a flight of the following wines:
|Wines:||Retail price:||Event price:*|
|2011 Reserve Assemblage Blanc||$20||$14|
|2011 Reserve Chardonnay||$25||$17.50|
|2010 Reserve Stampmaker’s Red||$25||$17.50|
|2008 Captain Joe’s Petite Sirah||$36||$25.20|
|2010 Conservancy Crimson & Clover® Red Wine||$18||$12.60|
* Event pricing cannot be combined with any other discounts.
We highly encourage guests to purchase tickets in advance.
$20 per person | $15 per member (2 max per membership)
(Tickets purchased the day-of will be sold at an additional $5 per ticket.)
Click below to purchase tickets!
Must be logged in as a club member to purchase a member ticket.