Run By A Teacher, New Winery Plans For Spring Reopening

Aviator Winery winemaker Chris Burns pours wine in the tasting room.
Credit: Submitted

A new winery not far from New Hope recently opened. It comes with a twist, it is run by Central Bucks School District high school math teacher Chris Burns and owner Dan Devery.

Aviator Winery is a Bedminster Township-based winery that’s part of AGA Farms opened recently. It has become a member of the Bucks County Wine Trail.

Aviator Winery grew out of the 100-acre farm that his wife’s family has owned and operated since 1980.

Burns, his wife Laura, and their four children represent the third and fourth generations working on the farm that was originally acquired by Laura’s family in 1980.

Aviator Winery is more than just a winery and already offers seasonal attractions such as pick-your-own pumpkins, hayrides, and corn mazes in the fall, and cut-your-own Christmas trees in the winter.

“We have all this gorgeous property,” Burns said. “It’s all preserved.”

The vineyard, now in its sixth season, covers roughly one acre.

Burns, who started winemaking five years ago, now produces 1,000 gallons annually across ten wine varieties. The types include Riesling, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, and the popular whiskey barrel-aged blend, First Class Cabin.

The Rosé is made with apples grown at Solebury Orchard.

The outside of the winery.
Credit: Submitted

The name ‘Aviator Winery’ is inspired by the half-mile airstrip on the property. The unique feature is one of the few privately owned airports in the area.

The winery’s unique 2,000-square-foot tasting room is set in an airplane hangar complete with a 42-foot wide pull-down door and overlooks a serene waterside view.

Adding to the aviation theme, the winery’s logo showcases a yellow airplane, modeled after an actual 1946 aircraft housed in the hangar.

Dan Devery, Burns’ father-in-law and a certified flight instructor, purchased the farm seven years ago from his father.

Credit: Submitted

While Devery still flies occasionally, his current focus is on the farm’s 14,000 hand-planted pumpkin crops and the fresh Christmas trees offered during the holiday season.

“The pumpkin crop is phenomenal,” Devery said. “They’re very healthy.”

The farm also features a seasonal shop selling wreaths, honey, jewelry, and home décor, all sourced from local vendors. The Burns’ children play an active role, helping with labeling wine bottles and the overall bottling process.

Currently, Aviator Winery has closed for the winter season but plans to reopen in the spring.

Burns envisions expanding the winery’s operations to remain open year-round.

The Bucks County Wine Trail includes nine wineries. They are: Aviator Winery, Bishop Estate Vineyard and Winery, Buckingham Valley Vineyards, Crossing Vineyards and Winery, Manoff Market Cidery, Rose Bank Winery, Rushland Ridge Vineyards, Sand Castle Winery and Vino by Zzino.

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Joe Cavanaugh

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