Thursday, July 29, 2010

Upcoming Lehigh Valley Wine Trail events

Wine on the Mountain may be over, but we still have three more Lehigh Valley Wine Trail events coming up yet this year. They are:

•    Harvest Weekend – The Butcher, The Baker and The Winemaker – September 11 & 12 – The wineries proudly promote the state’s “Pennsylvania Preferred” program by partnering with manufacturers of other Pennsylvania products to showcase their high level of quality. Wine pairings, vineyard tours, food, music and other special activities are featured.

•    Chambourcin Weekend – October 16 & 17 - Taking place after the harvest is over, this event celebrates the “official wine grape of the Lehigh Valley,” the Chambourcin.

•    Nouveau Weekend – November 20 & 21 - This is the earliest chance to sample the first vintages of the new harvest. It’s also a great opportunity to purchase wines for the upcoming holiday season to give as gifts or to drink at dinner. March Madness passports also go on sale this weekend.

Mark your calendar and plan to join us for all of them. We hope to see you there! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Last call for Wine on the Mountain!

Hopefully by now you've heard or seen us promoting our next Lehigh Valley Wine Trail event which takes place tomorrow and Sunday at Penn's Peak in nearby Jim Thorpe, Pa.

We're been working hard this month to get the word out through our social media marketing efforts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and this blog, as well as through public relations with the media in the Lehigh Valley and Poconos. We've even done some advertising on WDIY-FM 88.1, Facebook ads, and in local newspapers including The Morning Call. So obviously we're hoping for a BIG turnout!

Just wanted to remind everyone that Wine on the Mountain is a rain or shine event since it takes place indoors. The outdoor deck offering panoramic views of Beltzville Lake and the surrounding mountainside. But if it's a little too hot outside for you, don't worry; there's plenty of room inside the air conditioned venue for everyone.

And also remember that we're not just sampling wines at this event but we're selling them too - individual bottles and cases. So find a few favorites at each winery and take some bottles home with you. Or buy a bottle to enjoy there with friends. There is also live musical entertainment and arts and craft vendors.

Hope to see you Saturday or Sunday at The Peak!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vote for your favorite original toast for The Great PA Wine Toast event

The Great PA Wine Toast event on Saturday, August 14 is just weeks away. We're hoping you are going to join our participating Lehigh Valley wineries in our state-wide attempt to set a new world record.

Earlier this summer there was a contest to to write an original toast for the big day which will be read by host Mario Andretti. Submissions were narrowed down to five nominees, one of which is from right here in the region (Bath, Pa.). Give the toasts a read below and then follow this hyperlink to the Pennsylvania Wine & Wineries web site to vote for your favorite.

Voting ends Sunday, July 25, so vote today!

Richard - West Chester

Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye, in this our quest for fame,
Will all the Pennsy wineries, too numerous to name,
Raise your glasses with me now, to set the record toast,
So we in Pennsylvania, will have the right to boast!

Brian - Sewickley

I call to you, friends, to stand and raise your glass!
To challenge a record, we hope to surpass.
Not only for this, we rise to salute,
Our fair state and its wine, of distinguished repute.
From its lush rolling fields, to its mountainous ‘scape,
The heart of Pennsylvania, lies in its grape.
Remember this, friends, wheresoever you go,
And you’ll be blessed to age well, like a distinctive Merlot.
As we stand here united, under the Keystone State sky,
May our cups runneth over. May they never go dry!

Ricki - Greensburg

We are here today to celebrate another record-setting year for the Pennsylvania wine industry. Pennsylvania, with its moderate climate and rolling hills, produces 14,000 acres of grapes. Wineries, with medals and awards, conveniently located near major cities and highways, offer an experience of old world traditions. Wine, a mixture of mystery, science and art, cannot be rushed. Let us raise our glasses to toast the success of Pennsylvania’s wines. Congratulations to all, as we set a world record for the largest tasting ever conducted. Cheers!

Pat - Bath

Friends, family, and fellow wine lovers, this is a special day in Pennsylvania wine history. We gather here in honor of the more than 100 wineries throughout the state and the dedication, hard work and hospitality of everyone involved in growing, making, selling and, of course, drinking the wine that brings us to this memorable event. Raise your glasses in honor of all the folks living their passion every day to bring us the award-winning wines we all enjoy. Cheers!

Constance - Gettysburg

Hi, I'm Mario Andretti, here to raise a toast in celebration of our Pennsylvania Vineyards. The variety and quality of grapes and the dedication of vintners have elevated the Pennsylvania wine industry to the rank of the fourth largest winegrape producer in the nation, all in a relatively short span of time. Whether hearty or light, smooth or lively, these distinctive offerings reflect the hospitality and warmth of the families creating them. Each is a delight to sip and savor. With these wines, there’s never a race to the finish. To the Pennsylvania vineyards and wineries, Salud!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Clover Hill's Vineyard and Winery Tour

Many of our wineries offer vineyard and winery tours during the warm summer months. We've found that visitors to our wineries enjoy hearing about the process of growing the grapes, harvesting them and then pressing them to produce the juices which we ferment into the wines they buy.

Some of our wineries have regularly scheduled tours, while others only offer tours on special event weekends. One of the wineries with regular tours is Clover Hill in Breinigsville. A recent tour lead by owner Pat Skrip was captured in a series of videos that can be watched on the Wine Trail's YouTube channel.

The hour-plus long walking tour begins where all great wines begin - in the vineyard! As it progresses, the tour includes wine tastings  and ends at the winery's wine tasting bar for more sampling.

Check out the web sites for each of our nine wineries and their calendar of winery events to see if any of them have upcoming tours that you can take. Some charge a small fee for the tours while others are free.

Tell us which of our wineries gives the best tour in your opinion and why.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wine on the Mountain reminder

7th Annual “Wine on the Mountain” event returns to Penn’s Peak on July 24 & 25. Tickets now on sale at all nine Lehigh Valley Wine Trail wineries. 9 wineries under one roof!

The Wine on the Mountain wine festival includes wine samplings from nine Lehigh Valley wineries, local artisans displaying their arts and crafts, light fare available for purchase, and live entertainment.

Tickets are required for this event and are now on sale at all nine Lehigh Valley Wine Trail wineries (see list below). They are $10 in advance or $12 at the door the weekend of the event. Admission includes a commemorative tasting glass. Attendees must be 21 years of age or older.

WHEN:    Saturday, July 24 from noon – 6 p.m., and Sunday, July 25 from noon – 5 p.m.

WHO:        The nine wineries of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail:
  • Amoré Vineyards & Winery, Nazareth 
  • Big Creek Vineyard and Winery, Kresgeville
  • Blue Mountain Vineyards, New Tripoli 
  • Sorrenti Cherry Valley Vineyards, Saylorsburg 
  • Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville 
  • Franklin Hills Vineyards, Bangor 
  • Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas 
  • Pinnacle Ridge, Kutztown Vynecrest Winery, Breinigsville

WHERE:    Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe - Visit for driving directions.

Friday, July 9, 2010

An update from Pinnacle Ridge Winery

Brad and Christy at Pinnacle Ridge in Kutztown just sent out their latest e-newsletter with updates on the vineyard (this hot, dry weather is great for grapes) and an upcoming


2010 is shaping up to be a spectacular year. Bud-break this year was two weeks ahead of normal due to an
early heat wave that caused most plants to push growth earlier than normal. The growth continued with
moderate rainfall and average to above-average temperatures in April and May. June was much warmer than normal with slightly below-average rainfall. July is starting off with a bang. The grass is brown and crunches
underfoot like one is walking on corn flakes. These conditions make the crop farmers (corn and beans) cry
and we really feel for them. But at Pinnacle Ridge, we're smilin'.

Grapes love hot and dry growing conditions and that is exactly what we have. The beginning of the 2010
growing season was warmer than any other year in the last decade. The early bud-break coupled with hot dry
conditions will result in an early harvest. This is a good thing because it means the fruit will mature in warmer
weather than normal and we might get to harvest before hurricane season. If all goes well, we'll be sipping some of the best reds produced in the last decade.


SKIP MOYER'S JAZZ JAM - Sunday, July 18 from 3 to 6 p.m.

Pinnacle Ridge hosts Skip Moyer's third Jazz Jam of the 2010 Summer Season. Skip delivers something new each jam. Along with guitarist Andy Warren, drummer John Fundyga and Skip on bass, John Stoneback will dazzle us on the trombone! Christy Allen (yes, wife of Brad) will make a special appearance and sing some jazz standards for some of her favorite customers (wine and jazz enthusiasts!)

Pinnacle Ridge is serving Mexican for our Jazz Jam. Fresh corn tortillas filled with home made roasted garden veggies and black beans, garden fresh tomato salsa, chicken tenders and jack cheese. No matter if the weather is HOT.  There will be lots of fans and a misting tent. Great wine, food and jazz is COOL!

There is a $5 cover charge, however, this event is free for those 18 years and under and free to all case club members! Buy a case of wine on Sunday; stay and listen for free!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Winemaker's Dinner at Galen Glen

Join wine lovers from across the region at Galen Glen Winery in Andreas on Friday, July 16 at 7 p.m. for a Winemaker's Dinner featuring the culinary creations of Tonimarie and her restaurant Macaluso's at The Lantern. The five-course menu includes:

Compliments of the Winery: A casual way to start the evening and let the conversation begin!
Frozen Peach Wine-a-Rit made with Galen's Cellar White

First Course:
Soup - Northern Italian White Bean and fresh
Escarole Soup
Wine - Chardonnay

Second Course:
Gourmet Lobster and Macaroni & Cheese featuring Tonimarie's indulgent Blend of Cheeses
Wine - Riesling Rheingau

Third Course:
Palate cleansing salad - Arugula tossed with a Pineapple Ginger Vinaigrette and Toasted Almonds
Wine - Traminette

Fourth Course:
Breaded Chicken Breast stuffed with Sun Dried Cherries and Wild Mushrooms accompanied by
Roasted Garlic Green Beans
Wine - Zweigelt

Fifth Course:
Pound Cake soaked in Fresh Lemon Juice served with Fresh Strawberries and Mint
Wine - Beerenauslese

*Menu and wines subject to change at Chef's discretion.

Cost: $70 per person. Please add 6% PA Sales Tax. Gratuity is included.

Galen Glen Winery
255 Winter Mtn Dr
Andreas, PA 18211

When: Friday, July 16 at 7 p.m.

By calling the Winery at 570-386-3682. They require a credit card for reservations. Cancellations after July 12 will be charged the full cost of the dinner.

The winery will make every effort to accommodate seating requests. In order to use their space efficiently, they may need to combine parties. Their largest table can seat 8 guests.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cabernet Franc and the Lehigh Valley - Part 2

Today's blog post is written by wine lover and guest blogger Jim Hutchings. To read part 1 of this blog post, click here.

If consumed at a cool cellar temperature, Cabernet Franc pairs well with summer picnic or barbeque foods, and is fantastic all by itself.

Franc actually plays a significant role in Château Cheval Blanc’s wines which are said to be among the best in the world. At one thousand dollars per bottle, I have not yet been fortunate enough to try a Cheval, but five of our very own Lehigh Valley wineries are producing outstanding examples of Cabernet Franc.

Blue Mountain, Franklin Hill, Galen Glen, Pinnacle Ridge, and Vynecrest all produce a Cabernet Franc varietal though supply is low at a few of them. If you enjoy more complex and robust wines, Blue Mountain and Franklin Hill have fine examples of the full orchestra to continue yesterday’s metaphor. Vynecrest, Galen Glen, and Pinnacle Ridge have some of the most elegant Francs I’ve tasted. Their Francs stand apart from their other bold reds and leave you with a powerful simplicity which lingers well after your last swallow.

If you haven’t done so yet, give our Lehigh Valley Cabernet Francs a taste. With an elegant flavor, wisdom, maturity, and simplicity, Cabernet Franc knows where it wants to go, what it wants to do, and does it very well.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cabernet Franc and the Lehigh Valley - Part 1

Today's blog post is written by wine lover and guest blogger Jim Hutchings.

Cabernet Franc has long been ignored, looked down upon, and confused with its more robust offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon. Other times, Franc plays the second fiddle to Sauvignon and is used only in blending. In its blending capacity, Franc needs to be better understood. It is not merely a filler grape. Instead, Franc adds a maturity to young Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Meritage wines. It adds an elegance that greatly helps in keeping wild young wines under control.

This elegance became clearer to me while attending a recent orchestra performance. Each piece of the orchestra played flawlessly and added its own individual sound to the whole, which I compare to the big and complex wines Cabernet Sauvignon and blends often produce.

On this particular evening, though, Elizabeth Pitcairn was the violin soloist and her performance was my Cabernet Franc. The orchestra behind her was powerful, robust, and beautiful, but it was a completely different affair when she started playing. Her single violin rose above the orchestra with an elegance that was simply not available with a full orchestra.

Don’t get me wrong – big reds with lots of flavors working together or sometimes fighting for attention can be very fun. But as we move into the summer months and people tend to switch from big reds to lighter whites, the Cabernet Franc virtuoso is worth keeping on the summer drinking list. Thankfully this mature and elegant wine can be found at more than half of our Lehigh Valley Wineries!

To be continued tomorrow…