Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Celebrate the New Year with local sparkling wines

New Year's Eve is almost here and we'd love to be part of your celebration. Several of our wineries offer sparkling varieties that would be perfect at your party or dining room table. So ring in the New Year with a local wine.  Here are some suggestions from a few of our Lehigh Valley wineries. Hope you have a great 2011!

  • Blue Mountain suggests making a Sparkling Peach drink. Add a few fresh peach slices to enhance the flavor or orange slices for a “Fuzzy Navel” type drink.
  • Clover Hill Winery encourages you to celebrate New Year’s with one of their handcrafted Sparkling wines - Brut, Cuvee, Sparkling Pinot Noir or Blackberry Sparkler. 
  • Cherry Valley suggests you try their Blackberry Spumante and White Spumante this year.
  • Franklin Hill is promoting their Harvest Berry, an effervescent Rasberry wine.
  • Galen Glen recommends toasting the arrival of 2011 with their limited release, 2010 Winter Mountain White. Newly bottled and spritzy, its flavors mimic a semi-sweet sparkling wine. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sparkling wines and champagne 101

Our friends at Clover Hill Winery in Breinigsville recently sent out an e-newsletter to remind its loyal customers to pick up their sparkling wines for their New Year's Eve celebrations. It included an overview on sparkling wines and champagne that we thought we be of interest to the readers of our blog. So we are borrowing the information below from Clover Hill. Many thanks to Kari Skrip for sharing it with us!

Sparkling Wine Vs. Champagne

Many of you have probably wondered what is the difference between a sparkling wine and a Champagne. The difference lies in the geography. “Champagne” is a sparkling wine that is produced in the champagne region of France according to strict government regulations. That same carbonated beverage if produced in the USA is properly termed “Sparkling Wine” (it is often nicknamed by wine makers as a “Sparkler”). Somewhere along the way Americans started calling some of their sparkling wines “Champagne”, using the word Champagne in a generic sense. Sparkling wine is made in the USA and Champagne comes from the Champagne region of France.

What is Methode Champenoise?

All true Champagnes and most premium quality sparkling wines, (including Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery Sparkling Wine, of course), are made in the traditional method known as “Methode Champenoise”. According to Methode Champenoise, the wine goes through a second fermentation in the same bottle in which it is sold. With the secondary fermentation in the bottle, the wine becomes more complex, different flavors develop, and each bottle becomes slightly different than the others. Each bottle takes on a personality of its own. The end result is a light delicate wine that produces elegant columns of small tingly bubbles. There are other methods of producing sparkling wines but they are not quite the same, so look for the saying “Methode Champenoise” or “fermented in this bottle” on the label, or even better, just look for Clover Hill’s Sparkling Wine!

Sweet Vs. Dry

Sparkling wine labels can often be very confusing and not very user friendly. Usually American wine labels contain a variety of French terms on the label, for instance, Methode Champenoise, which was discussed earlier. Also the level of sweetness is defined using traditional French terms. These French terms are listed below from driest to sweetest.

Brut Natural – 0%-0.5% Sugar – Bone dry
Brut – 0.5% - 1.5% sugar - No perceivable sweetness
Extra Dry – 1.2%-2% sugar - Slight sweetness
Sec - 1.7%-3.5% sugar - Noticeable sweetness
Demi-Sec – 3.3%-5% sugar – Very sweet
Doux – 5.0% plus – Extremely sweet

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday wine suggestions from the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail

Still trying to figure our what wines to pair with your holiday meals?  Here are some suggestions from a few of our wineries:

Amore Winery offers up two holiday wine suggestions:  Spiced Apple and Rapport, a port-style wine (just released).

Blue Mountain Winery suggests Mountain Spice-Aromas of apple and cinnamon, six varieties of apples deliciously blended into a semi-dry wine. Can be enjoyed cold or heated. Try our 2004 Chambourcin with mulling spices. The flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg & orange zest along with the sweetness from the brown sugar, turn the Chambourcin into a wonderful warm, mulled wine.

Sorrenti Cherry Valley Vineyards just released a Blackberry Merlot in a special bottle that is perfect for holiday gift giving. They also have a four bottle split selection with a holiday label of their best 100% PA fruit wines (including Blueberry, Blackberry, Peach and Blackberry Merlot).

Clover Hill Winery loves to celebrate the season with the Holiday wine heated up. Another favorite wine to help spread cheer is their 2009 Generations Sparkling Pinot Noir.  This is a dry sparkling wine made from 100% Pinot Noir (limited release).

Vynecrest Winery
offers up their version of a German-style Gluhwein call Spiced Winter Red.

Pinnacle Ridge Winery’
s favorite food pairing for the holiday is the 2008 Ice Wine and Snowballs. The honeyed character of the nectar of frozen grapes pairs beautifully with the nutty almond flavor of these light cookies.

Friday, December 17, 2010

More holiday news from Sorrenti Cherry Valley Vineyards

December 18 - 19

Come join us this weekend for our blowout basket sale and holiday party. All gift baskets will be featured at 25% off the original prices. Enjoy free hot mulled wine, free wine & pasta food pairing prepared by Mary Sorrenti, and free holiday treats and cookies all day! We will also be releasing our secret holiday wine, which will be available only until Christmas.

Artisan Jewelry for sale this weekend

Beautiful handcrafted jewelry for under $20 will be on show during the holiday party.   

Limited time Holiday Gift Sets

Included in the set are:
-Blackberry Merlot
-Peach Wine
-Blackberry Wine
-Blueberry Wine

The wines come in a gift box and are priced at $35.         

Custom Holiday Labels - available for a limited time

Free labels with your purchase of two cases or more.

Give the gift of wine this holiday season by ordering custom holiday wine labels for your bottles. We can fulfill orders within 10 days, and they can even be placed over the phone for your convenience. Choose from half-sized bottles at $4/each or from any of our large sized bottles. Visit our website for more information, all 14 of our holiday label choices and an order form that you can fill out and fax or email if you'd like.

RR5 Box 5100, Saylorsburg, PA 18353
Phone: 570.992.2255 Fax: 570.992.5083

Easton Location:
22 N. 3rd Street, Downtown Easton, PA, 18042
Phone: 484.373.3208

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Clover Hill Winery's holiday message

 The latest Clover Hill Winery e-newsletter is out, and they have some new releases to talk about, as well as a reminder to give the gift of wine this holiday season.

Cheers to the Holidays!  It is a joyous time of year and nothing can warm your soul like sharing a glass of wine with friends and family.  From all of us at Clover Hill - we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and we thank you for celebrating with Clover Hill wines!

Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery has extended holiday hours at the Winery in Breinigsville and the Vineyard in Robesonia.  We also have two farmers' market locations: The Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers' Market and The Boscov's Farmers' Market.  What could be better than doing your food shopping and being able to sample and pick out your wines all under one roof!  In addition, a selection of Clover Hill wines are available in the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirit Stores and you can always visit

We have a couple new limited release wines that we are very excited about. Our first release from this year's vintage is the 2010 Generations Riesling. This dry Riesling is bursting with flavors like peach, apricot, honey and cold tea.  The finish is clean and zesty with lingering citrus flavors.

Also newly released is the 2009 Generations Sparkling Pinot Noir. Made in the traditional Methode Champenoise fashion, this sparkling wine is produced from 100% Pinot Noir grapes from our Broxspen Vineyard (Lenhartsville, PA). This dry sparkling wine showcases strawberry flavors mingling with a classic yeasty finish.  Bring on the Bubbles!

Owner's Selection
Enjoy a 10% discount on Holiday, the entire month of December! A sweet rosé that is jazzed up with cinnamon, cloves, and citrus. Try it warm in the winter to celebrate the holidays. Mix equal parts Holiday wine and brown sugar for an excellent ham glaze. Receive a 20% discount on the Owner's Selection when included with case purchases.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lehigh Valley Wine Trail 2011 Calendar of Events

We've set the date for our 2011 special events and wanted to share all of them with you so that you can mark your calendars and plan to join us. All events are free of charge and take place at all nine of our wineries unless otherwise noted below.

March Madness - weekends in March. Also known as Passport Weekends.
March 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20, and 26 & 27. A passport is required to experience this event. You can purchase them for $30 prior to 12/31/10 or for $35 starting 1/1/11. A limited supply of passports is available at our nine wineries.

Wine in Bloom - this new event will feature some of the educational components from this year's AVA Weekend, but will also celebrate spring, the warm weather and the bud break taking place around that time of year.
May 21 & 22

Wine on the Mountain at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, Pa. All nine of our wineries in one place!
July 23 & 24
This is a ticketed event.

Harvest Weekend - enjoy the fall harvest season and warm weather at our wineries.
September 10 & 11

Chambourcin Weekend - celebrating the official wine grape of the Lehigh Valley.
October 15 & 16

Nouveau Weekend - your first chance to taste the newest vintage from the recent fall harvest.
November 19 & 20

While visiting our wineries this holiday season, be sure to ask for your free 2011 Events Calendar magnet. Then hang it on your refrigerator and reference it throughout the year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Connect with our wineries on Facebook

With so many folks using social media today, many of our Lehigh Valley wineries have gotten on-board with Facebook by creating fan pages or groups that you can join. It's a great way to stay in touch with what's going on at each winery such as specials, discounts, promotions, and events.

Click on the name of the winery below that you want to connect with on Facebook to be taken to their fan page or group:

Clover Hill Winery
Vynecrest Winery
Franklin Hill Vineyards
Blue Mountain Winery
Pinnacle Ridge
Galen Glen Winery 
Cherry Valley Vineyards

And of course we'd like you to connect with the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail on Facebook too!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vynecrest Holiday Open House is this weekend

Vynecrest Winery Christmas Open House
December 11 & 12 from 11 am - 5 pm

Enjoy holiday cheer, food, special discounts and live music.

This weekend there will be free samples of Goot Essa cheese and Jose Madrid Salsa, both available for purchase. Spiced cookies served with warm Spiced Winter Red wine and gift baskets made to order for all your gift-giving needs.

In the Vyneskeller from 1 - 4:30 pm, there will be live music by Arianne Rox on Saturday and Rob & Marty on Sunday.

Vynecrest White, a semi-dry dinner wine is specially priced at three bottles for $25 for your holiday feasts, and 10% discount on First Blush, the wine of the month.

Holiday Hours:
Dec 24: 10 am - 2 pm
Dec 25 & 26: Closed
Dec 27: 30: 11 am - 5 pm
Dec 31: 10 am - 2 pm
Jan 1 - 12: Closed

Friday, December 3, 2010

A holiday message from Pinnacle Ridge Winery

The December e-newsletter from Pinnacle Ridge Winery in Kutztown is out and we wanted to share some of it with the followers of our blog:  


December has arrived once again and it is a great time to look back at some of the happenings of 2010. 
2010 was a great year for awards at wine competitions.Two of our wines were finalists in the Pennsylvania Wine Society competition. Eight medals were captured at the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show including “Best Sparkling” for our Blanc de Blanc. Pinnacle Ridge wines received six medals in the Keystone Wine Competition in April and three medals, including a gold for the 2007 Veritas, in the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. 
At Pinnacle Ridge, we were very pleased and honored that our winery was chosen to be the cover story for the March/April 2010 issue of Vineyard and Winery Management magazine. This national journal has been in existence for 35 years and Pinnacle Ridge is the only Pennsylvania winery ever to have been chosen to be the cover story!

In 2010 Pinnacle Ridge was included in the newly released “Opus Vino,” a wine reference book that has compiled information about the best 4,000 wineries in the world. Only two wineries were chosen from Pennsylvania and Pinnacle Ridge was one of them!
Another wonderful happening in 2010 was the fabulous vintage. Mother Nature cooperated and gave us hot, dry weather that resulted in outstanding grapes from our vineyards. We will have an overview of the vintage and the new wines in the January newsletter. Some of these wines are just now being bottled (Riesling and Naked Chardonnay) and others will continue to arrive as spring approaches. 

All in all, 2010 was a great year for Pinnacle Ridge. As we reflect back about the past year, it is obvious that what really made 2010 great was YOU (our loyal customers). We are fortunate to have so many fantastic customers. Thank You for your business! Have a great holiday and we’ll see you in the tasting room!