Friday, February 28, 2014

Girl Scout Cookies paired with local wine? Sure, why not!

Girl Scout Cookies are everywhere right now, and after seeing an online article that paired this year's cookies with beer, we thought it would be fun to pair them with local, Lehigh Valley wine.

Here are a few suggestions from three of our wineries:

Clover Hill

  • Trefoils/Shortbreads and Clover Hill Cuvee – this semi-sweet Sparkling wine is the perfect contrast to the buttery, crisp flavors of Shortbread cookies
  • Do-si-dos/Peanut Butter Sandwiches and Concord – flavors of an adult peanut butter and jelly
  • Samoas/Carmel deLites and Cabernet Sauvignon – matching flavors of carmel and rich chocolate in the cookie and wine 
  • Cranberry Citrus Crisps and Turtle Rock Red – a little bit of sweetness and lots of tangy flavors in the wine can match up to the cranberries

Galen Glen

  • Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs and Do-si-dos/Peanut Butter Sandwiches paired with Winter Mountain Red


  • Lemonades with Blueberry wine and Trefoils/Shortbreads with Summertime Red

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pinnacle Ridge celebrates recent awards while gearing up for the March Passport Program

The Wine Trail event season is about to begin and we look forward to seeing a lot more of you (and a lot less of this snow) very soon!

The results from the 2014 PA Farm Show are in. Pinnacle Ridge wines placed very well this year. Our 2012 Chambourcin Rosé, 2012 Traminette, 2012 Cayuga and 2012 Vidal Blanc all were awarded Silver medals. Three of our reds were also recognized as award winners: 2012 Chambourcin, 2012 Merlot and 2012 Cabernet Franc also came home with some hardware. Thank you to all of those involved in the wonderful event and for all of your support.

March Passport Program
The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail will present its annual March Passport Program during the first four weekends in March. There are still passports available for sale in our Tasting Room.

$35 gets you access to all eight of the member wineries. Enjoy signature food and wine pairings at each of the locations, as well as tasting flights. Here at Pinnacle Ridge, our theme will be "On a Stick" and we will be featuring a series of fondues as well as a delicious Coq au Vin. Below is the menu for each of the weekends:

  • March 1 & 2: Chicken Club Fondue, made with our Dry Riesling paired with our new 2013 Dry Riesling OR our award-winning 2012 Cayuga.
  • March 8 & 9: Goat Cheese Fondue, made with our award-winning Traminette paired with our award-winning 2012 Traminette OR our 2012 Syrah.
  • March 15 & 16: Beef & Chicken Coqau Vin, made with award-winning Chambourcin and served with a Garden Herb Aioli Sauce paired with our award-winning 2012 Chambourcin OR 2012 Quaff.
  • Marc 22 & 23: Bananas Foster Fondue paired with our 2012 Niagara OR the soon-to-be-released Blanc de Blanc.

Everyday Oenophile: A Winemaker Uncorked
In this edition of Everyday Oenophile: A Winemaker Uncorked, we will be discussing some of things we are currently working on here in the cellar with owner/winemaker, Brad Knapp. In the last newsletter, we got to learn about Brad and how his passion for wine became the dream that we all now share with him here at Pinnacle Ridge. This time, we are going to discuss some of the styles of wine that Brad is passionate about.

Brad's core philosophy for white winemaking is a very Germanic one; an approach to wine that both captures and highlights the fruit. These wines are done in stainless steel and bottled young, so as to provide a little "spritz & zing" on the tongue, as he likes to put it. Currently, we are taking care of the new wines in the cellar. Brad has spent the last few days and weeks topping off barrels, checking sulfites, racking, filtering and preparing to bottle.

Josh and Brad have also been spending much of their time working on the preparation of our soon-to-be-released Blanc de Blanc, a sparkling wine made from Cayuga and some more of our Brut Rosé for bottling. The process of making Sparkling Wine is a labor intensive one. Below are links to two videos that will explain some of the work that goes into the production of these bubbly treats:

This first video provides a general description and explains the process from start to finish:

This video is a brief overview of how each step in the process is done:

This last video briefly explains the process of riddling & dégorgement:

So I asked Brad, "Why sparkling wine? What made you want to do this for your business?" I wondered why he would utilize such a detail oriented process that required him to be out in a cold storage room in January picking up bottles out of an ice bath. "Well, I like to drink them," he replied with a laugh. "I learned from a father of one of my friends while I was at the University of Wisconsin and started practicing with them then."

Brad says that he likes to stick to the traditional methods and varieties when it comes to his sparkling wine, but that he prefers to express a softer side in his style of bubbly. "We have a warmer climate here than in Champagne," he explains. As a result, we generally have less acidity in our fruit and it ripens a little more, so we can harvest the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in early September. The Brut Rosé (pictured below) has just been released and is made with an old-world flair with aromas of bread dough from the yeast and strawberries from the fruit - 100% Pinot Noir. Soon to come, our way of paying homage to some of the new-world approaches, like the "New York bubblies" that were traditionally made from Lambrusca, our Blanc de Blanc is made from an American hybrid, Cayuga.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Galen Glen to bring Ice Wine back to the tasting list in March

Chili Cook Off recap
Thank you to everyone who made our first Chili Cook Off a huge success. We had about 120 people taste the six contestants' chilis and the competition was hot. Todd Keller of Kutztown won first prize, Julie Hamilton of Northampton won second, and Shelly Babinchak of Tamaqua came in third. We have decided to make this an annual event, so watch our website, Facebook and Twitter for details to enter next January. Stop by during Chambourcin Weekend to taste Todd's winning recipe.

Case Club News
Thank you to everyone who came in to renew their annual case club membership in January.  We trust you are enjoying the benefits of membership.  We have not yet scheduled our Winemakers Dinners and as soon as we do, active club members will receive an invitation.  For now, mark your calendar for Saturday, August 2 when we will hold an exclusive case club event.

Upcoming Event - Vintage Opportunity Weekend 
Do you have a favorite wine from the current vintage? Join us Feb. 22 & 23 for a complimentary pairing of our current vintages with gourmet cheese. Take advantage of the opportunity to stock up on your favorites while they are available. Beginning in March many of our wines will transition into the new vintage year. Saturday - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday - noon to 5 p.m.

Passports & Ice Wine
Yes, you read that correctly... Ice Wine is returning to the tasting list. We will host our Ice Wine Debut at the end of March.

Also, we have a new stock of Lehigh Valley Wine Trail March Passports to sell ($35 each), and they are also still available online until 2/25.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Vynecrest wines win honors as the winery prepares to celebrate two anniversaries

Last month the 2012 Lemberger won a double gold at the PA Farm Show. This month Lemberger won Wine Excellence XII, an annual competition that's organized and judged by the Pennsylvania Wine Society. This is the second time in three years Vynecrest has taken top wine at this competition, our 2010 Chambourcin won in 2011.

Share some love with a gift from Vynecrest this Valentine's Day. For February we are featuring our 2013 PA Farm Show Bronze Medal winning Cherry DiVyne and Wilbur Buds gift set for $19.99. In addition, we will have our Spiced Winter Red and Rip Rap Cinnamon Crackers gift set for $13.99.
Vynecrest will also be debuting our new Adult Sippy Cups, a perfect gift for the man or woman on the go.

▪ Wine of the Month - Pinot Noir, additional 10% off*
▪ 3 Pack of the Month - 3 Spiced Winter Red for $25.00*

*at winery only, 3 pack cannot be combined with other offers

Upcoming Events

February 15 - Valentine's Day Jazz in the Vyneskeller, 1 - 4 pm. Free.

February 23 - Jazz Sunday in the Vyneskeller, 1 - 4 pm. Free.

March weekends - Lehigh Valley Wine Trail March Passport Program
There are still tickets available for the March Passport Program. The winery will be open for tastings but all food pairings are exclusively for passport holders. Passports can be purchased online or at the winery.

Weeks 1 & 2 Paring: chicken, apple, bacon sliders with gouda cheese on slider rolls paired with Summertime Red Wine.

Weeks 3 & 4 Pairing: chipotle pulled pork sliders with provolone cheese on slider rolls paired with Traminette White Wine.

Glass Half Empty
by Jan Landis

Every once in awhile I work at the register on weekends. Our employees I’m sure must shutter when I do, since I usually spend more time chatting with the customers than I do actually ringing up their purchases. I enjoy it; hearing firsthand what they like, maybe what they’d like to see more of at the winery, that kind of thing. Last weekend, a gentleman at the register said to me: “So what are you going to do to celebrate your 40th anniversary?” As he said it, he pointed to our lovely carved plaque saying Vynecrest est. 1974. Wow, I thought! It hadn’t even occurred to me that it was our 40th year as a vineyard, nor that it was our 25th anniversary as a licensed winery.

Boy did that go quickly! Seems like just yesterday John and I moved out here to what we considered the country (and it was then), planted 50 vines on the crest of the hill and named it Vynecrest. And the changes through the years—we started in an unheated area, where the Vyneskeller is now, with six wines and a small tank or two. But we kept acquiring more land and planting more vines, and John kept making more wines. Then we moved upstairs in 1998, Sam joined us in 2002, Malachi joined us a few years later, and we built onto the existing barn, built another building, and here we are making about 20,000 gallons of wine a year.

And what an adventure it’s been! It's great fun thanks to most of you who come and buy our wine. So what are we going to do to celebrate? Something fun and you’re all invited. Not quite sure what yet, so stay tuned.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

February update from Blue Mountain Vineyards includes new wine release

Valentine's Weekend
February 15 & 16

Sweet Finesse Chocolates will offer samples of delicious chocolate paired with Blue Mountain wines. Of course, the chocolates will be available for purchase.

On February 15 we will have complimentary entertainment provided by Adam Motto from 1 - 4 p.m.  So bring that special person to the winery for a relaxing afternoon. Also, wine makes a great gift.

New Release
2013 Late Harvest Vidal Blanc
Sugar at Harvest - 28.87 Brix
Residual Sugar - 12.1% by weight
Alcohol by volume  - 10%

The Vidal Blanc grapes used to produce this wine were left untouched on the vine until they were hand picked in early December.  The ripeness of the grapes concentrates the flavors of apricot and honey resulting in an intensely fruity, sweet wine. Try it with blue cheese, pears and spiced nuts.

February Wine Specials
2012 Riesling - $1 off
2010 Pinot Noir  - $2 off

Sunday Blues Wine Tasting
Enjoy live entertainment on our indoor deck with commanding views of the mountains and our vineyards. Gourmet cheeses and fresh baked bread available for purchase or bring you own snacks. Admission $5 per person. Please call or email for reservations.

(If reservations are made, we ask that you arrive by 2:15 p.m. If you are running late just call and we will hold your table. However, if we do not hear from you, due to demand we will release your table.)

2/16 - Billy Patrick
2/23 - Jake Kalegis & Mike Rauscher's Dynamic Duo

Lehigh Valley Wine Trail News

March Passports are still available. Call the winery to purchase yours. Don't miss out on the fun.

All our locations have been restocked with wine-related accessories just in time for Valentine's Day gift giving.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Food and wine pairings announced for March Passport Program

The annual Lehigh Valley Wine Trail March Passport Program begins in less than a month but there's still time to purchase passports and join us. Which food and wine pairing are you most looking forward to trying? 

(Just a reminder that food and wine pairings are samples only. They are just meant to be tastings, not a meal, so please expect them to be small.) 

Week 1. Chicken Picatta Medallions served over lemon butter tri-color orzo paired with Chardonnay
Week 2. Tortellini in a sundried tomato and basil sauce paired with Cabaret Amore
Week 3. Beef Stroganoff with bowtie pasta paired with Chambourcin
Week 4. Chicken Medallions and Pasta Florentine, roasted red peppers, artichokes and mushrooms in a light white wine sauce paired with Gregg Gregio

Big Creek
Big Creek will pair "Zuppa di Lenticchie Verdi ala Milli" with their off-dry Moonlight White. There will be a special treat on the fourth weekend compliments of Lisa.

Blue Mountain
Week 1

March 1
Mushroom Gruyere crepes compliments of “French Girl Creperie,” (crepes will be available for purchase) paired with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Pumpkin spice cake, paired with warm Mountain Spice

March 2
Pizza fondue, paired with Chambourcin
Pumpkin spice cake, paired with warm Mountain Spice

Week 2

March 8 & 9
Meatballs in blue cheese Bordelaise sauce, paired with White Merlot
Chocolate fondue, paired with Cabernet Sauvignon or Victoria’s Passion

Week 3

March 15
Chicken, lime and tortilla soup, paired with Riesling
Delectable chocolates by “Sweet Finesse” (a selection of chocolate will be available for purchase)

March 16
Chicken, lime and tortilla soup paired with Riesling
Strawberry with Nutella crepes compliments of “French Girl Creperie,”(crepes will be available for purchase) paired with Victoria’s Passion

Week 4

March 22 & 23
Chicken and pears with tarragon, paired with 2011 Chardonnay
Chocolate fondue, paired with Merlot or Victoria’s Passion

Clover Hill
For the March Passport Program 2014, Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery is celebrating the foods of the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market. This local farmers’ market has been a long time favorite of Clover Hill’s and the Skrip Family. The Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers’ Market is a food lovers dream and we couldn’t think of a better place to find menu items for the March Passport Program. Passports are required for the wine and food pairing or you can purchase a one-time pass for $5 to do the wine and food sampling at Clover Hill ONLY. We are looking forward to an Allentown Farmers’ Market inspired wine and food pairings!  For more information on the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market, please visit  

March 1 & 2
Black & Gold Turkey filets served with Edamame Salad paired with Vidal Blanc. Blackbottom cupcakes served with Concord
Market vendors include Mr. Bill’s Poultry, Gannon’s and Amish Bake Shop.

March 8 & 9
Jambalaya and homemade cornbread served with Sangiovese. Black-bottom cupcakes served with Concord.
Market vendors include Southern Delights and Amish Bake Shop.

March 15 & 16
Meats and cheeses plate paired with Cabernet Sauvignon and Vignoles. Baklava served with Vignoles.
Market vendors include Weaver’s Meats and Cheeses and Foods of the Mediterranean

March 22 & 23
Turkey London Broil served with Mushroom & Onion Risotto served with Turtle Rock Red. Baklava served with Vignoles.
Market vendors include Mr. Bill’s Poultry, Julia’s Country Kitchen & Foods of the Mediterranean

Franklin Hill
Franklin Hill Vineyards is pairing up with local restaurants.

Week 1
Vidal Blanc paired with chicken corn chowder from the Broadway Pub in Bangor.

Week 2
White Jade paired with lobster bisque from the Cherry Hill Hotel in Nazareth

Week 3 
Chambourcin will be paired with Pulled Pork from Bethlehem Brew Works.

Week 4
Fainting Goat or Redhead paired with assorted desserts from Buttercup Bakery in Nazareth

Galen Glen

Galen Glen has teamed with Bamboo Asian Cuisine of Allentown to prepare a food and wine pairing that is sure to delight any palate. This year's pairing will be Andy Liu's special homemade dumplings with pork and vegetables paired with one of Galen Glen's Riesling wines. Passport holders will have their choice of either the gold-medal winning Stone Cellar Riesling or the double gold-medal winning semi-dry Riesling.

Pinnacle Ridge
Pinnacle Ridge’s theme is "On a Stick" and they will be featuring a series of fondues and a delicious Coq au Vin.

March 1 & 2: Chicken Club Fondue made with their Dry Riesling, paired with the new 2013 Dry Riesling or the 2012 Cayuga.

March 8 & 9: Goat Cheese Fondue made with Traminette, will be paired with their 2012 Traminette or the 2012 Syrah.

March 15 & 16: Beef & Chicken Coq au Vin made with Chambourcin and served with a Garden Herb Aioli Sauce paired with their 2012 Chambourcin or the 2012 Quaff.

Marc 22 & 23: Bananas Foster Fondue paired their 2012 Sweet Seduction or the soon-to-be-released Blanc de Blanc.

All-American Slider Month at Vynecrest

Week 1 & 2
Chicken, apple, and bacon sliders with Gouda cheese on slider rolls paired with Summertime red wine.

Week 3 & 4
Chipotle pulled pork sliders with provolone cheese on slider rolls paired with Traminette white wine.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Clover Hill keeps busy in February with special events

Let us help you heat up these cold winter days. Grab someone you love and bring them to either the Winery in Breinigsville or the Vineyard in Robesonia for a special Valentine’s Day wine and chocolate tasting. Our upcoming Snowy Six Pack Sale is a great way for you to stock up so you have a good supply of wine for the rest of winter. February tends to be a quiet month at the winery, so if you are looking for an intimate tasting experience, this is your time to sip, savor and enjoy.

Many customers have been asking us what impact the extreme cold temperatures will have on the grapevines. Grapes in general are quite hardy, some varieties more so than others, but the below zero temperatures can cause damage. Winter kill will damage a vine from the tip of the shoot to the branches and eventually toward the trunk. Most of our varieties will not be pruned until winter is near complete. This will help the vines to winter over. Unfortunately we will have to wait for spring to see what damage (if any) has been done.

Owner’s Selection 
Save 10% on your purchase of Niagara.

Enjoy the outstanding aroma and taste of fresh grapes that just popped out of their skin into the wine glass. This sweet white wine is a nostalgic treat for anyone who ever tasted the ‘backyard grapes’. Serve the Niagara well chilled with good friends or family. Try our Pretty in Peach recipe using Niagara. Now only $8.55
. Receive an additional 10% discount when included in a case purchase!

Snowy 6 Pack Sale

All Clover Hill locations and at

February 6-9

Visit any Clover Hill location or shop online for our annual Snowy 6 Pack Sale. Purchase any 6+ bottles of wine and receive a 10% discount. Purchase 12+ bottles of wine and receive a 20% discount. We will also give you a free wine carrying tote with a purchase of 6 or more bottles! What a great time to stock up and chase away the winter blues.

Wine & Food Inspiration

Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer's Market

Saturday, February 8 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Visit Clover Hill at the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer's Market for our monthly Wine & Food Inspiration tasting. This month we will be serving samples of Cayuga White or Turtle Rock Red paired with a Dijon Chicken Sandwich from Bada Bingg. Bada Bingg will have the ‘sandwich insides’ pre-packed for purchase. The Dijon Chicken is also great served over rice or pasta. Stop in for a sample and join the fun.

Sweet Sipping

The Winery in Breinigsville

Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15 from noon - 5 p.m. both days

Bring someone you love to Clover Hill Winery in Breinigsville to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We will be featuring wine filled chocolates from Simply Chocolates. Sample a dark chocolate filled with Turtle Rock Red and a milk chocolate filled with Concord. Be our guest to linger and enjoy wine by the glass in the Chambourcin room. This is a free tasting, however wines, chocolates and wine by the glass are available for purchase.

Annual Wine Rack Sale

All Clover Hill locations

February 22 – March 2

Need a new place to store your wine? Visit any Clover Hill location for our Annual Wine Rack Sale. All in-stock wine racks are discounted 10-60% off.