Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Grape harvest 2013 begins at Vynecrest

The grapes are starting to come in. Recently we picked Seyval Blanc and a grape named Geisenheim that we use for our Riesling blend. Now we are picking Vignoles, Chardonnay and Traminette. The harvest has been great so far. Soon we will pick Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir.

It was a big week for Vynecrest at the Great Allentown Fair. Once again, John Landis was a chocolate cake judge, and then on September 1 we participated in the Great Grape Stomp along with Clover Hill Winery.

Our team was the politicians - Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Lehigh County Commissioner Percy Daugherty, Lehigh County Executive Matt Croslis, and Pa. Rep Gary Day, who stomped against Clover Hill's team of media representatives. It was a very close finish with the slight edge going to Clover Hill. It was all in good fun to emphasize the importance the impact of our local Lehigh Valley wineries have on Pa. agriculture and local business and industry in the Valley. The stomp was followed up by a cupcake tasting with our Cherry Divyne wine.

September Specials 

  • Wine of the Month - Riesling, additional 10% off 
  • Three pack of the month - 3 Vynecrest Red for $30

(at winery only; three pack can't be combined with other discounts)

Upcoming Events

  • September 19 - Macungie Farmer's Market, Memorial Park, 4 - 7 pm
  • September 26 - Macungie Farmer's Market, Memorial Park, 4 - 7 pm
  • September 29 - Jazz Sunday - Live Jazz music in the Vyneskeller, 1 - 4 pm
  • October 3 - Macungie Farmer's Market, Memorial Park, 4 - 7 pm

Glass Half Empty
by Sam Landis

Harvest.. September usually signals a lot of similar thoughts to many people. Back to school. End of summer. The beginning of football. But for me, for the last 30 years of my life, September has always meant one thing - harvest.

We began picking grapes recently, in what is now the 36th harvest at Vynecrest Winery. Some things have changed such as grape varieties, equipment, people, and vineyards. Some things have not changed such as paper, rock, scissors between Malachi and I to see who picks up the heavy lugs. Stupid fights with my dad over how to hook up hoses. Cold Miller lights at 7 p.m. as my mom brings us appetizers while we clean up.

But the biggest change at harvest at Vynecrest is that we are starting to look differently at what picking grapes really means. For years we would look at the grapes as grapes and see how we could grow the best possible grapes and then see how we could make the best possible wines from those grapes. Now, this is not the worst blueprint in the world, mind you, as it has served us well for many years.

But, recently in the last few years we have started working backwards. All grapes have their own identity (Ph, TA, Sugar, Tannin,), and that all stops once you make that final snip of the stem and they fall into the press. So we have started to work off the wine we want to make first as the determination of when we pick the grapes. Some of our wines are better served with higher Ph or lower acid or higher alcohol or lower alcohol, and these decisions are made in the vineyard and not the wine cellar.

There is still a lot to learn and we still make mistakes, but we are getting better and better every year and that is a pretty cool thing to be a part of and a very rewarding thing.

But I still like that some things never change. We are picking Chardonnay now so I am looking forward to a couple cold Miller Lights tonight at 7 p.m. with some snacks, waiting for the beginning of football... ah, harvest.

No comments:

Post a Comment