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 d├ęcor, 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.

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