Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Saying thanks while getting ready to shop!

At Thanksgiving we are reminded of how appreciative all of our eight member winery owners are for our loyal customers who not only purchase our wines but also advocate for our wineries and for buying local. It is thanks to your continued support that our wine trial continues to be successful. Thank you for coming back time after time and helping us spread the word!

Many of our wineries have begun extended holiday hours at their wine tasting rooms and wine shoppe locations. Be sure to call ahead or visit their web sites before heading out.

Here are a few highlights of what some of the wineries have planned for this coming weekend:

Galen Glen - Black Friday Sale
November 29 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Once a year, we put the winery on sale. 15% off case sales only. Custom label orders and shipped orders are not included. All wine must be purchased at the winery day of sale.

Blue Mountain - Black Friday specials
at the winery and all locations

$2 off  all rhinestone shirts
$2 off all rhinestone aprons
$1 off all T-shirts

Clover Hill - Shop Small Saturday
Saturday, November 30
All Clover Hill locations and at

Eat, Drink and Buy Local! Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery would like to thank you for choosing to "Shop Small’ and supporting our family owned and operated winery. Please enjoy 10% off any 6 or more bottles and 20% off 12 or more bottles on Shop Small Saturday only. Go ahead, stock up for the holiday and thank you for Shopping Small. 

Blue Mountain Christmas Open House
December 7
5 - 9 pm

Please join us for some Christmas Cheer! This event is our way of saying thank you to our customers. Enjoy our delicious wines accompanied by hors d'oeuvres while listening to live entertainment in our beautiful glass-enclosed deck kept warm and cozy by our fireplaces.

Galen Glen - Santa Visits
Saturday, December 7

We will again be collecting for Toys-for-Tots, so please bring an unwrapped toy or a monetary donation to help those less fortunate.  Bring your camera for a photo with Santa too.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday events and an open house coming up at Galen Glen


Saturday, November 23 from10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, November 24 from noon to 5 p.m.

Thanksgiving is just days away.  Are you searching for the best wines to pair with your holiday meals? Come to the winery and let our knowledgable staff help you with your holiday pairings.

Do you need a recipe for all of those leftovers?  We'll have one of those at the winery this weekend too. We are offering a complimentary food and wine pairing of our Bird-to-the-last-drop soup with your choice of one of either our newest wine, GJT Stone Cellar Riesling or our semi-dry Riesling (the double-gold medal winner). This is the perfect time to pick up a bottle for your holiday meal and one for the leftovers too.

Now is a great time to be thinking of holiday gift giving. Have you considered giving the gift of wine? In addition to gift cards, we have many custom label options or we can place your digital image on a label too. Stop by the winery to view our label catalog or email to request an email sample of our current holiday images.

At this time of the year we pause to think of the many things we are thankful for. We are thankful for you our Galen Glen fans. Thank you for continuing to share your favorite wines with friends and family.

November 29 - Black Friday Sale 
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Once a year, we put the winery on sale. 15% off case sales only. Custom label orders and shipped orders are not included. All wine must be purchased at the winery day of sale.

December 7, 8, 14 & 15 - Holiday Open House Weekends 

Our winery family's gift to you. We look forward to sharing something spectacular!

December 15 - Love Hotdog Co.
Noon - 5 p.m.
Scrumptious gourmet sausages & "dogs" - for the love of dogs!

Please note: Wine sold to be consumed on our premises is by-the-glass only.  No open bottles are permitted. PA State law prohibits the consumption of any other alcohol on our premises. If you are planning to come in a group of 6 or more, we do require reservations. They may be made by calling the winery in advance during normal business hours.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Franklin Hill Vineyards launches new social media hashtag contest for the holiday season

Doors and Windows of Bethlehem

It's that time of year again and we need your vote. The Downtown Bethlehem Association is holding their annual contest to see who can create the most beautiful and unique doors or window. Take a stroll through beautiful Downtown Bethlehem and be sure to vote for Franklin Hill Vineyards starting November 23.

Here we go again...

We know you're crafty. Your table decor is the talk of the holidays. Now we want to give you a free case of wine just for showing off.

Take a picture of your Thanksgiving table, Christmas table or any time you think your table is amazing. Make sure there is a bottle of Franklin Hill wine visible and post it to social media with the hashtag #tablewine. We are accepting submissions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We will judge entries based on creativity, beauty, wine placement and maybe even how delicious everything looks. The winner gets a free case of wine! Yes, you read that right, a FREE CASE OF WINE!

All submissions must be posted by January 1, 2014. We will pick the winner January 6. Good luck and Happy Holidays.

As the holiday's approach we hope you take the time to reflect, cherish and enjoy all the season has to offer.  We have so many loyal and valued customers, and for this we are truly thankful. Cheers!  Elaine, Adam and the Franklin Hill Vineyards family.

Featured Recipe - Apple Cider Sangria
We've found the perfect drink for your Thanksgiving Day guests.
Take a bottle of our Seyval Blanc and add in 2 1/2 cups of fresh apple cider, 1 cup of club soda and 1/2 cup of ginger brandy.  Chop up 3 apples and 3 pears and enjoy.

Extended Holiday Hours - starting November 25

Short on time this holiday season? Let us help. Our retail stores will be opening earlier and closing later,. So whether we're your first stop or your last, we'll be there for you.

Tannersville & Easton -
Mondays - Saturdays: 10am - 7pm
Sundays: 11am - 5pm

Bethlehem -
Mondays - Wednesdays: 10am - 7pm
Thursdays: 10am - 8pm
Friday & Saturdays: 10am - 9pm
Sundays: noon - 6pm

Tasting room hours at the winery in Bangor will remain the same.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nouveau Weekend, and a policy change, at Pinnacle Ridge

As another harvest season at Pinnacle Ridge nears its end, we would like to invite you to share in the fruits of our labor with our annual end of harvest celebration. The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail's Nouveau Weekend is this Saturday and Sunday, November 16 & 17. 

This free event is based on the French tradition of the release of Beaujolais Nouveau - a young, fruity red wine that is free from tannins and made in just weeks. By law, Beaujolais Nouveau must not be released until the midnight hour of the third Thursday in November. Flocks of people line up for this event, eagerly awaiting the  release of the new vintage and it is shared with friends and family, in pubs and homes the world throughout as the first inclination of what the season has in store for us.        
In keeping with that tradition, we will be taking part in an event that weekend to celebrate the end of our harvest season. We will be featuring a seasonal butternut squash soup to warm the soul on a crisp fall day to be paired with our own "nouveau" wine, made from Chambourcin, as well as to take a sneak peek at some wines that are works in progress. Take in all the sights, sounds and smells of the winemaking season and enjoy the autumnal scenery in the vineyard. Ask about seasonal pairings and wine specials, too. We will be featuring special half-case discounts for case club members and a special discount for all new case club members. We will also be featuring some artisan photography by Cindy Cowan, a local wine enthusiast and Pinnacle Ridge supporter. She has some beautiful work that will be on display during the weekend.                                                                        

Policy change regarding groups and commercial vehicles        
Our commitment is to quality wines, being a part of our local community, and providing excellent customer service. We value the time spent with our customers and the conversations about food and wine, all while getting to know the people that we share our wines with. Out of respect for our neighbors and in order to keep your visit to the Pennsylvania wine country a tranquil and enjoyable one, we will no longer be accepting commercial vehicles (buses or limos), or large groups (groups of 8 or more) on Saturdays.

We have a very small tasting room and an even smaller parking area and we can no longer accommodate such groups. We are very happy that ventures to wine country have become so popular over these last few years and that so many people have chosen to spend their afternoons with us, but we do not wish to turn people away or sacrifice our customer service due to overcrowding. Please respect our reasons for this as we are a small, family-owned and operated farm and, after 6 pm each day Pinnacle Ridge returns to being our home. We welcome you to visit us during the week when we are less crowded to enjoy some of our wines on a peaceful afternoon.

NOTE: Groups of 8 or more are still welcome at Pinnacle Ridge during the week and on Sundays, with a reservation made AT LEAST ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE.        

Thank you all for your support and understanding. We look forward to seeing you all very soon and best wishes from all of us here on the start of your holiday season!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blue Mountain Vineyards to host Christmas Open House event

Christmas Open House
December 7
5 - 9 pm

Please join us for some Christmas Cheer! This event is our way of saying thank you to our customers. Enjoy our delicious wines accompanied by hors d'oeuvres while listening to live entertainment in our beautiful glass-enclosed deck kept warm and cozy by our fireplaces.

Hosting a Christmas Party?
Why not have it at Blue Mountain? Call or email for details.
610 298-3068

Custom labeled wine - a great gift for any occasion
We can scan your logo or artwork and create the perfect label for your company or personal gift giving.
Full and half bottles
Affordable pricing
10% case discount
Free set up on all holiday orders from now until Christmas.

Join us for live entertainment
2 - 5 p.m. every Sunday

Nov 17        Billy Patrick
Nov 24       Jake Kalegis & Mike Rausher's Dynamic Duo

Lehigh Valley Wine Trail event - Nouveau Weekend
November 16 -17

We will release our 2013 Noveau Beaujolais paired with turkey shepherd's pie and cran-citrus chutney.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Clover Hill recommends wines to pair with Thanksgiving dinner

We completed our 36th grape harvest at Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery in mid-October and what a dramatic vintage it was! Overall, we are quite pleased with the harvest; in particular the late ripening varieties such as Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin. Your first opportunity to taste any of this year’s wines will be spring 2014. In the meantime, winemaker John Skrip III is busy working in the winery transforming grapes into wine.

Now, let’s talk turkey. Choosing the right wine to serve for Thanksgiving should be an easy task. Let’s start with what NOT to serve. We suggest staying away from the full body, big oak wines and also the very sweet and grapey wines. Too much oak or too much grape flavor will overpower the food. In order to enhance the food flavors, opt for a lighter, more delicate white or red wine. 

Some of our favorite Clover Hill wine suggestions would include:

  • Riesling ~ we make two styles of Riesling: a dry and a semi-sweet white. Both wines are rich in peach, apricot and honey characteristics and make a perfect Turkey pairing.
  • 2009 Sangiovese ~ this is a lighter body, dry red wine with soft hints of oak. Light enough to pair with turkey, but has enough body to go well with all the side dishes.
  • Turtle Rock Red ~ 100% Chambourcin, stainless steel fermented and just a hint of sweetness. The perfect red wine for turkey.
  • Vignoles ~ exudes sweet, luscious and rich flavors of honey and orange blossoms. This is our favorite choice to serve with pumpkin pie after dinner.
We would like to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with good food, good company and great wine. Thank you for choosing to drink local and for serving a Clover Hill wine this Thanksgiving.

Owner's Selection
Save 10% on your purchase of Spiced Apple during the month of November. Spiced with just the right blend of cinnamon and cloves - reminiscent of mom's apple pie. Excellent for braising pork or poultry. Can be served warm as a mulled wine; or serve cold as is or with soda and a squeeze of lime. Now only $9.45.

Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer's Market
Saturday November 9 from 11 am - 4 pm

Visit the Clover Hill Wine Shop at the  Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer's Market for a special wine and food pairing featuring General Tso's Chicken Meatballs from Culinary Experts paired with the Clover Hill Riesling.

Buck A Bottle Shipping Special
November 14-17

Let us help you share Clover Hill wines this Thanksgiving with friends and family across the USA. We will ship your favorite Clover Hill wines for just A BUCK A BOTTLE shipping. Purchase 12 or more bottles and you will also receive a 10% discount on your wine. Use the coupon code $1SHIP at checkout. 

Generations Wine Tasting

November 28-December 1
All Clover Hill locations

Visit any Clover Hill location to sample our limited release Generations wines. Sampling will include:
  • 2012 Generations Riesling – a dry Riesling
  • 2012 Generations N-Chard – a dry, unoaked Chardonnay
  • 2012 Generations Three – a dry, red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot
Shop Small Saturday
Saturday, November 30
All Clover Hill locations and at

Eat, Drink and Buy Local! Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery would like to thank you for choosing to "Shop Small’ and supporting our family owned and operated winery. Please enjoy 10% off any 6 or more bottles and 20% off 12 or more bottles on Shop Small Saturday only. Go ahead, stock up for the holiday and thank you for Shopping Small. 

Receive an additional 10% discount when included in a case purchase! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nouveau Weekend = the start of the holiday season at Vynecrest Winery

The 2013 harvest is pretty much over (except for our Late Harvest Vidal) and it feels good to take a breath before the busy holiday season begins. Passports for the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail's March Passport Program go on sale November 16 (during Nouveau Weekend) for $35 each.

Christkindlmarkt starts Nov. 21 and runs through Dec 22 and is open Thursday 11 am - 6 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am - 8 pm, and Sunday 11 am - 6 pm (closed Thanksgiving Day).

Our winery's gift area has locally made products that make wonderful gifts for teachers, hostesses, family and friends. Soy candles, crackers, dips, cheese. Remember we have make-your-own baskets ($5 for basket and wrapping) where you add whatever wine, candles, cheese, crackers, dips, wine gifts you want and we'll make it up for you.

November specials
* Wine of the Month - Summertime Red, additional 10% off
* 3 Pack of the Month - Vynecrest Red, 3 for $27

(Wine of the month and 3 pack available at winery only; 3 pack can't be combined with other discounts.)

Upcoming events

  • Nov. 16 & 17 - Lehigh Valley Wine Trail Nouveau Weekend - For Nouveau Weekend, we will be releasing a new vintage of our estate-grown Gamay Beaujolais, the traditional grape of Nouveau wine. Young and fruity with a promise of even greater expectations to come, this wine is meant to be enjoyed now, during the holiday season. And, to help make entertaining this holiday season easier, we at Vynecrest will feature during Nouveau Weekend vegetable and fruit dip appetizers made by our local partner, Sugar ‘n Spice from Coplay. Ann Moeller will be serving samples of her products such as festive vegetable, cucumber onion and dill, tomato ranch and jalapeno to pair with our Gamay Beaujolais wine. We will also have pumpkin dip and strawberry fruit dip available for sampling.
  • Nov. 21 - Christkindlmarkt opens.
  • Nov. 24 - Jazz Sunday - Live Jazz music in the Vyneskeller, 1 - 4 pm

Glass Half Empty
2013 Harvest Recap
by Malachi Duffy

Where do I go with all of this wine? That question is a good description of how the 2013 harvest went for Vynecrest this year. The vintage did not start off that way. We had a later-than-usual bud break, unpredictable weather during fruit set, and a rainy summer. Things were not looking good until late August. Then, the rain stopped, the humidity dropped, and the weather took a complete 180. The weather starting in late August could not have been much better to turn a sub-par vintage into one for the record books.

Not only did the weather cooperate, but the birds did as well. If you have read this newsletter for awhile you are aware of the battle we go through every year with birds. In August we got ready for the war to begin. We loaded up on ammo and had a patrol schedule set up morning and night. We decided to be preemptive and start the patrol even though we didn't see any birds yet. We figured if we scared them away as they came in we could keep them away. But they never really showed up. We had a couple flocks of starlings here and there but they didn't do much damage. We have a couple of rows of early ripening grapes we have never been able to harvest because the birds ate every berry on every plant before we could get to them. This year we pulled 130 lugs out of those rows. That is 230 gallons of wine we were never able to harvest before. Not a bad start to the 2013 Harvest.

As we continued bringing grapes in, the yields were higher than expected on every variety. Sometimes a little higher, sometimes a lot higher. There is always a balance of quantity vs. quality. That is why on many of our varieties we cut off as much as half of the fruit off the vine in order to fully ripen the remaining fruit. Even with the high yields, the quality of the fruit we brought in was amazing. The grapes were ripe, clean, and the sugars and acids were right where we wanted them.

That leads me back to the problem of where do I go with all of this wine? With every variety coming in with higher than expected yields, our tanks filled up quickly. We are re-purposing our white wine fermentation tanks as wine storage tanks until we can make some more room, or buy more tanks. Not a bad problem to have, it just makes life in the cellar a little more interesting for the next couple of months.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Save the date for our last wine trail event of 2013 - Nouveau Weekend

The eight wineries of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail will debut the first wines from the new vintage during Nouveau Weekend, the last Wine Trail event of the year. Wineries will feature food and wine pairings for visitors to sample.

Nouveau wines are bottled very young without barrel aging, and exhibit lots of fruitiness. They are light, fruity and semi-dry to dry red wines.
Nouveau Weekend is a great opportunity to purchase wine to give as holiday gifts or to complement holiday meals.

Event hours at all of the wineries are Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon – 5 p.m. We will post to our web site details on what each winery has planned soon, so stay tuned.

(Nouveau Weekend is a free event, however some wineries charge for wine tastings.) 

Also, if you are someone who likes to plan ahead, mark your calendars and plan to join us for our six annual events next year. The dates are:
  • March Madness - the first four weekends in March (note: does not include the fifth weekend on the month)
  • Wine in Bloom – 5/17 & 18
  • Wine on the Mountain at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, Pa. – 7/26 & 27
  • Harvest Weekend – 9/13 & 14
  • Chambourcin Weekend – 10/18 & 19
  • Nouveau Weekend – 11/15 & 16