Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yoga in the Vineyard, May wine dinner and more this spring at Franklin Hill Vineyards

Cupcake and Wine Tasting 
Saturday, May 3 from 1-3 p.m.
The Courtyard Marriott
2220 Emerick Blvd, Bethlehem

Wine, cupcakes and happiness. Experience a match made in heaven. You'll discover how perfectly our wines fuse with an array of fantastic Sugar Babe Cupcakes, and gain a little wine knowledge along the way.
Cost: $30 per person + tax. Reservations required. Call 610-332-WINE to make reservations.

Yoga in the Vineyard 
May 11, June 8, July 20, August 17
10 a.m.

"Wine-down" with an hour of yoga led by Silver Kim from Kula Heart Yoga in Bethlehem. Once you've found your zen we invite you to the tasting room for a picnic-style brunch on the deck complete with cocktails. Wine tastings will also be available. $20 per person. This very popular series sells out early, so call 610-588-8708 to reserve your patch of grass soon. BYOM (bring your own mat)

Touch of Spring Vineyard Dinner at Franklin Hill 
Friday, May 30 at 6 p.m.

Join us for the ultimate dining experience. You and your guest will dine in our vineyard, pairing each course with Franklin Hill Vineyard's exquisite wines. Enjoy a four-course catered meal prepared by North Star Catering Company.  Cost: $150 per couple + tax

First Course:
Caprese Salad
Fresh mozzarella & tomatoes atop a bed of field greens with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette

Second Course:
Pan Seared Seasoned Scallops

Third Course:
Chicken breast stuffed with fresh baby spinach, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes & kalamata olives, pan seared, finished in a light white wine sauce, accompanied with lemon marinated sautéed shrimp, over jasmine rice with carrots and green beans.

Strawberry Shortcake

(Please, no substitutions. This event is rain or shine.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Annual Candlelight Barrel Tasting event returns to Blue Mountain Vineyards

April Specials - 
2010 Cabernet Franc - $2 off and 
Bri's Blush - $1 off

4th Annual Wine Tasting & Auction

Hosted by the ARCH of Lehigh Valley
 - April 25

We're proud to once again host this amazing event at the winery. 
Tickets are $50 per person; $90 per couple. 
Please call 610-573-2500 to order tickets.

Annual Candlelight 
Barrel Tasting

Saturday May 31 from  5-9 p.m.

Join us as we sample our 2013 vintages. Enjoy our wines accompanied by hors' devours while listening to live entertainment. We will be taking orders for Futures of these wines that evening.  Reservations required.  Tickets $17.50 per person.  Call or email your reservations today.

Sunday Blues - April 27    
Jake Kalegis & Mike Rauscher

$5 per person, includes a wine tasting and admission. Adults 21 and older only, please.
Reservations preferred. If you have reservation, we would appreciate your arriving by 2:15 p..m. or call the winery. If we do not hear from you we will release your table.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 March Passport Program winners announced!

We are excited to announce the winners of the 2014 March Passport Program contest. 

Each winner will receive a $25 Lehigh Valley Wine Trail gift certificate which will be sent to them in the mail in the next 2-3 weeks. 

Congrats to all who won and thanks to everyone who participated in this year's event!

Jennifer Saccketti
Hazle Township
Laura Walters
Meghan Geiger
Dianne M. Trevis
Ceil Connelly-Weida
Angela Bashaw
Kirk Schlamp
Randy Nystrand
Midge Kirchner
Robyn Klem
Laura Wisser
Center Valley
Lisa Rodriguez
Angela Pell
Lauren Hale
Bob Shiffert
Bill Hanna
Beth Loftus
Jennifer Springer
Joe Carmina
Jack Fliter
Dave Smalley
E. Stroudsburg
Rosalie Viscomi
Ann Marie Tietz
Shawn White
Mark Fritzinger
Valerie Holzhauer
Cindy Watras
Tammy Solt
Raymond Hause
Alicia Pell

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Road construction near Clover Hill means slight detour to fine wine

Thank you to all our long time supporters of Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery. We are honored to have recently been awarded 2014 People’s Choice in Berks County, 2014 Who’s Who in the Lehigh Valley, and 2014 Pennsylvania Wine Competition:

Gold - Niagara
Silver - Vidal Blanc
Bronze - 2012 Generations Three and Catawba

We are honored and thrilled to see Clover Hill continue to grow as a family business and have our wines enjoyed by so many. Cheers to 28+ years of Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery.

Spring is in the air and we can’t wait to celebrate its arrival. We look forward to seeing you at one of our 4 Clover Hill locations this April.

Owner’s Selection
Save 10% on your purchase of DeChaunac!

An earthy style, semi-sweet red wine with flavors of mulberries and berries and a warm, soothing finish. Serve DeChaunac slightly chilled and pair with chili or pizza. Now only $10.34. Receive an additional 10% discount when included in a case purchase.

Spring has sprung and Easter and Passover are here. This is a vibrant time of year and we would love for you to celebrate this spring with Clover Hill wines.

If you are preparing an Easter ham, try our Holiday Ham Glaze recipe:
Use 1 cup of Clover Hill Holiday wine and combine with 1 cup brown sugar.
Baste your ham frequently with this mixture for a simple and delicious glaze.

Celebrating Mothers
May 10 and 11 from noon - 5 pm
We will celebrate all mothers the best way we know how… with a glass of bubbly in hand! Visit the winery in Breinigsville toast all mothers. We will have two new sparkling wines to sample and special wine drinks to enjoy by the glass. Plan on a Clover Hill visit and celebrate mom.

Detour Ahead
A portion of Schantz Road is closed making it a bit more challenging to find your way to the Winery in Breinigsville; however, we will remain open during the construction. If you are planning on visiting the winery in Breinigsville, please use one of the attached detours. The detour will only take you a few extra minutes and we promise the wine will be worth the drive!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Food and wine pairing recommendations for your Easter dinner

Easter is a special occasion that brings families together for a day of egg hunting in the backyard, visits on the lap of an costumed bunny, and baskets filled with candy and treats. But the highlight of the day is the celebratory meal.

The nine family-owned and operated wineries of the LehighValley Wine Trail understand how important that meal is and offer the following food and wine pairing suggestions for this year’s dinner.

Amoré Vineyards & Winery, Nazareth - Pair Amore Pink Passion with ham, pork and sauerkraut. After dinner, relax with a glass of Rapport or Vidal Blanc dessert wines.

Big Creek Vineyard and Winery, Kresgeville - Their Vin di Pasqualina is a favorite all-around wine for traditional Easter dinners. Both sweet and dry wine fans will enjoy the glass-filling aroma of this semi-dry rose. Vin is a blend of three grapes, but the bouquet and character come from Niagara, an aromatic white grape that can stand a little chill and still deliver a ton of flavor. It does very well as an aperitif or with ham, turkey, or even baked ziti.

Blue Mountain Vineyards, New Tripoli - The medium-bodied flavor of their Pinot Noir will compliment a glazed Easter ham. Their Riesling, non-oaked Chardonnay and White Merlot will also compliment the smoky flavor of ham.

Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville - Clover Hill’s DeChaunac is a semi-sweet red wine with fruity and earthy characteristics that pairs nicely with kielbasa or Easter ham. DeChaunac is 10 percent off for the month of April at all Clover Hill locations. And try Clover Hill’s Holiday Ham Glaze on your Easter Ham.

Franklin Hill Vineyards, Bangor - For traditional Easter Dinners serving ham or pork, their Kiss and Catawba are perfect pairings. Don't be afraid to think outside the box this year and consider Franklin Hill's Hard Cider. It's light and bubbly, and a fun option to offer guests.  

Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas – Winery Owners Galen and Sarah recommend what they are serving at their own Easter celebration: their semi-dry Riesling with honey mustard glazed ham, their Stone Cellar Chambourcin with braised lamb shanks, and their Stone Cellar Vidal Blanc Ice Wine with cheesecake.

Pinnacle Ridge, Kutztown - Their 2013 Vidal Blanc (a double gold winner in this year’s Finger Lakes International Wine Competition) is the perfect companion for traditional Easter fare. To make more of a splash, their Brut Rose sparkling wine (a silver medal winner) would be a festive choice.

Tolino Vineyards, Bangor - Enjoy the light, crisp pear and apple notes of their 2010 Chardonnay paired with Easter ham. Savor the full-bodied cherry and oak notes of their 2010 Cabernet Franc with a dark chocolate cherry cake.

Vynecrest Winery, Breinigsville – Celebrate the return of spring with Vynecrest's Estate-Bottled Sparkling Vidal wine. Made from 100 percent Vidal Blanc, this sparkling wine finishes slightly sweet which is perfect with ham with pineapple, turkey with cranberry, or lamb with mint jelly ($14.99). The chocolate in the Easter basket goes nicely with Cherry DiVyne, resulting in a heavenly sensation ($13.99).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Vynecrest looks forward to spring, bud break on the vines, and Wine in Bloom

The weather is finally starting to warm up. That means the dormant buds on the vine will begin to swell and eventually open, signaling the start of the 2014 growing season. Road work begins this week on the main road used to get to the winery (Schantz Road). Please see below for detour information.

April Specials 
* Wine of the Month - Dry Riesling, additional 10% off
* 3 Pack of the Month - 3 First Blush for $25.00

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

Upcoming Events

April and May -

Vynecrest Piano & Wine Bar in the Vyneskeller - Open every Saturday & Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m. (free admission)

Sunday, April 27 -

Jazz Sunday - live Jazz music in the Vyneskeller from 1 - 4 p.m. (free admission)

May 17 and 18 -

Wine in Bloom - a Lehigh Valley Wine Trail event. We'll be offering vineyard and wine cellar tours at  1 p.m. both days. The first 25 customers each day gets a potted flower plant courtesy of Amore Greenhouses. Vynecrest will have free samples of cheese and dips available for tasting.

June 7 -

2nd Annual Spring Fling event with Clover Hill Winery & Vynecrest Winery - Ticket holders receive samples of three cheeses and three wines at Vynecrest, and three sweets and three wines at Clover Hill. Additional details to be announced later this month. $10 per person. Tickets available at both wineries.

Local Roadwork

We wanted to give everyone a heads-up regarding a roadwork project that began on April 7. A stretch of Schantz Road will be closed until Spring 2015. This will not affect anyone visiting Vynecrest from Rt. 22/78 and Rt. 100. You will still be able to get to our winery by traveling west on Schantz Road and making a right onto Arrowhead Lane.

For those visiting from the south (Reading/Berks/Kutztown areas) you have two choices to get to us:
1. Follow detour signs, continue on Rt. 222 to the bypass and follow our winery signs in that way.
2. Continue on Schantz Rd. up to where road closure begins and take a left on Adams Road. Once on Adams Road, continue 3/4 of a mile to Arrowhead Lane, make a right onto it and proceed 1 mile. Vynecrest will be on your right.

The section of Schantz Road that will be closed is right after Arrowhead Lane and stretches to the top of the hill where it intersects with Adams Lane. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Glass Half Empty
by John Landis


Today I threw the last piece of ice off my driveway. I look forward to waking up listening to birds chirping, the sun shining, and putting on short-sleeve shirts and shorts.

I look forward to sitting on the patio sipping wine and watching the flowers bloom and the Lehigh Valley turn from white to green. I look forward to the spring planting of grapes and seeing bud break in the vineyard. I look forward to the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail’s Wine in Bloom Weekend when I can give tours of our vineyard.


It is the start of our 2014 grape growing season and brings excitement and anticipation of another great harvest.


Friday, April 4, 2014

New wine release, Friday Happy Hour, and extended hours in Bethlehem for Franklin Hill


We're having a release party! We've created a new wine and we want you to be one of the first to try it. What are we releasing? That part you'll have to wait for, but trust us - it's worth the wait. No tickets required. April 26 at the winery from 11 am - 5 pm.


We couldn't be happier that the warmer weather is on it's way.  Our tables and chairs are on the deck and ready for you to come enjoy a glass of wine and the spectacular views. See you soon.

The first wine festival of the 2014 is this weekend, April 5 and 6 at Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie, Pa. This weekend long festival features food, fun and, of course, wine. Don't miss out on the fun.


Friday Happy Hour is in full swing! Each week our staff outdoes themselves and creates amazing and tasty cocktails like you've never had before. Keep your eyes open for each week's menu and stop in.  Can't make it Friday night? There may be some left over to share throughout the weekend; just ask.


Several Downtown Bethlehem businesses have announced extended hours during the week and Franklin Hill Vineyards is one of them. We will now have extended hours from 11 am - 8 pm Wednesday - Saturday for your shopping convenience. Our wine shoppe is located inside the Main Street Commons.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pinnacle Ridge in the news and April events for Case Club members

April's Case Club Members-Only Event: Barrel Tasting

Join us on Sunday, April 13 or April 27 for a very special event. Beginning at 5 p.m. come into the tasting room and take a trip to the cellar with our owner/winemaker, Brad Knapp. This event is complimentary for Case Club Members and will be a special tasting to showcase some of the potential in our cellar. We hope to give you an idea of how our wines are progressing and share with you some information about the winemaking process and all that goes into this labor of love. Reservations are required, and space is limited. Call (610) 756-4481 for reservations and details.

The Philadelphia Inquirer comes to Pinnacle Ridge!
On a recent snow-covered day, we were very fortunate and pleased to welcome a group of experienced tasters, including Mr. Craig LaBan. LaBan is an esteemed food and wine critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and this trip was his first to the Lehigh Valley in the pursuit of tasting local wine. The trip was inspired by Mr. Clark Smith, a highly regarded winemaker, consultant and professor, whose claim that "They [wineries in the Lehigh Valley] make some of the best aromatic white wines in America" pushed LaBan to investigate further. Mr. Mark Chien, the Penn State Extension viticulture educator, joined the pair.
We had a wonderful time pouring for these gentleman while discussing all aspects of wine: regions, terroir, grape varieties, blends... you name it! In an article that Mr. LaBan wrote about his experience, he had very kind things to say about our wines. He described the new 2013 Dry Riesling as a "whip-crack dry Riesling" and remarked that the new 2013 Oasis was a "terrifically quenching French-style rosé.” Read the article here.

Everyday Oenophile: A Winemaker Uncorked
In this edition we are stepping out of the cellar and back into our past. Specifically, we will be discussing a little bit of the history of the land that makes our estate vineyard a Berks County Historic Site. The property located in Greenwich Township on old Rt. 22 is steeped in local history. We can trace back the ownership of the land to the Hensley family, who owned the property in 1758. The property, which was then called "Salvador,” would later shift hands to the Laib family in 1788 for the price of 43 pounds and 19 shillings (less than $73 today).
Over time, the property was portioned off and sold or donated as designated school and church lands, particularly for the Lutheran Congregation of Greenwich. Eventually, the property became Abraham Leichty's, and he sold it to the Rabenhold (or Rabenold - some members of the family dropped the 'h' from the spelling) family. At this point, the property was in substantial disrepair and required many improvements. In addition to improving many of the surrounding structures on the property, in 1851 the Rabenhold family built the barn where the winery stands today. The property remained in the Rabenhold family until World War I.
In 1914, Morris Schucker purchased the property from Louisa Rabenhold for $11,000. The property remained in the Schucker family until the fall of 1990, when Brad Knapp purchased it with the intent of starting a winery. The property had ample land (roughly six acres at this point) that could be used for an estate vineyard, as well as buildings that could be repurposed for winemaking and storage. Brad converted what was previously a potato cellar into a room dedicated to making sparkling wines, and he gradually expanded the tasting room by adding a second and third bar, as well as a cold room in the cellar.

Pinnacle Ridge Winery opened to the public in 1995 and has been welcoming wine drinkers ever since. The estate vineyard is three acres under vine and features Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc. The Kempton vineyard site is up to roughly 19 acres, with an additional three acres of vineyard located on property belonging to Dean Scott.