Friday, January 27, 2012

Lehigh Valley wines win top honors

2011 PA Farm Show medals

Congratulations to Vynecrest, Pinnacle Ridge and Franklin Hill wineries on their medals at the recent PA Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Franklin Hill won a Silver for its Harvest Berry 2010, and Bronzes for Chambourcin 2010 and Pomegranate Peach 2010.

Pinnacle Ridge won Best Vinifera and Double Gold for its Pinot Noir 2010, a Gold for its Late Harvest Vidal 2010, Silvers for Veritas 2008 and Chardonnay 2010, and Bronzes for Riesling 2010 and Traminette 2010.

And Vynecrest won a Silver for its Chambourcin 2010 and a Bronze for its Cabernet Franc 2010.

Vynecrest Winery wins top honors at PA Wine Excellence Awards

Vynecrest Winery of Breinigsville received accolades at the recent PA Wine Excellence X Competition in Harrisburg.

The Pennsylvania Wine Society bestowed top honors to Vynecrest's 2010 Chambourcin Reserve.

Vynecrest's 2010 Cabernet Franc, a bronze medal winner at the Farm Show, also finished in the top 10 at the Wine Excellence X show.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to read a wine bottle label

Ever get a bit confused by all of the wording on a wine bottle label and wonder what it all means? Here's a quick overview:

1. Winery name

2. Bottle capacity

3. Grape variety/wine name - wines are often named after the grape variety from which they are made. Sometimes, especially with blends, wines are given proprietary names - created, registered and solely used by the winery.

4. Vintage date - if a vintage date is on the label, 95 percent of the grapes must be from the stated vintage.

5. Grape-growing region/appellation - if a label says "Pennsylvania" or names a county, at least 75 percent of the wine grapes must be been grown there. If the label has an American Viticultural Area (A.V.A.) listed, then 85 percent of the wine must have come from that area.

6. Description of wine - descriptions that help identify a style - such as dry, semi-dry, barrel-fermented, oak-aged, and many others.

7. Alcohol content - alcohol content can vary from year to year. Federal standards allow 1.5 percent latitude either way, so many wineries give an average. Other labels may say "Table Wine," which merely means that the wine is between 7 and 14 percent alcohol; it is not an indication of the wine's quality.

8. Estate bottles - this wine is 100 percent from the stated area and is grown, made and bottled by the winery. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vynecrest Winery goes "green" in 2012

Going Green in 2012

Vynecrest has just installed a new geothermal system to heat and cool the winery. This energy-saving system was installed by Meisner Services and Kocher's Water Pumps and Tanks, Inc. Vynecrest received support for this installation from US Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. This project will reduce Vynecrest's carbon dioxide footprint by 24 tons per year.

While Vynecrest was closed in January we completed and moved into our new offices. We converted the old garage next to the tasting room entrance. This will open up some additional space in the tasting room. We haven't decided what to do with the additional space. Drop us a line if you have any ideas. Vynecrest is now open seven days a week, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

January Specials:

Wine of the Month - Lemberger, additional 10% off**
Three Pack of the Month - 3 Autumn Gold for $25**
**at then winery only; 3 pack cannot be combined with other offers

Upcoming Events
  • January 28 - Music in the Vyneskeller, Billy Bauer, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
  • February 4 - Superbowl Chili Saturday
  • February 11 - Music in the Vyneskeller, Jake Kaligis, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
  • February 18 - Music in the Vyneskeller, Connie Edinger, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
  • February 25 - Music in the Vyneskeller, Arianne, 1:30- 4:30 p.m.

Friday, January 13, 2012

An update from Pinnacle Ridge Winery

March Madness Passports
Just a reminder that we still have passports available for the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail’s March Madness event. The Passports are $35 each and we can mail them to you for a $1 mailing fee. You can go to for more information on the event. 
Mushroom Event
On January 14 and 15 we will be offering a pairing of mushroom tapas with wines. We haven’t finalized the menu yet but we will have several different tapas each paired with a different wine. This is a new event and should be a lot of fun. The event will run from noon until 5 p.m. on both days.

Great review for our 2010 Chardonnay
Vino Vic is a wine guy who has been making an effort to review Pennsylvania wines. Check out this link to see his review of our 2010 Chardonnay.  

2011 Vintage Update
It was a strange year: extreme heat in July (105 degrees!) and extreme rain in August and September. One thing I’ve learned over the last 19 vintages is that there is no such thing as “normal.” The white wines have finished fermenting and are now settling down in tank and barrel. We can begin to see the results of our efforts with these young wines. Overall they are very balanced wines with moderate acidity. Usually in wet years we end up with high acids that result in very crisp white wines.

One of the unusual aspects of 2011 is that it was very, very warm. Even during the wet periods the temperatures were still above normal. The warm weather helps to promote the reduction of acid in the fruit resulting in balanced fruit and, consequently, balanced wines. The wines are not as intense as their 2010 counterparts but they do have fruit-driven aromas with flavors that follow. These whites will be delicious, young drinkers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blue Mountain Winery brings back three popular wines.

Here is the latest update from Blue Mountain Winery in New Tripoli:

Riesling is back!

We are very excited to announce that our Riesling is being bottled in our wine cellar. Also back in stock are Victoria's Passion and White Merlot. In the very near future we will be releasing Sauvignon Blanc. Stay tuned for details.

January Specials

Save $2  on 2007 Pinot Noir/Beaujolais
Save $1 on 2010 Vignoles

Make sure to print this coupon for a great deal on our 2007 Chardonnay.

For daily news and updates "like" us on Facebook! Our page is listed as Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars. Feel free to send us pictures and we'll get them added to our page. And follow us on Twitter too!

Sunday Blues Schedule

01/08 ~ Wow Brothers
01/15 ~ Billy Patrick
01/22 ~ Rob & Marty
01/29 ~ Jake Kaligis & Mike Rauscher's Dynamic Duo

Special Events

We are now booking events for 2012. Use our vineyard as a backdrop for your special occasion. Bridal showers, birthday parties, corporate events, you name it! For information on renting our private room please call or e-mail us.

Custom Labeled Wine Bottles

Custom labeled wine is great for any occasion! We can do any style in any amount. Check our website for samples or send us your own picture to use. Call or e-mail us for more details.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What is an A.V.A.?

You've probably heard or seen our wineries talk about the Lehigh Valley A.V.A., but what does it mean?

In the United States, winemakers are allowed to label their wines with the state or county in which the grapes are grown. But they can also list the name of the particular growing area if the federal government recognizes it as an "American Viticultural Area" or A.V.A., also called an "appellation." There are more than 200 A.V.A.s across the Untied States including ours here in the Lehigh Valley.

In reviewing applications for approval, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) considers whether the proposed name is one by which the area is actually known locally, and whether this area as defined in the application has distinctive soil and climatic conditions.

To use an approved A.V.A. on a wine label, at least 85 percent of the grapes used must originate from the state A.V.A. and the wine must be fully finished within the state. This helps maintain consistency in the wines made from a particular growing area.

The Lehigh Valley region is an official A.V.A. as designated by the TBB in April 2008. The Lehigh Valley A.V.A. includes portions of Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Schuylkill, Carbon and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania. Wineries in the region are permitted to list “Lehigh Valley” as the growing region on their labels.