Thursday, March 31, 2011

Galen Glen brings home 8 medals from Finger Lakes

Congratulations to Sarah and Galen Troxell of Galen Glen Winery in Andreas for their win of 8 medals at the recent Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Medals included:

2010 Stone Cellar Riesling

2008 Cabernet Franc
2010 Grüner Veltliner
2010 Vidal Blanc
2010 Riesling
2010 Erin’s Auslese
2010 Cellar White

2010 Cellar Red

The 11th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition is judged by a diverse and highly skilled group of 60 national and international judges representing sommeliers, educators, enologists, winemakers, writers, importers, retailers and industry consultants from Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, and elsewhere, as well as the United States.

All judging is single blind tasting and awarded on four levels of excellence: Double Gold (unanimous panel vote), Gold, Silver and Bronze. Last year, more than 3,000 wines from 15 countries and all 50 states were judged.

FLIWC is the largest charitable wine competition in North America. All net proceeds benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times. Located in the heart of New York State’s Finger Lakes wine country, this not-for-profit organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, adults and families whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life-threatening challenges.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mark your calendars for Wine in Bloom

March Madness 2011 is now officially over! We hope everyone had a great time visiting our wineries, trying new wines, and sampling our food and wine pairings. We'll do it all again next year.

And just a reminder that passports for the 2012 event will go on sale this fall during our Nouveau Weekend event in November. So mark your calendars and plan to purchase them early since March Madness passports sell out every year!

Our event calendar for 2011 includes a new event in May called Wine in Bloom. It replaces last year's A.V.A. Weekend event in April. We wanted to give you, our customers, and ourselves a little more time to "recover" from March Madness and decided that May would be a better and warmer month for this event.

Held on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22, this event takes place mid-spring as bud break occurs on the vines. It celebrates the importance that terroir (soil) plays in the development of the grapes, their flavor and the resulting taste of the wine, and stresses the importance of the A.V.A. designation (American Viticultural Area) in further legitimizing the Lehigh Valley for wine making.

An A.V.A. designation was awarded in April 2008 to the wineries in this region after a five-year application process. In order to receive the designation a least 75% of the grapes used to make the local wines must be grown within the region. Wineries in the region are permitted to list “Lehigh Valley” as the growing region on their labels.

Our wineries will be hosting vineyard tours, offering food and wine pairings, and some will even have live entertainment. It will be a fun yet educational event.

So we will see you next in May! Or visit our individual wineries any time between now and then!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Galen Glen Winermaker's Dinner announced for April 9

Galen Glen Winery in Andreas is pleased to announce the menu for their next Winemaker's Dinner on Saturday, April 9 at 7 p.m., featuring the culinary creations of Tonimarie and her restaurant Macaluso's at The Lantern.

Welcome Wine:
Compliments of the Winery
A casual way to start the Evening,
Let the Conversation begin.......
Wine - Cellar White or Cellar Red

First Course:
Cream of Fresh Asparagus Soup
Wine - Stone Cellar Grüner Veltliner

Second Course:
Grilled Shrimp over chilled Red Quinoa 
with a Splash of Lemon
Wine - Stone Cellar Riesling

Third Course:
Fresh Spinach mixed with Smoked Trout and White Grapefruit tossed in Tonimarie's Vinaigrette
Wine - Vidal Blanc

Fourth Course:
Hearty Stuffed Beef Braciole with Tomato Gravy accompanied by herby smashed potatoes
Wine - Stone Cellar Cabernet Franc

Fifth Course:
Decadent Pistachio Chocolate Torte
Wine - Stone Cellar Barrel Twenty-Nine

Cost: $70 per person
Please add 6% PA Sales Tax. Gratuity is included.
Menu and wines subject to change at Chef's discretion.

If you have to miss this event, we have selected dates for our future dinners:
  • Friday June 17
  • Friday July 15
  • Saturday November 12 
Galen Glen Winery
255 Winter Mtn Dr
Andreas, PA 18211

Only by calling the Winery at 570-386-3682
We require a credit card for reservations.
Cancellations after April 6 will be charged the full cost of the dinner.

We make every effort to accommodate seating requests.
In order to use our space efficiently, we may need to combine parties. Also, our largest table can seat 8 guests.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lehigh Valley Wine Trail in the News!

We love it when folks talk about our Wine Trail and let others know what a best-kept-secret it is in the Lehigh Valley.

We recently were the subject of a blog post by Discover Lehigh Valley, the region's non-profit tourism bureau. Blogger Nancy wrote about March Madness and how she likes to explore our trail. Click here to read her blog post. 

And in the March/April issue of OurHouse magazine's Excursion publication, our trail was featured in an article on wineries in New York, New Jersey and Eastern PA. Click here to read the article.

And finally, recently included us on their list of "Five Fun Nearby Attractions." Click here to read it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Meet the Winemaker Dinner with Franklin Hill Vineyards

Not into green beer and shamrocks? Then instead of going to a bar to celebrate St. Patrick's Day tomorrow night, join Franklin Hill Vineyards' owner Elaine Pivinski at Sagra Bistro in Hellertown for a Meet the Winemaker dinner.

Join us March 17 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. and meet the lovely, personable and entertaining Elaine Pivinski, owner of Franklin Hill Vineyards. You will love Elaine as much as her award winning wine! Price:  $65 per person, tax and gratuity additional.

Book event at

Sagra Bistro
620 Main Street

On the menu:

Appetizer- Our signature Cheese Torte, Roasted Olives and Hummus with Pita

Salad- Roasted Vegetable and Orzo Salad

Entree- Shepherd’s Pie

Dessert- Creme Brulee

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ask the Winemaker with Pinnacle Ridge - Why barrels?

Pinnacle Ridge wine maker Brad Knapp invites our readers to e-mail questions. Brad will select his favorite question and respond in our monthly e-newsletter.

This month’s question:  "I always enjoy visiting your winery for the great wine and ambiance. I'd like to learn more about the oak wine barrels you use. What is their function in wine making?  Where are they are made?  How long are they used?" Sandy G. - Kutztown

Barrel questions are some of the most frequently asked in our winery tasting room.

Why are some wines stored in barrels? For the answer one has to go back in history. The use of oak has been prevalent in wine making for at least two millennia, first coming into widespread use during the Roman Empire. Wine is a liquid and is not as easy to transport as say, lumber or bread. Ancient wine producers wanting to store and ship wine would put the wine in the common container at the time for liquids. The container of the day for liquids was the barrel. Wine stored and shipped in barrels began to take on the taste of the wood.  Folks on the receiving end of the wine became accustomed to the flavor of the barrel in their wines and they liked it that way.

Wineries around the world made their wine and stored it in barrels. When their wine was sold, they simply "rolled out the barrel" from the cellar and onto carts or wagons it went to be delivered. White oak is one of the few woods that has the ability to store liquids without the liquid weeping through the wood. This is a function of the cell structure of white oak. The wood staves (sections) of barrels are difficult to bend. Barrel builders found if the staves were heated, they would bend easily, thus facilitating the construction process of the barrel.

At the time, barrel makers did not realize the fire used to heat the staves also caramelized the sugars in the oak and changed the flavors of the wood from a resin flavor to toasty and smoky flavors. The modern barrel maker uses exclusively white oak for barrel making and the barrels are "toasted" to requested level. A wine maker can order medium light, medium, medium heavy or heavily toasted barrels. All affect the flavor the barrel imparts to the wine.  With time, wine makers determined some wines tasted better when stored in barrel versus neutral containers (like concrete or stainless steel tanks or old wooden vessels that no longer impart flavor to the wine). Many reds are stored in barrels and typically, the only white that sees oak is Chardonnay.
Wine makers wanting to reproduce the flavors of French wines learned only recently (early 1960's) the importance of the source of white oak. Chalone winery in California is credited with being the first to import French barrels to make American wines. Chalone winemakers found this brought them a step closer to the taste of French wines. French barrels are made from white oak grown in France. The oak is a slightly different species from the one grown in the U.S. consequently imparting different flavors.
Wine makers today order barrels made of oak from a variety of sources. In the U.S. barrels come from Missouri, Minnesota, Kentucky, Oregon and Appalachian Mountain region trees. In France there are several different regions recognized for different flavors (Allier, Troncais, Vosges etc.). Hungarian oak is popular among wine makers and is making a comeback after changes in government policies towards exporting goods.
How long do barrels last? Barrels will last decades when properly cared for, however, they lose the ability to impart flavor to the wine after four or five years.  Once the flavor is extracted oak barrels become "neutral." They can still hold wine and allow for very slow oxidation but they will not impart any "oaky" flavor to the wine. Most wineries sell their barrels once they are neutral.

How much do new oak barrels cost? High quality barrels made from American oak cost $350 to $400.  Barrels made in France from French oak cost $800 to $1000. Hungarian oak barrels run around $650.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Franklin Hill Vineyards Introduces Pomegranate Wine

It's here! Our highly-anticipated Pomegranate Wine is now available at all four Franklin Hill Vineyards locations. You are invited to visit any of our locations for a complimentary taste of our newest specialty wine release - Pomegranate. (Pomegranate wine with a hint of peach.)

From Our Grapes to Your Glass... 

It's getting warmer but there is still a chill in the air. We are busy warming things up in the kitchen preparing our wine and food pairings for the 2011 Lehigh Valley Wine Trail March Madness event! 

Sir Walter's Red 1.5L bottles are back in all stores. And, of course, we are all excited about the success of our new Pomegranate wine. So come in for a taste and tell us what you think. We are looking forward to seeing all of you soon!


Franklin Hill Vineyards

Franklin Hill Vineyards Locations:

7833 Franklin Hill Road
Bangor, PA 18013

Main St. Commons
567 Main St.
Bethlehem, PA 18018

3625 Nazareth Rd.
Easton, PA 18043

Fountain Springs West,
Suite #1, Route 611
Tannersville, PA 18372

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Galen Glen Winery announces dates for 2011 Winemaker Dinners


Per the Galen Glen Winery web site, the following are the dates for this year's Winemaker Dinners:
  1. April 9 (Saturday)
  2. June 17 (Friday)
  3. July 15 (Friday)
  4. November 12 (Saturday) 
Reservations are required for each dinner. The dinners begin with a welcome wine and then follow with five courses each paired with wine. Please join their email list to receive more information and menus when they become available.

New releases from the Wine Cellar
  • Grüner Veltliner 
  • Vidal Blanc 
  • Vin Gris 
  • Erin's Auslese 
  • Barrel Twenty-Nine
Temporarily sold out from the Wine Cellar
  • Stone Cellar Riesling 
  • Cellar White 
  • Zweigelt 
  • Holiday Raspberry