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.

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