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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRNy7BxSHe0

This last video briefly explains the process of riddling & dégorgement: http://vimeo.com/channels/269021

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.

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