Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We like to cook with wine, and sometimes we even put some in the food!

We might be excellent wine makers but we're also lovers of good food. After all, what does better with one of our vintages than a homemade meal?

So we've started a series called Cooking with Wine on our Facebook fan page featuring recipes from our member wineries. There are desserts, appetizers, entrees and even drinks.

If you're a Facebook member and aren't already a fan of our page, then we invite you to become one today. Once on our fan page, click on the Notes tab toward the top of the page to see the recipes we've collected so far. Why not print a few out to try at home this weekend? Then post a reply comment here and a photo to our fan page and let us know how what you made turned out.

And if you like these recipes, be sure to pick up a copy of our Lehigh Valley Wine Trail Cookbook at the next Lehigh Valley winery you visit! 

Here's a sample recipe from Mary Sorrenti, owner of Sorrenti Cherry Valley Vineyards in Saylorsburg, to get you started:

Rosemary Garlic Cream Wine Sauce over Cheese Ravioli
Put 2 cups white wine (Cayuga or Chardonnay), 3 or 4 springs fresh rosemary finely chopped and reduce (about 20 min.). Should be around 1/2 cup when finished.

Saute 5 cloves of fresh garlic finely chopped in 1/4 cup good olive oil until very light brown. At the end of saute add hot peppers to liking (we use a Peruvian pepper).

Combine wine, garlic saute and one pint heavy cream, simmer on very low for about 15 minutes.

Serve over cheese ravioli, put good Parmesan on ravioli before topping with the sauce. Sprinkle more cheese and serve with Chardonnay or Cayuga.

Monday, April 26, 2010

An AVA Weekend recap and a Wine on the Mountain teaser

We just wanted to say thanks to everyone who came out and joined us for our first AVA Weekend on Saturday and Sunday. We had one day of good weather followed by one not-so-good day, but surprisingly some wineries were busier during the rain!

We posted photos from Franklin Hill and Clover Hill, where visitors went on an AVA Scavenger Hunt, to our Flickr photo stream. We also posted a few videos that were shot at Franklin Hill, Galen Glen, Vynecrest and Amore. They are short interviews with the winery owners who talked with us about AVA weekend, their newest vintages and improvements to their facilities. Check them out on our Flickr photostream too.

Our next event is Wine on the Mountain at Penn's Peak on July 24 & 25 in Jim Thorpe, Pa. Tickets are on sale at each of the 9 wineries and are $10 in advance or $12 at the door the weekend of the event. The event  takes place on Saturday from noon - 8p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Stay tuned for more details on this event!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

March Madness winners are announced!

The wait is over! The following March Madness participants have been chosen as winners in last week's drawing.

Diana Mumaw of Easton - $50 gift card for Art's Contracting
Lori Damelio of Harrisburg - Gift card for one night's stay at Blue Mountain Restaurant, Bed & Breakfast
Gregory McNutt of Bethlehem - $50.00 gift card for Apollo Grill in Bethlehem
Debbie Cumello of Allentown - $50.00 gift card for Antelao Restaurant
Tracy Gehman of Emmaus - $50.00 gift card for for Moya
Todd Solt of Palmerton - gift card for Longswamp Bed & Breakfast
Aaron Dise of Slatington - $50.00 gift card for Really Cooking Cafe & Supper Club
Candy LaBar of East Stroudsburg - $50.00 gift card for Broadway Pub
Eileen Hanosek of Macungie - $50.00 gift card for Galen Glen Winery in Andreas
Tom Heath of Sussex, NJ - one night stay at Wingate by Wyndham
Colleen Brennan of Sussex, NJ - $25.00 gift card for Country Junction
Lynda Neidlinger of Blairstown, NJ - gift card for Hawk Mountain Bed & Breakfast
MaryEllen Callanan of Easton - $50.00 gift card for Curious Goods at Bake Oven Inn
Victoria Rice of Whitehall - $100.00 GC for Premise Maid
Chef Jeff of Allentown - $50.00 gift card for Bethlehem BrewWorks
Sue Smith of Coopersburg - one night stay at Hampton Inn
Michelle Lambert of Easton - one night stay at Hampton Inn
Megan Garrigus of Landsdale - one night stay at Hampton Inn
Jerry Pandolfi of Phillipsburg, NJ - $50.00 gift card for Amore Winery in Nazareth
Jennifer Mitchell of Brodheadsville - $25.00 gift card for Vinny D's Catering
Sheilla Gehman of Emmaus - one night stay at Hampton Inn
Elaine Altemose of Stroudsburg - one night stay at Wingate
Patricia Schneider of Reeders - $50.00 gift card for AmoreWinery in Nazareth
Catherine McCafferty of Bethlehem - $50.00 gift card for Amore Winery in Nazareth
Heather Olszewski of Wilkes-Barre - Pampered Chef Basket

Congratulations to all of the winners. We'd like to thank everyone who participated in our March Madness Passport Weekends and hope to see you again next year!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sorrenti Cherry Valley wins slew of awards in Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

Congratulations to Mary Sorrenti and the wine making team at Sorrenti Cherry Valley Vineyards in Saylorsburg on their big win at last month's 2010 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Of the 11 wine entries they submitted, 9 of them received medals.

The winners are:
  1. Blueberry Spumante - Silver
  2. Raspberry - Silver
  3. Raspberry Spumante - Silver
  4. Apple wine - Bronze
  5. Blackberry - Bronze
  6. Blackberry Merlot - Bronze
  7. Chancellor - Bronze
  8. Niagara - Bronze
  9. Raspberry Blush - Bronze
Visit Cherry Valley this weekend for the Wine Trail's first A.V.A. Weekend and try some of these award-winning wines to see for yourself why they received these honors. An A.V.A. is a Federal designation of an American Viticultural Area, and the Lehigh Valley is one. So be sure to ask Mary about how the soil in her region of the Poconos affects the grapes she grows and thereby the flavor of her wines. After all, that's what A.V.A. Weekend is all about!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The results are in and once again we're a big winner!

The results of the 2010 Pennsylvania Wine Competition are in and the members of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail have won big once again. Out of 352 entries, 158 medals were awarded (or 44% of all entries). There were 69 Bronze awards, 48 Silver, 34 Gold, and 7 Double Gold as well as 4 Special Awards.

Here is a recap:

  • Clover Hill Vineyards - Chambourcin 2008
  • Galen Glen - Erin’s Auslese 2009
  • Galen Glen - Vidal Blanc Ice Wine 2008
  • Pinnacle Ridge Winery - Riesling 2009
  • Pinnacle Ridge Winery - Vidal Ice Wine 2008
  • Sorrenti Cherry Valley - Pink 2009
  • Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery - Niagara 2008
  • Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery - Pinot Gris 2008

  • Blue Mountain Vineyards - Shiraz 2006
  • Clover Hill Vineyards - Merlot 2007
  • Clover Hill Vineyards - Vignoles N/V
  • Franklin Hill Vineyards - Passion 2008
  • Franklin Hill Vineyards - Vidal Blanc 2009
  • Galen Glen - Chardonnay 2008
  • Galen Glen - Riesling 2009
  • Sorrenti Cherry Valley - Blackberry Wine 2009
  • Sorrenti Cherry Valley - The Chancellor 2009
  • Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery - Last Syrah 2008
  • Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery - Lemberger 2008

  • Franklin Hill Vineyards - Kiss 2009
  • Galen Glen - Claret, 2008
  • Galen Glen - Gruner Veltliner 2009
  • Pinnacle Ridge Winery - Chambourcin 2008
  • Pinnacle Ridge Winery - Merlot 2008
  • Pinnacle Ridge Winery - Quaff 2009
  • Pinnacle Ridge Winery - Veritas 2009
  • Sorrenti Cherry Valley - Blackberry Merlot 2009
  • Sorrenti Cherry Valley - Raspberry Wine 2009
  • Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery - Chambourcin 2008

Congratulations to all of our wineries for a job well done. Cheers!

Monday, April 12, 2010

More details on our new A.V.A. Weekend event April 24 & 25

In one of last week's Taste of the Trail blog posts we told you about our next event which is brand new. It's A.V.A. Weekend taking place April 24 & 25. This event celebrates the region's federal designation as an American Viticultural Area for wine making, which was achieved in April 2008.

A.V.A. Weekend will have an educational theme to it as the different wineries offer visitors a chance to learn more about the "terroir" or soil of our region and how it affects the grapes grown here and the flavor of the resulting wine.

Here is the list of what each of our nine wineries is planning for our newest weekend event:

Amore Winery in Nazareth: " Taste the Terroir" - Experience the taste difference produced by our mineral rich soil. You will taste the complexity in our wine. Also, we will serve homemade tomato sauce from our very own tomatoes. This will be a delight to remember. Our greenhouses will open for the season. Get hardy garden flower and vegetable plants. Think hanging baskets. Geological maps will illustrate the unique structure of our soil. Join us in celebration.

Big Creek Winery in Kresgeville: For AVA weekend we will be "Tasting the meaning of AVA' with varietal wines from comparable AVA's for people to taste the importance of location.

Blue Mountain Winery in New Tripoli: Check back soon for details!

Cherry Valley Vineyards in Saylorsburg: "Meet the wine maker" and learn the differences of grapes grown  in our AVA and how that affects the end product, tours of the winery will be available, and comparison tasting.

Clover Hill Vineyards in Breinigsville: Help Clover Hill Winery celebrate the land that we love to grow grapes on! We will be hosting a vineyard scavenger hunt at Clover Hill Winery.  Stop in the tasting room anytime between noon -5 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday to receive your vineyard scavenger hunt list and rules, then off you go into the vineyard to find your items.  Return to the tasting room with your completed list and we will give you a prize!

Franklin Hill Vineyards in Bangor: Come see and enjoy the first established vineyard and winery in the Lehigh Valley. Our vines are 34 years old. We are excited about planting our second vineyard. We hope you will be able to see the early stages of the planting of our vineyard in the new Lehigh Valley AVA. We will be featuring Evanswood, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc and Katie's Creek. These award-winning wines are still being produced from our original vines. Supporting local agriculture, we will be featuring our Gold Medal Apple Wine with apples freshly picked from Kachline's Farm along with their apple butter and honey for sale. Delicious local cheeses from Klein's Farm will also be for sale.

Galen Glen Winery in Andreas: Interactive Soil Experience: Tours, Dessert and Master Gardeners. As stewards of our 200 year old farm, Galen will offer tours and tales of our soils.  In the theme of terroir, taste some “Dirt Dessert” paired with our Barrel 29. And on Sunday from 12:30-4:30 p.m., the Schuylkill County Master Gardeners will dispense advice on soil health, amendments, nutrients and their importance, pH and have soil test kits available to purchase.

Pinnacle Ridge Winery in Kutztown: Pinnacle Ridge celebrates the anniversary of our AVA designation by holding educational talks in our vineyard on “Terrior.”(Putting it a bit more plainly, our soil.) Why is the Lehigh Valley such a prized grape growing region? What about its soil and climate make the Lehigh Valley so suitable? Pinnacle Ridge winemaker, Brad Knapp, will take you into our vineyard and talk about dirt, rocks, rain, minerals –ask questions- Brad loves the inquisitive! Pinnacle Ridge will be serving a variety of locally grown foods and pairing them with our amazing wines. Bad Farms from Kempton PA will be showcasing their cheeses made from their own cows! Pinnacle Ridge will serve home-made pizza using mushrooms from Oley Valley Mushroom from Lobachsville,PA and cheese from Bad Farms! Additionally, we will serve a Micro-greens salad made from local farmer, Oh, Produce in Kempton, PA.

Vynecrest Winery in Breinigsville: Saturday April 24th, in honor of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate our Lehigh Valley AVA, Percy Doughtery will be our guest at 1pm. Percy, a former geology professor at Kutztown University, is a Lehigh County Commissioner, Wine Judge and Wine Professor at Northampton Community College. He will be joining our winemaker John Landis in the vineyard to dig a hole and discuss the terroir of the Lehigh Valley. Reservations are not required. In the winery, we will have Rob & Marty playing live on Saturday, and Arianne on Sunday from 1 - 4:30 pm. We will also have samples of our Jose Madrid Salsa to accompany tastings of our Estate -bottled Chambourcin. Open to the public, free admission.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr too!

We'd like to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read our first blog posts for Taste of the Trail. While we've been on Facebook for quite awhile with a fan page of our own, we've recently expanded our social media involvement to LinkedIn, Twitter and Flickr too.

If you have a profile or account with these web sites, we'd love to connect with you there too. So please check us out. These sites are yet another way to stay connected to the Wine Trail and its member wineries. They're a great way to find out about upcoming special events, promotions, news and more!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Galen Glen Winery in Andreas wins big at Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

We're proud to report that Galen Glen Winery in Andreas brought home seven medals from the recent Finger Lakes International Wine Competition  in New York. More than 3,000 wines and over 600 wineries from the U.S., Canada and other counties competed in this event.

And the medals recap is:
  • Chambourcin 2008 - GOLD - the only Chambourcin to receive a Gold medal (available for sale soon)
  • Gewurztraminer 2009 - GOLD - 1 of 3 Gold for this type of wine (available for sale now)
  • Vin Gris 2009 – Silver (available now)
  • Ice Wine 2008 – Silver (available now)
  • Zweigelt 2009 - Silver (available soon)
  • Cabernet Franc 2008 - Bronze  (available soon)
  • Traminette 2009 – Bronze (available now)
Congratulations to Galen, Sarah and their team of wine makers at Galen Glen! We encourage you to try all of these award winning vintages.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mark your calendars for our next event - A.V.A. Weekend

Our next special event takes place Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25 and is brand new. A.V.A. Weekend - From the Soil, to the Vine, to the Glass - celebrates the Lehigh Valley region's official designation as an American Viticultural Area, which was obtained in April 2008.

An AVA is a federal designation that enables vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to identify wines they purchase. The Lehigh Valley AVA is distinguished in part by rolling hillsides, an agricultural climate and soil composed mainly of shale, sandstone and siltstone.

It means that when you drink wine from a Lehigh Valley Wine Trail winery, you know that you are drinking something that is locally produced, unique, and specifically crafted to best showcase the Lehigh Valley!

This event will feature educational components at each winery as we teach you about what the French call "terroir" or the soil. We'll explain how the soil in our region effects the growing of the grapes and the wine's resulting taste. Some wineries will offer vineyard tours and talks, while others will feature tastings and food pairings.

Event hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 5 p.m. We hope you will join us! Stay tuned for more information!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail wineries wish you a Happy Easter

The owners of the nine family-owned and operated wineries of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail would like to wish all of their friends and customers a very happy and special Easter holiday weekend.

We hope you are able to enjoy the fine weather predicted for this weekend with your friends and family, making memories and enjoying the time together.

And if a bottle of one of our fine local wines happens to grace your Easter dinner table, we thank you for your patronage and look forward to seeing you in our wineries again soon.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pinnacle Ridge Winery graces the cover of a leading trade magazine

Congratulations to Lehigh Valley Wine Trail member Pinnacle Ridge Winery in Kutztown for being featured as the cover story in the current edition of Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine.

This is a high profile placement for the winery in a key trade publication. Owners Brad Knapp and Christy Allen were interviewed for the article which also features several great photos of the winery.

Our blogger friend Paul Vigna with The Wine Classroom picked up on it and added his own input in his blog post.

Have you visited Pinnacle Ridge? What wines did you try? Which one was your favorite?

We'd like to hear from you. Give us your feedback!