Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Franklin Hill Vineyards celebrates the launch of its newest wine - THIN!

Franklin Hill Vineyards has the skinny on the newest thing in wine... and we wanted you to be the first to know... THIN is here! 

Our new wine, THIN, is like nothing else you have ever tried before. We know you have a sweet tooth, so we found a way to offer all the sweet, without the guilt. THIN has about the same calories as a glass of dry red wine, but it is sweet to taste.

Not only do you get to indulge yourself in a great sweet treat, but you are also benefiting your body. Made from premium red grapes blended with Acai berry, it has all the benefits of drinking red wine. Red wines contain resveratrol, a polyphenol that reduces bad cholesterol and many other health benefits.

Now available at all of our locations and stop in and give it a try! We think you'll love it!

Franklin Hill Vineyards Locations:

The Winery
7833 Franklin Hill Rd
(888) 887-2839
Mon-Sat 11-5 and Sundays 12-4

Main St. Commons Building
567 Main St.
Mon-Wed 11-6; Thurs-Sat 11-8; Sundays 12-5

3625 Nazareth Rd.
Mon-Thurs 11-6; Fri & Sat 10-7; Sundays 12-4

2942 Route 611
Mon-Thurs 11-6; Fri & Sat 10:30-7; Sunday 11-4

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Celebrate the official wine grape of the Lehigh Valley this weekend

The eight locally-owned and operated wineries of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail will once again celebrate the region’s official wine grape during Chambourcin Weekend on Saturday, October 20 and Sunday, October 21. 

The Chambourcin is the only wine grape that is grown by all eight wineries. In the greater Lehigh Valley, there are more than 40 acres of Chambourcin which ferment into approximately 150,000 bottles of wine. Chambourcin is very versatile in the wine cellar and the wineries craft it into several styles of wine including Nouveau, Rosé, Semi- Sweet, Sweet, Dry Barrel Aged, Sparkling and Port.

Each winery will feature its own activities such as wine tastings, live entertainment, tours, or food and wine pairings. Event hours at all of the wineries are Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon – 5 p.m. Chambourcin Weekend is a free event, however some wineries charge for wine tastings.


Amoré Vineyards & Winery, Nazareth - will feature four styles of Chambourcin and will be serving cheese tortellini in a fresh tomato basil sauce. Enjoy their porches and patios with autumn vistas. Family fun includes hayrides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, puzzle woods and straw pit.

Big Creek Vineyard and Winery, Kresgeville - will be slicing some of their family’s favorite cheeses for Chambourcin Weekend.

Blue Mountain Vineyards, New Tripoli - Saturday: Starting at noon there will be a cellar tour with owner Joe Greff. Enjoy music by Rob from 1:30-4:30 p.m. The featured food and wine pairing will be braised beef with tomatoes and herbs with 2010 Chambourcin. Or try Victoria's Passion with a chocolate dessert.

Sunday: The featured food and wine pairing will be kiffles by BabaNonna paired with 2010 Chambourcin. There will be cellar tours at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. There will be a supervised kids table so parents can enjoy some time to themselves. Hank Jones & Ellyot H. Ray will be the Sunday Blues entertainment from 2-5 p.m. - $5 admission for music includes a wine tasting.

Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville - Chef Nathan Grube will make a return appearance to conduct cooking demonstrations to be paired with the new release, 2010 Chambourcin and Turtle Rock Red (also made with 100% Chambourcin grapes). Chef Nathan will be cooking up an eggplant and risotto baked with homemade tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. Cooking demonstrations will take place at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. both days.

Franklin Hill Vineyards, Bangor - Chambourcin grapes are a standout variety whether you prefer dry oak-aged, medium smooth, or sweet fruity. They will be featuring baked ziti tossed with "Simply Red - Simply Delicious" marinara sauce and "Fainting Goat - Fainting Brownies" for dessert. Enjoy a glass of wine on the deck as Robert Michaels entertains with his music.  

Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas - will pair Gary’s Gourmet Meatloaf drizzled with a Chambourcin bordelaise sauce and Stone Cellar Chambourcin or Cellar Red.

Pinnacle Ridge, Kutztown - will serve Filet Mignon Kabobs - beef tenderloin cubes with bacon, sweet onion, red pepper and portabellas on a bed of baby spinach. This dish will be paired with their 2010 Chambourcin Reserve or the 2011 Chambourcin Rose.

Vynecrest Winery, Breinigsville - will pair their 2011 Chambourcin Estate-Bottled wine with a Wild Rice & Chick Pea Salad with dried cranberries, a perfect autumn side dish. Recipes will be available. Art's Acoustic Oldies performs in the Vyneskeller on Saturday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Music is free of charge.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Concord is the October Owner's Selection at Clover Hill

2012 Grape Harvest Update

Every year’s grape harvest is exciting and brings a new set of challenges, but some years are certainly easier than others. 2012 has been a harvest full of smooth sailing. Clover Hill's grape harvest commenced on August 20 which is one of the earliest starts we have ever had. Harvesting is done by hand to retain the best quality fruit. Sugar levels in the fruit have been very high and the flavors and complexity have been intense. Currently we only have Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc left to harvest. Stay current with our 2012 grape harvest by being our Facebook fan!

We have some wonderful events scheduled for the rest of 2012! Keep reading below for a listing of our October happenings. Enjoy the lovely fall season and we look forward to your next Clover Hill Winery visit.
Owner's Selection - Concord

Undoubtably a taste of the region. A sweet grapey wine that most people associate with backyard grapes. Try it with your favorite spicy chili or Concordian Meatballs, or just sip it on its own. Blend it with your favorite fruit juices for a refreshing sangria. Receive an additional 10% discount on the Owner's Selection when included in a case purchase. Try some great recipes using our Concord.

Chambourcin Weekend
October 20 and 21, Saturday 10 am - 5 pm and Sunday Noon - 5 pm

Join us as we applaud the Chambourcin grape! All the wineries on the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail will celebrate the Chambourcin grape, which is known as the grape of the Lehigh Valley. Chef Nathan Grube will conduct cooking demonstrations featuring locally grown foods from Hedrick Family Farms to be paired with the new release, 2010 Chambourcin. Chef Nathan will be cooking up eggplant and risotto baked with homemade tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. Cooking demonstrations will take place at 1, 2, 3 and 4 pm both days.

During this event Clover Hill will donate $1 for every bottle of Chambourcin and Turtle Rock Red (also made from 100% Chambourcin grapes) sold to the Angel 34 Foundation. Angel 34 is a local, but nationally recognized, organization united in the fight against childhood cancer and dedicated to finding a cure. 100% of the funds raised by Angel 34 go directly to providing services and support for children battling cancer. Doug and Linda Sheriff, of Angel 34, will be at Clover Hill sharing their mission. You can learn more about the dedication and caring work of the Angel 34 Foundation at Cheers to the Chambourcin grape!

Sorrelli Jewelry Trunk Show for a Women’s Pampering Day
Saturday, October 27 from 10 am - 5 pm

Clover Hill and Sorrelli will partner to encourage women to take care of themselves in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sorrelli will offer a Trunk Show of beautiful jewelry, which will include their Cancer Ribbon Charm and Breast Cancer Awareness Earrings. Sorrelli will offer a portion of their sales from their breast cancer awareness pieces to Breast Cancer Support Service of Berks County. In turn, Clover Hill will donate $1 for every bottle of Clover Hill Rose` sold to Breast Cancer Support Service of Berks County.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A harvest update from Pinnacle Ridge


So far so good! With our 2012 harvest over half way finished, we can say that this has been a very solid vintage. We had a little too much rain at the end of August and September but there was no tropical activity like we had last year, which we are thankful for.

The amount of birds this year was also greatly reduced due to migratory patterns. In the past we have had larger issues with the birds eating the grapes. So far we have picked the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cayuga, Traminette, Syrah and Merlot. In the next couple of weeks we plan on harvesting the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc. We plan on finishing our harvest by mid-to-late October.


Saturday, October 20 and Sunday, October 21 from noon - 5 p.m.

This Lehigh Valley Wine Trail event will take place after our 2012 harvest celebrating the famous grape of the Lehigh Valley: Chambourcin. We are very happy to have such an adaptable grape growing in our region, giving us the opportunity to make many different styles of wine. During this free event weekend, each winery in the Lehigh Valley will be showcasing a wine made with the Chambourcin grape and pair it with a delectable dish to compliment its flavors. 

Pinnacle Ridge will be unveiling our 2010 Chambourcin Reserve. We have a lot of eager customers ready for this wine and we're happy to say the wait is over. Pinnacle Ridge will be pairing the 2010 Chambourcin Reserve or the Chambourcin Rose with filet mignon kabobs, beef tenderloin cubes with bacon, sweet onion, red pepper and portabellas on a bed of baby spinach. This is a beautiful time of year to tour the Lehigh Valley as the seasons change and to sample our renown Chambourcin from your local wineries. Be sure to mark your calendars for this very special event.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spiced Winter Red is back at Vynecrest just in time for fall

The 2012 Harvest at Vynecrest should wrap up this week barring any unforeseen events. It's going to be another great vintage. It is now time to set our sights on the holidays. Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem opens in just a few weeks on November 15. Be sure to visit our wine booth there!

October Specials
  • Wine of the Month - Spiced Winter Red, additional 10% off
  • 3 Pack of the Month - 3 Vignoles for $25**
**at winery only, 3 pack can't be combined with other discounts

Upcoming Events
  • October 13 - Live Music in the Vyneskeller, Arianne , 1:30 - 4:30 pm
  • October 20 & 21 - Chambourcin Weekend - We will be pairing our 2011 Chambourcin with a Wild Rice & Chick Pea Salad with dried cranberries. Its a perfect Autumn side dish, recipes will be available. Art's Acoustic Oldies performing in the Vyneskeller on Saturday from 1:30-4:30 pm. Public is welcome, free of charge.
  • October 27 - Live Music in the Vyneskeller, Valerie Borman , 1:30 - 4:30 pm
  • October 28 - Jazz Sunday, Live jazz in the Vyneskeller, Body & Soul, 1-4 pm
  • November 3 - Live Music in the Vyneskeller, Connie Edinger , 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Glass Half Empty by Malachi Duffy

As we near the end of the 2012 harvest season, I thought some of our readers might like an inside look at what harvesting grapes is REALLY like.

Gone are the days of grape stomping a la "I Love Lucy." Our harvest days typically start at 7 a.m. Our vineyard crew immediately begins picking the grapes, placing them into the yellow lugs (bins) that we placed out in the vineyard the night before. John, Sam and I prep the equipment for the day which includes a press, crusher/destemmer, pumps, hoses, etc.

By 8 a.m. the first round of lugs are ready for pick up. After a quick round of rock, paper, scissors between Sam and I, one of us hops up onto the tractor (winner) while the other climbs onto the attached wagon eager to pick up the 30 pound lugs (loser). The wagon holds 72 lugs, so each trip nets us about one ton of grapes.

From there it's back to the crush pad, the concrete slab outside the wine cellar (it just sounds cooler to call it a crush pad) where we unload the grapes into the crusher/destemmer. This machine takes the grapes off the stems and uses rollers to lightly crush the grapes. The result of this process is a combination of juice and crushed skins known as must that gets pumped into the press.

Next comes round two of grape pick up (Sam does the heavy lifting this time) to again fill the wagon and take another one ton load back for processing. Once these grapes are crushed, the must is combined with the first batch to fill the press and we begin the hour-long process of pressing the must to extract as much pure juice as we can. (Notice, there are no bare feet involved in this process).

By the time the day is done, the above-mentioned tasks have been repeated over and over until all the lugs for the day have been collected and processed. On average, each day of harvest brings in about 500 lugs which yields about 1,000 gallons of wine once the juice has been fermented. Our day finishes with a marathon cleaning session to hose down all of the equipment and lugs in preparation for the next day of harvest. When all is said and done, Vynecrest will harvest just over 5,000 lugs of grapes during the 2012 season. That's a lot of rock, paper, scissors.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blue Mountain Vineyards to celebrate HalloWine this month

October Specials at Blue Mountain Vineyards:
  • $1 off 2008 Pinot Noir
  • $1 off 2011 Chardonnay (unoaked)

Sunday Blues Lineup
  • October 7 - Wow Brothers
  • October 14 - Valerie Borman
  • October 21 - Hank Jones & Ellyot H Ray
  • October 28 - Jake Kaligis & Mike Rauscher's Dynamic Duo
Call or email us for reservations. $5 admission includes a wine tasting. Adults 21 and older only for music please.

Upcoming Events:

October 6 & 7 - Ottsville Fall Festival
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Linden Hill Gardens

October 13 - Fall Foliage event
11 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Sno Mountain

October 13 - Winetober Fest
1 - 6 p.m. @ Skippack, PA

October 20 & 21 - Lehigh Valley Wine Trail's Chambourcin Weekend
Stop by each winery to celebrate the official grape of the Lehigh Valley!


It's that time of year again! Join us Saturday, October 27 from 5-9 p.m. for our annual HalloWine event. Come in costume to add to the fun, and maybe your costume will win a prize! Admission is $7.50 and includes a Blue Mountain wine glass. Music will be provided by the Wow Brothers. Outside snacks are welcome. Grab your friends, put that costume on, and come out for what is sure to be a fun night! Advanced paid reservations preferred. Adults 21+ only please. Costumes optional.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Franklin Hill celebrates fall with two new awards for Trio!

Celebrate the harvest and our newest award winning wine...TRIO! Winning Double Gold and Best in Class at California's International Woman's Wine Competition. Congratulations Bonnie and Maria!

From our grapes to your glass 

The start of October brings us close to the end of harvest here at Franklin Hill Vineyards. Our harvest crew worked rain and shine to get our grapes to Bonnie and Maria so they could start working their magic. Our red grapes are still resting, absorbing all those heart healthy benefits we love so much, and will be pressed in the next few days. All in all, 2012 was a good harvest for us, and for this we are thankful.

Talk about thankful, what a festival season we had. We want to thank everyone, and there were a lot of you, who took the time to come out to support us from Split Rock to Seven Springs. A special shout out to all those who braved the storm at Gettysburg! Our festival crew works hard and had a blast introducing our wines all throughout Pa.  Not to say they aren't happy to take a well deserved break from all that travel.
Way to go FHV Festival Crew! 

Stop by the vineyard soon and maybe you can catch the last bit of grapes coming in to our winery and eventually, your glass! We look forward to your visit and to showing you how much we love what we do.

Bethlehem Harvest Festival

As always, Bethlehem is planning great things and we are excited to be a part of it! The 7th annual HarvestFest in Downtown Bethlehem is October 13. Main Street, Broad Street and the Sun Inn Courtyard will be the home to all the fall festivities, food, shopping and fun for the whole family. This terrific event will include beer tasting and a wine trail, but get your passports early in the day. They are available for $20 and will sell out quickly. Harvest Fest will also offer soup tastings, music, arts, dessert, food and even grape stomping from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m

Buy wine online 

Our Wine Shop is open for business! Now you can simply send our wine as a gift or have it shipped it directly to you.

Cheers to Elaine!

The YWCA of Bethlehem has awarded Franklin Hill Vineyards the Breaking the Glass Ceiling Non-Traditional Woman's Business Award. We are very honored.