Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Taste of the Trail video series - Wine Trail overview

We're delighted to share with you the final video in our new Taste of the Trail web video series. It's an overview of the entire Lehigh Valley Wine Trail, in less than 6 minutes.

Please give it a watch on our YouTube channel and share the link with your friends on Facebook.

Our eight wineries appreciate your continued patronage and support. Buy Local!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Franklin Hill Vineyard's Small Knot fundraising campaign draws to a close soon!

Franklin Hill Vineyard's SmallKnot Campaign is almost over but there is still time to support the winery as it begins the process of planting a new vineyard. Over 2,000 vines are being planted and they are now starting to pound in the poles. There are several investment options from which to choose:

Party Animal 
This investment is your ticket to the Vineyard Completion Party at Franklin Hill Vineyards on September 1 at 4 pm.

Move Your Feet
Take a guided hike around the vineyard and perhaps stumble upon a tasting deep in the vineyard on August 18 at 10 am.

Sensory Overload
A detailed look into the smells and tastes commonly found in wine.  We will provide samples and aromas to help you understand the nuances of wine.
August 31 at 2 pm

Vine to Vin
One bottle of the first bottling of the new vines is yours with this investment. This process takes 3-5 years.
Includes an invite to our Vineyard Completion Party on September 1 at 4 pm.

From Farm to Table
You and a guest will enjoy a three-course meal in our vineyard made with only local farm fresh ingredients on August 2 at 6:30 pm. Each course will be paired with one of our wines.
$175 per couple

There are more ways to invest including great packages that can be sent across the country.  All of these great offers are available exclusively through www.smallknot.com.

Please consider helping us continue our passion for generations to come. We love what we do
and we want you to enjoy it too.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pinnacle Ridge wines featured in Hotel Fauchere wine dinner


Perfect Pairings joined us last month for the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail Wine in Bloom event and they were a big hit. Come check them out the weekend of June 29 and 30. They will be set-up in the barn showing their expertise of pairing with all kinds of different items. This is a free event - noon to 5 p.m. both days. Feel free to pull up a chair and enjoy the afternoon in the barn with a glass of wine.
We were also involved in some activities with the Hotel Fauchere in Milford, Pa. on May 31 and June 1. The hotel has been using our sparkling wine and Chardonnay for over a year in their restaurant. We did a wine dinner at the restaurant on Friday evening and Saturday there was a small wine festival in Milford. If you find yourself in northeast Pennsylvania and are hungry or tired I suggest you give it a try. Chef Christopher Bates is an innovative chef who manages the hotel and the Delmonico room. Check it out at www.hotelfauchere.com.

Early June brings rampant growth to all things green in our area of Pennsylvania and the vineyard is no exception. We had a relatively late bud-break this year due to the moderately cool weather in March and April. Consequently, we dodged the late frost that occurred in mid-May. The estate vineyard, however, did not dodge an early bullet - hail. A small but very strong storm system came up from the south and brought with it strong winds, rain and piles of marble sized hail. The early varieties in the estate vineyard (Pinot Noir and Chanonnay) had small shoots exposed which were beaten up by the hail. The crop size will be down in the estate vineyard but this usually translates into increased quality.

The vineyards in Kempton that we have sourced fruit from for over 20 years have changed hands. The new owner has named the vineyard Stony Run Valley Vineyard and is enthusiastically throwing himself into grape growing. Larry has hired Darrin Scott (son of Dean Scott who you may occasionally see in the tasting room and also grows 2.5 acres of grapes for Pinnacle Ridge) as the vineyard manager and has planted four more acres of grapes. We are looking forward to this new relationship and will continue to source the majority of our fruit from this Kempton vineyard.


My son, Erik Knapp, who has been attending the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo (also known as Cal Poly at SLO), studying enology (winemaking) has been appointed as one of two winemakers for the school. The University produces wine from their own vineyards in Paso Robles and the winemaking is done by the two student winemakers. Will he ever find his way to the east coast - time will tell. Congratulations son!


Friday, June 14, 2013

New bottling line and upgrades to the wine cellar and winery entrance on tap this summer at Vynecrest

We had a close call a couple of weeks ago when the temperature dropped to 28 degrees, but it looks like all of the vines made it. The temperature only dropped for a short time and not long enough to cause any damage.
The Vyneskeller is now open seven days a week from 1 - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday it is self service and you can buy everything you need upstairs in the tasting room (wine, cheese, crackers) and take it with you downstairs to the patio or out to the picnic tables. Saturday and Sunday is business as usual with our full staff.
June Specials at Vynecrest:
* Wine of the Month - Lemberger, additional 10% off 
* 3 Pack of the Month - 3 First Blush for $25
*available at winery only, 3 pack cannot be combined with other offers
Upcoming Events
June 22 and 23 - Split Rock Wine Festival
The Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine and Food Festival takes place June 22 and 23 at Split Rock Resort located in beautiful Lake Harmony, Pa. This two-day outdoor festival, located on resort grounds in the Poconos, features continuous musical entertainment on three separate stages, over 30 of Pennsylvania's finest wineries, and a wide selection of food vendors to tempt your taste buds.
June 30 - Jazz Sunday and Vineyard Tour
July 27 and 28 - Wine on the Mountain
Hit the road and head to Penn’s Peak in nearby Jim Thorpe for this festival which includes wine samplings from our wineries in your own commemorative glass. Relax with a glass of wine on the panoramic outdoor deck with a view of Beltzville Lake and the Pocono Mountains. Or stay inside in air conditioned comfort while listening to live musical entertainment.
Browse through the displays from local artisans and crafters selling handmade décor, accessories, and food items. Or purchase food to pair with your wine from the Penn’s Peak kitchens. Live musical entertainment will be provided by the Billy Bauer Duo on Saturday and Jake Kaligis Dynamic Duo on Sunday.
Tickets are required for this event and are $15 in advance or $20 at the door the weekend of the event. The event is noon - 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  Advance tickets are now for sale online as well as at all 8 wineries. 
*Wine on the Mountain is an adults-only event. Attendees must be 21 years of age or older to attend. Designated Driver tickets will be sold for $8 each at the door only the weekend of the event and not in advance.
July 28 - Jazz Sunday
Glass Half Empty
While we stay busy with the day-to-day stuff in the vineyard, wine cellar and tasting room, we are always asking ourselves what can we do to make it better. Better experience for our customers, better equipment or processes in the vineyard or cellar to increase efficiency and increase wine quality.
This question ultimately leads to buying more stuff and projects. I thought I would share a couple of our more recent projects.
My favorite project so far this year is the addition of a mezzanine in our wine cellar. The mezzanine holds 1 pallet (64 cases) of each wine and has a door leading to the tasting room. This solved a couple of problems. First, it opened up some much needed space in the cellar by moving 22 pallets of wine up and out of the way. Second, it allows easy access to wine to keep the shelves stocked. Prior to the mezzanine we would do an inventory see how many cases of each wine we needed in the tasting room, load up a pallet of wine and use a forklift to drive it around to the front door to be unloaded. This was done every Friday and Sunday of busy weekends, usually by Sam and myself. Now the shelves are stocked everyday by whoever is working. My future self's back is thankful for the mezzanine.
The next big project of the year was the widening of the front entrance. We have finished phase 1 of the project. The road is widened and a retaining wall is in that matches the retaining wall at the picnic area. We also added stairs to get from the front entrance to the Vyneskeller patio without having to walk on the road. We have gravel in the widened area for now. Phase 2 will be completed over the next month or so. We will rip up all of the pavers in front of the winery and remove the black top driveway. We will bring the grade up to match the front door. That means no more tripping into the winery and a much easier experience trying to wheel a case of wine out of the door and to your car. Once started, the work should only take a few days so the winery will be open as always.
The last last big thing we have planned for the year is a new bottling line. Hopefully it will be up and running for the next vintage. We will be able to bottle twice as fast. We will also switch to screw caps instead of synthetic cork. Screw caps have come a long way in recent years. Not only are they easier to use, but they now offer the same oxygen diffusion as a synthetic closure, allowing the same "ageability" as our current synthetic cork.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Help Franklin Hill build its new vineyard with the SmallKnot campaign

Be a part of Franklin Hill Vineyards' future through our SmallKnot campaign. We are planting 2,000 new vines and are asking for your support in helping us create this new vineyard. Whether you're a "Party Animal" or a catered dinner in the vineyard is more your speed, there is an investment option for you. Don't miss out on this very unique and rewarding opportunity. And did we mention it's the only way to get an invite to FHV's Summer Celebration party?

Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine and Food Festival

Join Franklin Hill Vineyards and 30 other PA wineries will gather at Split Rock Resort for this two-day festival, June 22 and 23. A weekend filled with music, food  fun and of course wine. Who wouldn't love that?

In the Vineyard 

This time of year the vines grow right before our eyes. Even the 2,000 new vines our crew just recently planted have already begun to bud. The weather has been cooperating so far and we look forward to a great growing season. Our new irrigation system has been in use a few times this year and is proving to be worth the time and effort we put into installing it. Plus it's neat to watch it rain on the vines on a sunny day. Stop by and check it out!

Hard to believe that summer is upon us already. This year has been a blast so far. Festival season is off to a great start and we're looking forward to seeing everyone at the festivals coming up. Keep your eyes open for some really exciting things from us in the next few months. We can't wait for you to see what we're up to!

Recipe Corner  - Simply Sangria
Everyone loves a fruity Sangria in the summer. Here's one of our favorite recipes:

1 bottle Simply Red
1/2 bottle Pomegranate Peach
1/2 bottle of plain seltzer
Cut up some fresh fruit and Voila...A great, fruity and refreshing Sangria, FHV style!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Galen Glen Winery is awarded Gold and Double-Gold in the Riverside International Wine Competition

Galen Glen Winery was awarded The Chairman's Award (double-gold, unanimous vote) at the Riverside International Wine Competition for the 2012 vintage medium-dry Riesling. In addition, the 2012 Stone Cellar Riesling (dry Riesling) was awarded a gold medal. Only 31 wines from around the world received the gold or above award; of those 31 only two were from Pennsylvania and both were from Galen Glen Winery.

Sarah Troxell, vintner, was pleased to learn that every wine from Galen Glen that was submitted to the competition received a medal. In addition to the Gold medals above, the following wines also won: 2012 Grüner Veltliner, silver; 2012 Stone Cellar Grüner Veltliner, bronze; and 2012 Stone Cellar Gewurztraminer, bronze.

Galen Glen Winery is located in the beautiful rolling hills of Andreas, Pa. The vineyard is on the family's double-century farm and is full of history. Their tasting room's knowledgeable and engaging staff always make your visit enjoyable. Year round we are open every Friday from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Beginning June 12 they will be open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 5 p.m. Plan to spend an afternoon enjoying their exceptional views and award-winning wines with some locally-made cheeses or your own picnic lunch.

For more information about our award winning wines and other upcoming events, please visit our website www.galenglen.com or "Like" us on Facebook. Contact the winery at 570-386-3682.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Clover Hill Classic to raise money for Jimmy Fund cancer research

Mother Nature has us on our toes this year! Our spring was much cooler than what we experienced over the last few years and bud break was two weeks later than what we typically expect. Then we had a late spring frost followed by a few stray hail storms. Overall the vineyards look good, but we did have minor damage from both the frost and hail. Right now the vines are producing flower clusters. Next the flower clusters will bloom and the fruit will set. Every week the vineyard brings us a new look and feel. There is no better way to enjoy our beautiful landscape than to sip a glass of wine on the patio at Breinigsville or Robesonia and watch the grapes grow!

We are very excited to be hosting the first ever Clover Hill Classic on June 15 (rain date - June 16) from 1-5 pm. Have an antique car, roadster, or a fancy ride that you would like to show off? Bring it to the winery in Breinigsville for this event. We are raising money for the Jimmy Fund and are suggesting a donation of $10 per car to participate. As a thank you for your donation, we will give you a token for a free glass of wine! 100% of the money raised will be donated to the Jimmy Fund to help fight cancer. Wine by the glass and food will be available for purchase.

From all of us at Clover Hill, we wish you a fun and safe summer. Stay connected with our summer happenings in the vineyard and the winery on Facebook and Twitter. Also, if you are planning a visit, please check out our latest house policies.

Owner's Selection
Save 10% on your purchase of Generations Sparkling Pinot Noir. Now only $22.50.
People always ask us, ‘what is your favorite wine?’ Well if you ask owner, Pat Skrip, she will certainly tell you her favorite is Sparkling Pinot Noir. When asked why she loves the Sparkling Pinot Noir, here is her response: “Oh, the bubbles and the beautiful pink color. How can you not fall in love with this wine just by the looks alone? Then you sip this beauty and your mouth is filled with delicate strawberry flavors and a classic yeasty undertone. Served well chilled, in a tall flute on a warm summer’s night…it doesn’t get better than that!"

Sparkling Pinot Noir is made in the Méthode Champenoise fashion and produced from 100% Pinot Noir grapes from our Broxspen Vineyard. As a reminder ~ use great caution when opening a bottle of bubbly! Always have the bottle very well chilled (at least two hours in the fridge and 20 minutes in the freezer works nicely) and never shake the bottle. Remove the wire hood on the bottle and keep your thumb over the cork. Gently hold the cork and slowly twist the bottle until you hear a soft pop. Always have a towel and flutes close by.

Wine and Food Inspiration
Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer's Market
June 8 from 11 am - 4 pm

Get ready for Father’s Day and summertime grilling with Mr. Bill’s Turkey London Broil paired with Chambourcin to highlight the peppery notes in the Chambourcin. For those with milder tastes, we will pair it with the Riesling which perfectly balances the turkey's marinade.

Clover Hill Classic
Saturday, June 15 from 1-5 pm
Rain Date: Sunday, June 16 from 1-5 pm

Clover Hill owners John and Kari Skrip are riding a 200 mile bike race across the state of Massachusetts and have pledged to raise more than $8,000 to be donated to the Jimmy Fund for cancer research. Help them to reach their goal by joining us to show off your favorite ride or to check out the area’s hot rods. For a suggested donation of $10 per classic car you will receive a token for a free glass of wine. 100% of the money raised will be donated to the Jimmy Fund! Food and wine by the glass will be available for purchase to enjoy on the property.