Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Taste of the Trail video - Amore Vineyards & Winery

Our latest Taste of the Trail video is now on our YouTube channel and web site. Visit Amore Vineyards and Winery in Nazareth and meet owner Gregg Amore.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Seven new wine releases this spring at Vynecrest

The weather is finally starting to warm up. That means the dormant buds on the vine will begin to swell and eventually open, signaling the start of the 2013 growing season. If you couldn't make it to the winery in March, we have plenty of new releases from the 2012 vintage for you to try:

  • First Blush 
  • Vynecrest Red 
  • Vignoles 
  • Riesling 
  • Dry Riesling 
  • Summertime Red 
  • Traminette

April Specials
* Wine of the Month - Pinot Grigio, additional 10% off
* 3 Pack of the Month - 3 Vynecrest White for $30
*available at winery only; 3 pack cannot be combined with other offers.

Upcoming Events:
April and May - Vynecrest Piano and Wine Bar - open every Saturday and Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m., free admission

Sunday, April 28 - Jazz Sunday featuring Dan Harakal and Mike Spangler on the guitar and baby grand piano.

Glass Half Empty
by John Landis

Planning, pruning, planting... it must be spring! In addition to releasing a slew of new 2012 wines, our focus once again turns to getting our vineyard ready to produce another outstanding vintage. Our new planting (2010) in our southwest vineyard will produce Cabernet Franc, Lemberger and Riesling for the first time this year. Plantings of more Chardonnay and Chambourcin are also scheduled for April.

What fun to finally be outside watching Mother Nature be reborn! You can follow the progress of our 2013 vintage yourself. From May through August we will offer our Winemaker Vineyard and Wine Cellar Tour so you can watch the vines and grapes develop. The first of these tours will be at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday of Wine in Bloom Weekend, May 18 and 19.

Speaking of outside, our patio is now open on weekends along with the Vyneskeller from 1-5 pm. And, the wine festivals begin – June 1 at Longwood Gardens and the biggie at Split Rock in the Poconos on June 22 and 23. Be sure to check our website www.vynecrest.com for wine tours dates and all special events.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring is here and the deck is open at Franklin Hill!

Spring is here,the deck is open, and we couldn't be happier. Here at Franklin Hill Vineyards we are excited to invite you to enjoy the beautiful views from our deck. Come have a complimentary tasting and enjoy a glass of your favorite wine.

In the Vineyard
The poles are here and soon 2,000 new vines will start their journey in our vineyard. We're excited to get started and invite you to come see the process of planting. The vineyard we planted in 2008 is getting a little help with the addition of it's own irrigation system fed by it's very own well.

Wine Tourism Day 
Saturday, May 11

We are so excited to be a part of the first Wine Tourism Day. Franklin Hill Vineyards will be one of many wineries, restaurants and hotels across the country celebrating the importance of wine tourism. Keep an eye out for the events we have planned for this special day!

Mother's Day
Sunday, May 12

Bring Mom to the winery for some relaxation and fun. We will be featuring frozen wine cocktails as well as light appetizers. Tours will also be offered at noon and 2 p.m. Stay tuned for more information.

Our friends at the Broadway Pub in downtown Bangor are carrying our wines. Our most popular Sir Walter's Red, Seyval Blanc, Trio,  Katie's Creek and more.  We even heard they've been mixing up our Fainting Goat into martinis and more! Stop in today or call for reservations. 610-452-9226

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2013 March Passport Program raffle prize winners

Here is the list of winners of this year's Lehigh Valley Wine Trail March Passport Program raffle prizes. We apologize for any name misspellings. Prizes will be mailed out in the next week. Congratulations to everyone who won and thank you to everyone who joined us for this year's event!

  • Tiffany S. Coopersburg, PA Moya Restaurant gift certificate - $50
  • William R. Bethlehem, PA Amore Greenhouses gift certificate - $50
  • Stella S. Whitehall, PA Amore Greenhouses gift certificate - $50
  • Alice S. Allentown, PA Amore Greenhouses gift certificate - $50
  • Ted C. Bethlehem, PA Cherry's Sunset Family Restaurant gift certificate - $50
  • Vanessa M. Allentown, PA Camillo's Restaurant gift certificate - $20
  • Erica P. Reading, PA Camillo's Restaurant gift certificate - $20
  • Alina J. Allentown, PA Main Street Bed & Breakfast gift certificate - $125
  • Kathy M. Bethlehem, PA Bear Creek Mountain Resort & Conference Center gift certificate - mid-week stay for two guests
  • Cindy A. Nazareth, PA MultiSports Fitness gift certificate $100
  • Alexis E. Philadelphia, PA Curious Goods at the Bake Oven Inn gift certificate - $50
  • Sam S. Allentown, PA Grapes Alive Glassware at Galen Glen Winery - gift certificate - $50
  • Katherine G., Allentown, PA Bamboo restaurant gift certificate - $50
  • Susan Z. Easton, PA Blue Mountain Summit Bed & Breakfast - one night stay for two
  • Barbara K., Hillsborough, NJ Holiday Inn Conference Center overnight stay for two with breakfast
  • Doug S. High Bridge, NJ Holiday Inn Conference Center overnight stay for two with breakfast
  • Denise O. Nazareth, PA Antelao Restaurant gift certificate - $50
  • Lisa P. Lebanon, NJ Hawk Mountain Bed & Breakfast - overnight stay for two
  • Bernie S. Palmerton, PA Chris's Family Restaruant gift certificate - $20
  • Bud K. Red Hill, PA Chris's Family Restaruant gift certificate - $20
  • Allison L. Green Lane, PA Chris's Family Restaruant gift certificate - $20
  • James C. Easton, PA Chris's Family Restaruant gift certificate - $20
  • John T. Coopersburg, PA Chris's Family Restaruant gift certificate - $20
  • Kate R. Fredericksburg, PA Mr. Bill's Shopping Spree
  • Stephanie E., Reinholds, PA Mr. Bill's Shopping Spree
  • Ann T. Springfield, PA Mr. Bill's Shopping Spree
  • Bonnie K. Mechanicsburg, PA Longswamp Bed & Breakfast - overnight stay for 2
  • Kelly K. Walnutport, PA        White Palm gift certificate - $50
  • Chuck M., Jim Thorpe, PA Premise Maid gift certificate - $100

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pinnacle Ridge shares the recipe for its smoked pork sliders


We have recently released some old favorites from the 2012 vintage. The Dry Vidal Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Naked Chardonnay, Chardonnay and Riesling from the 2012 vintage have been released. We are excited to announce that we will be adding a Dry Riesling to our list.

Pinnacle Ridge Wines earned six medals at the 2013 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Our 2010 Veritas and 2012 Vidal Blanc both grabbed Silver medals while our Cuvee Chardonnay, 2012 Dry Vidal Blanc, 2011 Chambourcin and 2010 Merlot were honored with Bronze medals.
               SMOKED PORK SLIDERS    
                w/ curried mango sauce                          
                         by Chef Ben

5 lbs. pork loin                   Sea salt and black pepper
1 lb bacon                          wood chips
2 bay leaves                       1 can of Thai red curry


2 ripe mangos                    2 cloves fresh garlic
1 T Thai red curry              pinch of sea salt
2 T sugar                            1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
pinch of black pepper      

At Pinnacle Ridge Winery, our food theme for this year's Lehigh Valley Wine Trail's  March Passport Program was sliders which is described by Wikipedia as "a small sandwich, typically three inches across and served on a bun."

The first challenge was to pair an appropriate slider with the new 2012 Riesling, which has notes of apricot and pear with a snappy finish. I came up with the Smoked Pork Slider one night in my kitchen after a couple small glasses of the Riesling. The Curried Mango Sauce came courtesy of Stonewall Kitchens (sold in our tasting room), but I have a great, easy recipe for that, too.

Traditionally, pulled pork starts with pork butt or shoulder that has been dry rubbed with spices and then slow-cooked until it pulls apart. I usually use my Bradley Smoker for that. The meat is fatty and tough so it takes a good, long time to do it right, but I figured out a way to get the same great results in a fraction of the time using lean pork loin , bacon and a grill.

Start with a 5 lb. piece of untrimmed pork loin that is close to room temperature and seasoned only with salt and pepper.  Sear it on all sides on a very hot grill so that the meat has nice grill marks and an even, golden brown coloring. Remove from heat and place the loin in a deep cast iron pot, which is preferable, but a deep, disposable aluminum pan is a good way to go if you are taking it to a picnic or serving 500 people at March Madness. Just be sure to double the aluminum pan and support the bottom when traveling with it, as I unfortunately learned the hard way.

Turn the grill heat off on one side and to its lowest setting on the other. Most grills seem to have four separate burner controls so you want the left two off and the right two on low, the goal being a temperature around 200 degrees with the lid closed. When the meat has cooled enough to touch (not long) rub it with a generous amount of the Thai Red Curry, but save about a heaping tablespoon for the sauce.

My trick for making this pork taste like it has been in a smoker for many hours is to use hardwood chips placed directly on the grate of the lit side of the grill. A handful last a long time if you periodically spray it with water to keep it smoking, not burning. The pork goes on the other side of the grill where it is going to cook "low and slow".

Because pork loin does not have a lot of fat, you have to add a little to make a good pulled pork sandwich.  I like to use bacon... as Emeril says:  "Pork Fat Rules!" Cut a pound of bacon into one inch squares and cook it slowly (cast iron is best) on the lit side of the grill. You want the bacon to brown while rendering the fat, but not burn. Try not to forget about it when you go inside for another glass of Pinnacle Ridge wine.  Again, I learned that the hard way. When it is done, pour the fat and bacon directly over the pork loin, cover the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil and cook for two to three hours or until very tender. As it cooks down, be sure to baste the meat in the fat juices.

To make the Curried Mango Sauce, you'll need a food processor. You can also visit our tasting room to purchase Stonewall Kitchens version of this sauce. It is a good but different version as it features an Indian style curry rather than Thai. Skin the mangoes carefully and remove as much of the fruit from the pit as possible.  Peel the garlic and juice the lemon. Put all that into the food processing device along with the curry, salt, pepper and sugar. Wick it up long enough  to make it a nice, smooth consistency. Both the pork and the sauce may need a little more salt, but check that just before you are ready to serve so as not to over-salt.  Serve on a freshly-baked ATV roll with a drizzle of mango sauce and field greens on the side.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Clover Hill announces dates for Spring Fling and Summer Public Tours

We are pleased to announce some new awards and recognition that Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery has received. Thank you to all that support our second generation family business!

2013 Pennsylvania Wine Competition

  • GOLD – Turtle Rock Red
  • GOLD – Niagara
  • SILVER – Cabernet Sauvignon
  • BRONZE – Spiced Apple

Cheers to Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery for being selected 2013 Berks County People’s Choice and 2013 Who’s Who in the Lehigh Valley!

Winemaker, John Skrip III, and his crew are busy in the winery preparing to bottle. Soon the Pinot Grigio, Dolcetto, 2012 Pinot Noir and even the infamous Generations Three will be back in stock. Like us on Facebook to hear more about these new releases as they become available!

Our event schedule is filling up with great reasons to visit Clover Hill Winery. We look forward to your next visit and we hope you will plan a little extra time during your stay to enjoy a glass of wine on the patio!

Owner's Selection
Save 10% on your purchase of Catawba!

A great summertime sipper! Savor the sweet, grapey, and candied flavors of this wine. Don’t forget to sniff first to best enjoy the sweet aromas of grapes in the glass! Try it in our wine cake recipe. Now only $8.55. Receive an additional 10% discount when included in a case purchase!

Spring Fling In Breinigsville
Hosted by Clover Hill Winery and Vynecrest Winery
Saturday, May 11 from noon - 5 p.m.
Tickets required - $5 per person

Join your favorite Breinigsville wineries – Clover Hill and Vynecrest – for the Spring Fling. Your ticket will include a sampling of three new releases at each winery. At Clover Hill you will be sampling three new wines from the 2012 harvest and each wine will be paired with a local cheese. Vynecrest will showcase three new releases each paired with locally made chocolates.

For more information on the pairings, please visit our Facebook event.
Tickets are available for purchase at both wineries.
Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery

Vynecrest Vineyard & Winery

Public Tours - Clover Hill Winery, Breinigsville

  • Friday, June 21 at  2:30 pm
  • Sunday, June 23 at 2:30 pm
  • Saturday, July 13 at 1 and 2:30 pm
  • Monday, July 15 at 2:30 pm
  • Saturday, August 10 at 1 and 2:30 pm
  • Monday, August 12 at 2:30 pm

Spend the afternoon sipping and touring Clover Hill. We will share with you our grape growing and wine-making process from start to finish. Please expect to spend 1½ hours at the winery for the tour. Weather permitting we will go into the vineyard, so casual attire is recommended. $12 per person and advance tickets are required.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Watch our next Taste of the Trail video - Big Creek Vineyards

We are excited to share with you the next video in our new web series, Taste of the Trail.

It's a visit to Big Creek Vineyards in Kresgeville. Meet owner Dominic Strohlein and take a peek at the winery in this 2+ minute long tour.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Don't miss Sunday Blues and the Annual Candlelight Barrel Tasting event at Blue Mountain this spring

Sunday Blues Schedule at Blue Mountain Vineyards

  • April 14 - Scott Marshall & The Hillbilly Souls
  • April 21 - The Large Flowerheads (We have A LOT of reservations for this show. We ask that you carpool if possible. We plan on having additional parking going up Joe & Vickie's driveway.)
  • April 28 - Jake Kaligis & Mike Rauscher's Dynamic Duo

2-5 p.m., $5 admission includes a wine tasting. If reservations are made we ask that you arrive no later than 2:15 p.m. or we may release your table to another party. Adults 21+ only please.

Festivals & Events

April 26 - 4th Annual Wine Tasting & Auction hosted by the ARCH of Lehigh Valley
We're proud to once again host this amazing event at the winery. Tickets are $40 individual, $75 per couple.
Please call 610.573.2500 to order tickets.

Annual Candlelight Barrel Tasting
Saturday May 11 from 5-9 p.m.
Join us as we sample our 2012 vintages. Enjoy live music by Ellyot H Ray, hors d'oeuvres and wine. Tickets are $19.50 per person. Please call or email to make your reservation today!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

First-Ever Wine Tourism Day in North America to take place May 11

Clover Hill & Vynecrest Wineries hosting Spring Fling in Breinigsville

The first-ever Wine Tourism Day in North America will take place on Saturday, May 11 with wineries, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses offering a variety of events to the public throughout North America. Clover Hill & Vynecrest Wineries are joining together to offer a special Spring Fling in Breinigsville to mark this day locally.

“There are now over 7,500 wineries in 205 American Viticultural Areas, 38 authorized wine appellations in Canada, and another 40 appellations in Mexico”, says Allan Wright, president of Zephyr Adventures, the active wine tour company organizing Wine Tourism Day. “Most of these wine regions and many of these wineries are dependent on visitors who sleep in hotel beds, eat in restaurants, and buy wine from cellar doors. Wine tourism is very important to the success of many local economies and is a subject worth commemorating.”

Locally, Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery and Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery, both in the appellation Lehigh Valley, are offering a Spring Fling in Breinigsville Wine Pairing Event from noon to 5 p.m. at both locations in Breinigsville. Your ticket of $5 per person will include a sampling of three new releases at each winery paired with local cheese and chocolate. Tickets are available for purchase at both wineries. Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, 610-395-2468, www.cloverhillwinery.com and Vynecrest Vineyard & Winery, 610-398-7525, www.vynecrest.com.

The idea for a Wine Tourism Day comes from Europe, where the European Day of Wine Tourism has been ongoing since 2009. Attendees of the 2012 Wine Tourism Conference, an annual gathering of the industry’s leaders, discussed bringing the concept to North America.

Wine Tourism Day is supported by a number of industry partners including LocalWineEvents.com, Touring and Tasting Marketing & Media, WineAmerica, the Wine Industry Network, the Wine Tourism Conference, and Zephyr Adventures, in addition to wine and tourism associations in wine regions throughout North America.

For more information and to find a list of events on Wine Tourism Day, please visit www.WineTourismDay.org.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Next Taste of the Trail video - Franklin Hill Vineyards

We're excited to share the second video in our new Taste of the Trail web video series with you. This one is a tour of Franklin Hill Vineyards in Bangor and features an interview with owner Elaine Pivinski.

It's just over two minutes long, so check it out now and then pay a visit in person this spring.