Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pinnacle Ridge announces January events for Case Club members

We have some very exciting things planned for the 2014 season. We will be kicking off the 2014 event calendar this month with a special event just for our Case Club Members. Join us in the evenings the last Wednesdays (January 21 and 28) and Thursdays (January 22 and 29) of the month for complimentary food and wine pairings featuring some of the newest additions to our tasting line up.

Come out for some great food, some new and exciting wines and a chance to mingle with our staff and your fellow Case Club Members. The event will take place from 6 - 8:30 p.m. Be rewarded with special discounts, Case Club Member news, and updates about new wine releases. Reservations are required - please call 610-756-4481.

We are running low on the ever-popular 2010 Veritas, a classic Bordeaux-style blend that we only make in the best years and age in the finest oak. This vintage will be the last one available until at least 2015. The special evenings reserved in January for our Case Club Members would be a great time to stock up before it's gone.

We have already released some wines from this past year’s harvest: our 2013 Dry Riesling and our 2013 Oasis style rosé wine inspired by old world techniques with a slight pink and orange hue that displays fresh, floral aromas and crisp acidity balanced by notes of citrus fruits. We have also just released our new 2012 Chambourcin, a dry, but fruit forward red, aged in Pennsylvania oak, that possesses an intense note of crushed berries and hints of vanilla. Also, after a few months without our popular sparkling wines, the Brut Rosé returns to the line up.                    
"Everyday Oenophile - A Winemaker Uncorked"

In this inaugural edition of the "Everyday Oenophile - A Winemaker Uncorked",  we will be discussing some of the things that are going on currently at Pinnacle Ridge Winery, as well as the story of how the business began with winery owner/operator and winemaker Brad Knapp.

Brad is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He completed his undergraduate degree at Purdue University (the Cradle of Quarterbacks, for you football fans this playoff season) and received his PhD. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, during which he began developing an interest in the study of wine tasting. Brad possesses a strong and long history of wine tasting and appreciation with other wine enthusiasts. During his academic career, Brad began to experiment with amateur winemaking and brewing. After completing his education, he began looking for work here on the East Coast and spent much of his time on the road investigating the local wine scene.  
In 1988, Brad took a position with Air Products and quickly joined some of the local American Wine Society tasting groups in the Lehigh Valley. He is still involved in some of those regular tasting groups today. That same year, he made a Chambourcin blend that won "Best in Show" in a local amateur winemaking competition and, shortly thereafter, he began looking for land with the intent of starting a winery.

In 1990, he purchased the property where Pinnacle Ridge is currently located and began preparing the property for production and planting. He had also developed a relationship with friend and co-worker, the late Curtis Luckenbill, owner of Round Ridge Farms in Kempton, Pa. Curtis had also expressed interest in grape production and the two began planting on the Kempton property in 1991 with Vidal Blanc and Cayuga. Soon, they would add Chambourcin, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to the vineyard. Pinnacle Ridge was licensed in 1993 and opened to the public in 1995 with only three wines.              
Today, Pinnacle Ridge Winery produces around 4,500 cases annually and has an extremely diverse portfolio of wines. The list today includes both red and white, dry and sweet, as well as some signature sparkling wines. In recent years, Brad has adopted some new winemaking techniques derived from regions like Germany and Austria, like flotation and hyper oxidation, as methods of removing bitterness and pheonolics from the whites. As a result, the whites age better and remain clear with nice color and are more aromatic.

This past harvest season was one of the most unique in recent memory, as our normally hot, dry summers were instead filled with an abundance of rain. Conversely, the normally wet fall season, as a result of hurricanes moving up the coast, actually saved the harvest with very dry weather and lots of sunshine. We were "saved by the fall," as Brad puts it as this unique weather for the harvest season elevated what would have otherwise been an average vintage. This enabled us to let a lot of our fruit hang much longer. In fact, we hung the Riesling longer than ever this year and this vintage looks to potentially be some of the nicest fruit for whites that we have ever had. We were also able to let some of the Vidal Blanc hang until December 10 and picked that fruit for what will become our first Late Harvest wine since the 2010 vintage. As for the reds, they're "pretty frickin' nice too" according to Brad.                
Have any questions about winemaking or what's going on here in the cellar? Shoot us an e-mail at and Ask the Winemaker.

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