Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sunday Blues schedule for February at Blue Mountain Vineyards

Come to Blue Mountain every Sunday for our "Sunday Blues"

Join Blue Mountain Vineyards in New Tripoli every Sunday for music, fun and, of course, wine! Fast becoming a staple of Sunday activity in the Lehigh Valley, we attract the best musicians in the area.

In the warmer months, joins us on our outdoor patio and enjoy breathtaking views of the vineyard and Blue Mountain. As it gets colder, snuggle up next to the fire and enjoy the ambiance our indoor facility offers. Anytime of year there is plenty of fun to be had. Let us help with the perfect way to "wine' down your weekend. Admission is $5 and includes wine tasting. Please note that parking is extremely limited, so carpooling is appreciated.

We now offer two seating options (inside/outside*) to better serve our guests. Please make sure you check whether you would like to be indoors our outdoors when ordering your tickets.

*All winter artists perform indoors.


1       Sarah Ayers
8       Adam Motto
15     Steve Brosky and Jimmy Meyers
22     Jake Kaligis and Mike Rauscher

Reservations Required

Call 610-298-3068 or visit our website to reserve a table. Groups of 10 or more are required to pay for half of the group at time of reservation. First 70 reservations are guaranteed a table in the enclosed deck. Make a reservation online here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pinnacle Ridge sparkling wine makes a great Valentine's Day toast to love

Notes from the cellar

We have been working diligently since harvest season has wrapped up to bring you some new wines. We have disgorged more Brut for our sparkling wine and it has been released! We have also recently switched vintages on Chambourcin Reserve (2012) and Merlot & Syrah (2013).

Speaking of sparkling...

We will be hosting our newest Wine Class for our Case Club Members on Sunday, February 8 at 3 pm. This event will be our "Speaking of Sparkling" Wine Class, in which winery owner/winemaker Brad Knapp will lead us through a tasting of French Champagne, Spanish Cava and other sparkling wine from throughout the world.

In addition to this signature tasting, we will also be discussing the method and process behind what makes these wines pop. This is a complimentary members-only event. Call (610) 756-4481 for reservations and details.  

Wine Lover's Dinner
Friday, February 13 at 6:30 pm

Join us for a special evening to celebrate your love for all things - including wine! This four-course pairing will feature homemade dishes prepared with local ingredients and our very own wines.

First course: Homemade puff pastry twists with parmesean cheese. Brie with a Vidal Blanc and orange candied peel drizzle and candied pecans. Paired with our Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine.

Second course: Cranberry chicken, homemade bread crumbs and braised leeks in a Dry Vidal Blanc Sauce. Paired with our 2013 Dry Vidal Blanc.

Third course: Pork shallots in a red wine and currant cream sauce with organic tri-colored carrots and a cognac butter sauce. Paired with our 2012 Chambourcin.

Final course: French-style hot chocolate paired alongside our 2013 Sweet Seduction and candied orange-peel paired with our award-winning 2013 Late Harvest Vidal Blanc.

This event will be catered by local chef and Culinary Instructor Mary Grube. Mary is an instructor at Northampton Community College.

Kick off Valentine's Day Weekend in style!

On Friday, February 13 we will treat our guests to complimentary tastings of our sparkling wines and a little wine and chocolate pairing to finish up each tasting.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Franklin Hill makes plans for Valentine's Weekend, Perfect Pairing event

A Perfect Pairing event
January 30
6 - 8 pm at the Winery

We've partnered with the ladies from Athleta at the Promenade Shops in Saucon Valley to offer a shopping experience like no other.

Browse their collection of active wear while sipping your favorite FHV wine. We'll have light appetizers and wine by the glass will be available for purchase. The best part? Athleta will be offering a discount to everyone who attends.

Drinking wine and shopping in your yoga pants... does it get any better?

Wine and Chocolate Weekend
February 14 and 15

Bring your sweetheart to Franklin Hill Vineyards for a chocolate and wine experience like no other.  We will be offering cheesecake and chocolates to pair with up to 6 wines for $5, and you get to keep the glass as our gift to you.

Now open! Social Still in Southside Bethlehem

Stop in Wednesday-Sunday for a hand crafted cocktail, delicious tapas, and bring home a bottle of Social Still vodka or gin.

Franklin Hill Vineyards has also opened a new wine shop located in the same building.

Please note: Beginning February 1, Franklin Hill Vineyards will begin offering wine tastings for $3 per person.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lehigh Valley wineries make special plans for lovers this Valentine's Weekend

Sweethearts looking to do something different to do this Valentine’s Day can take themselves on a trip along the Lehigh Valley WineTrail for a weekend full of treats and tastings. Here is a list of what each of the trail’s nine member wineries has planned:

Amore - will feature assorted chocolates with their Blackberry Bliss wine.

Big Creek - will pair handmade chocolate truffles from Orchard Hill Sweets with either their Nouveau Red or Dulcinea. Truffles will also be available for sale.

Blue Mountain – the New Tripoli winery will host a Valenwine Weekend Wine and Chocolate Pairing on Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15 from 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The winery will pair three of their wines with three different flavors of locally made chocolates from Sweet Finesse. Cost is $5 per person, which is refundable with a wine purchase. (Reservations required for groups of eight or more.) Customers are invited to bring a picnic or snacks to enjoy with a glass or bottle of Blue Mountain wine next to the fireplaces on the glass-enclosed deck. On Sunday, February 15, customers can enjoy Sunday Blues with Steve Brosky and Jimmy Meyer from 2 - 5 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person (non-refundable), which includes the wine and chocolate pairing. Reservations are required for Sunday Blues and can be made by calling 610-298-3068.

Clover Hill - Join the winery for Love Flights on February 13 - 15 from noon - 5 pm. Tickets are required and are $9 per flight. Flights will consist of four wines paired with four samples of cheeses. A choice of a mixed flight of dry and off-dry wines, or a sweet flight will be offered. For tickets, call 610-395-2468 or visit the winery in Breinigsville.

Franklin Hill - is hosting a Valentine Chocolate and Wine Pairing Weekend. Sweethearts are invited to visit Franklin Hill Vineyards winery on February 14 and 15 for a chocolate and wine pairing. Sample different flavors of chocolate that accompany their wines.

Galen Glen - Every weekend in February the winery will offer three decadent truffles (double dark, raspberry/champagne, and espresso) with 3 oz. of their Raspberry wine for $3. The truffles are handmade by Lancaster chocolatier Steve Evans.

Pinnacle Ridge - Join the winery for a candle-lit Wine Lover's Evening. Local chef and Northampton Community College culinary instructor Mary Grube will prepare this four-course food and wine pairing. Each course will be designed and paired with a Pinnacle Ridge favorite wine. Cost is $140 per couple. Call (610) 756-4481 for reservations and details.

Tolino - will offer wine and chocolate pairings on Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15 from noon  - 6 p.m. They will also offer Russian-style chocolates from Alexandra and Nicolay Chocolates in Portland, Pa. paired with Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, and Papa’s Red. Tastings of the traditional chocolates (milk, dark and white) are complimentary with the purchase of their premier tasting. For an additional $5 the tasting can be upgraded to include the “Fruits of the Czars” specialty chocolates made with Callebaut chocolate-coated apricots stuffed with almonds. The winery will also offer its pink Berry Rosé Sangria for sale by the glass and will give away a fresh flower to the first 50 customers who purchase a bottle of wine.

Vynecrest - The Vyneskeller wine bar will open early for Valentine’s Day. From 10 a.m. to noon it will sell $3 mimosas and feature Frank Sinatra on the baby grand player piano. Pastries, croissants and chocolate-covered strawberries will be available for purchase while supplies last. Reservations are suggested. There will also be live music by Steve Myers in the Vyneskeller from 1 to 4 p.m.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Join us in 2015 for our six annual wine trail events!

We're excited to announce the following 2015 schedule of events. All events are free except for Wine on the Mountain and the Vino in the Valley Passport Program, which requires the purchase of a ticket and an event passport, respectively. Event hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon – 5 p.m.

Vino in the Valley – weekends only, March 7 – 29 – (formerly known as the March Passport Program) Customers purchase a $35 passport for access to wine and tasting-sized food pairings at each winery during the four weekends of March. Passports are stamped during each visit and are entered into a drawing for prizes. Passport holders also receive a wine backpack as this year’s gift. Passports are currently on sale at member wineries and online via Eventbrite.

Spring Wine and Cheese Event – May 16 and 17 – Taking place mid-spring, this event has a “Wine and Cheese from Around the World” theme. Each winery will select one of its wines to pair with the perfect cheese from a different country and will offer complimentary tastings of the pairing to wine lovers who will explore how the texture, acidity, fat and tannin compliment or contrast each other. Guests will also learn tips to help them skillfully develop their own pairings.

Wine on the Mountain – July 25 and 26 - Held at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, this wine festival includes wine sampling, local artisans displaying their arts and crafts, light fare available for purchase, and live entertainment. Tickets are required for this event and can be purchased in advanced at each winery or online, as well as at the door the days of the event.

Harvest Weekend – The Butcher, The Baker and The Winemaker – September 12 and 13 –The wineries proudly promote the state’s “Pennsylvania Preferred” program by partnering with manufacturers of other Pennsylvania products to showcase their high level of quality. Wine pairings, vineyard tours, food, music and other special activities are featured.

Chambourcin Weekend – October 17 and 18 - Taking place after the harvest is over, this event celebrates the “official wine grape of the Lehigh Valley,” the Chambourcin. It is the only wine grape grown by all nine of our member wineries. In the greater Lehigh Valley, there are more than 40 acres of Chambourcin, which ferment into 150,000 bottles of wine. Chambourcin is very versatile, and the wineries craft it into several styles of wine including nouveau, rosé, semi-sweet, sweet, dry barrel aged, sparkling and port.

Nouveau Weekend – November 21 and 22 - This is the earliest chance to sample the first wines from the new vintage. It’s also an opportunity to purchase wines for the upcoming holiday season to give as gifts or to drink at dinner. 2016 Vino in the Valley passports go on sale this weekend.

The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail is a non-profit organization of wineries whose mission is to promote agri-tourism and to create a premiere wine destination and grape growing region while promoting Pennsylvania wines from the region.

Members include:
Amoré Vineyards and Winery, Nazareth
Big Creek Vineyard and Winery, Kresgeville
Blue Mountain Vineyards, New Tripoli
Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery, Breinigsville
Franklin Hill Vineyards, Bangor
Galen Glen Vineyard and Winery, Andreas
Pinnacle Ridge, Kutztown
Tolino Vineyards, Bangor
Vynecrest Winery, Breinigsville

The Lehigh Valley region is an official American Viticultural Area as designated by the Federal Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in April 2008. The Lehigh Valley AVA includes portions of Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Schuylkill, Carbon and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania. In order to receive the designation a least 85% of the grapes used to make local wines must be grown within the region. Wineries in the region are permitted to list “Lehigh Valley” as the growing region on their labels.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vynecrest makes plans for Valentine's Day weekend at the winery

We hope everyone enjoyed the holidays... with some Vynecrest wine, of course! We have reopened after a quick break and are back to our new normal hours. We listened to your feedback and have extended our Friday hours to 5:30 pm at the winery in Breinigsville. Hopefully this will give a few more people a chance to grab a bottle of wine and some bread on their way home from work.

Breinigsville - Open seven days a week, 11 am - 5 pm (Fridays open until 5:30 pm)
Kutztown - Open seven days a week, noon - 6 pm

January Specials 
* Wine of the Month - Pinot Grigio, additional 10% off
* 3 Pack of the Month - 3 Dry Riesling, $30

(*at winery only, 3 pack can't be combined with other discounts)

Upcoming Events

January and February - Vynecrest Piano and Wine Bar - Open every Saturday and Sunday, 1 - 5 pm

January 25 - Jazz Sunday, Live Jazz music in the Vyneskeller, 1 - 4 pm

January 31 - Super Bowl Chili Saturday
Get ready for the Super Bowl on Saturday, January 31 by sampling red and white chili at Vynecrest Winery in Breinigsville made by Mr. Bill's from the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market.

The Red Turkey Chili is made with local grown, antibiotic free, skinless turkey meat blended with tomatoes, beans, and spices. The White Chicken Chili is a blend of chicken breast meat and ground chicken with a puree of white beans and sautéed onions, garlic, celery and a unique spice blend.

The winery will be open 11 am - 5 pm, and bowls of both chilis will also be available for purchase in the Vyneskeller along with wine by the glass and bottle. Admission is free and reservations are not needed.

February 14 - Valentine's Day
Our Vyneskeller wine bar will be opening early for Valentine's Day. From 10 am to noon we will be selling $3 mimosas and featuring Frank Sinatra on our iPad player baby grand piano. Pastries, croissants and chocolate covered strawberries will be available for purchase. A great beginning to Valentines Day! Reservations suggested. 610-398-7525. We will have live music in the Vyneskeller later in the day from 1 to 4:30 pm.

February 22 - Jazz Sunday, Live Jazz music in the Vyneskeller, 1 - 4 pm

March - Lehigh Valley Wine Trail Vino in the Valley Passport Program
There are still tickets available for the March Passport Program. The winery will be open for tastings during this month-long event, but all food pairings are exclusively for passport holders. Passports are $35 each and can be purchased online or at the winery.

Glass Half Empty
by Jan Landis

Happy New Year! I’m a glass half-full kind of person, optimistic rather than pessimistic. And the start of a new year is a wonderful way to have new beginnings, plans, and hopes for the future. Maybe they won’t all come true or get done, but the promise of new things to come is exciting!

We’re excited about some new ideas here at Vynecrest. First of all, we will now be open Fridays till 5:30 pm, allowing customers to stop in on their way home from work to pick up wine. We always get a lot of last minute calls from customers on Friday afternoons and have been trying to stay open a few more minutes to allow for last minute purchases, so hopefully this change will help.

We’re excited to do Chili Super Bowl Saturday on January 31 once again. I must admit, we’d be more excited if the Eagles were in the Super Bowl, but hey - there’s always next year! For Valentine’s Day we're trying something different with an early start to the holiday in our Vyneskeller from 10 am -noon with $3 Mimosas and chocolate-covered strawberries. In addition to Jazz Sundays on the last Sunday of every month, we hope to add more live music to weekends this year. Number 36 wine was a big success, so look for Number 37 this year—perhaps a white wine? There will be more Spiced Winter White too, closer to the holidays. It was a great white wine year in the vineyard last year, so look for some great white wines this spring.

We hope you are excited about 2015 as well and we hope to see you all at some point at the winery. In the meantime, cheers to your good health and new beginnings!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ice Wine Sundays, Second Annual Chili Cook Off, and Holiday Spice Wine special this month at Galen Glen

Cheers to a fantastic 2015! As Glen Glen celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, we look forward to sharing something special with you each month during 2015. Keep watching your inbox if you are signed up to receive our emails, or follow us on social media for all of the details each month. Some monthly specials will only be shared via email, so sign up now so you won't miss out.

Tasting Room Winter Hours
Friday, Noon to 5 pm
Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday, Noon to 5 pm

Second Annual Chili Cook Off
Saturday, January 17*
noon to 4 pm

This is a free event and you are the judge for this competition  Stop by the winery that day any time between noon - 4 pm and receive a taste of Chambourcin or Cellar Red to pair with the chili samples from our visiting chefs. Savor each chili and vote on your favorite. If you'd enjoy a glass of either wine to pair with your chili, you may purchase a 6 oz. glass for $4. Come and enjoy a fun afternoon, meet new friends, try several chili recipes and help choose the winning recipe that will be featured at Galen Glen during the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail's Chambourcin Weekend 2015.
*Snow date is Saturday, January 24

Ice Wine Sundays
Join us on Sundays in January for a complimentary pairing of our Stone Cellar Vidal Blanc Ice Wine with a Bleu Cheese Appetizer.  Decanting like liquid gold, with profound sweetness this award-winning wine and pairing is sure to delight your palate and chase away the winter blues.
"Harvested and crushed in the middle of the frigid night, this golden dessert nectar is a whirl of honeyed floral sweetness and lyrical bright fruit that would easily sell for $50 plus." Philadelphia Inquirer Review

Holiday Spice Special
Warm up on those cold winter nights with our Holiday Spice. A mulled red wine, served warm it will melt away the post-holiday dole-drums. "Gluhwein" is a festive German tradition and our blend features cinnamon, cloves, allspice and citrus peel infused into a sweet red wine.

During the month of January you may purchase three bottles of our Holiday Spice wine for $30. (additional discounts do not apply.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Come to Blue Mountain every Sunday for Sunday Blues

Join Blue Mountain Vineyard every Sunday for music, fun and, of course, wine between 2 and 5 p.m.

In the warmer months music is on the outdoor patio and features views of the vineyard and Blue Mountain. When it's colder, snuggle up next to the fire and enjoy the ambiance of the indoor deck. Any time of year there is plenty of fun to be had. Let us help with the perfect way to "wine" down your weekend.

Admission: $5, includes wine tasting. Reservations required. Call 610-298-3068 or visit their website to reserve a table. Note that parking is extremely limited. Carpooling is appreciated.

They now offer two seating options (inside/outside) to better serve guests. Please indicate whether you would like to be indoors our outdoors when ordering tickets.

11     Arianne Rox
18     Billy Patrick
25     Jake Kaligis & Mike Rauscher


1       Sarah Ayers
8       Adam Motto
15     Billy Patrick
22     Jake Kaligis & Mike Rauscher

Friday, January 2, 2015

Save on Clover Hill's Holiday wine in January

January 1, 2015, marks the start of another new year. January 1 is special to me in that it is the 17th birthday of my oldest grandson, John Skrip IV (aka J.B.) son of John Skrip III, my “BEST” son and my only son, who is the winemaker at Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery.

January 1 is also the third birthday of my Rottweiler dog, DeCha. OK ~ she is half mine and half my wife’s! DeCha was named after one of the grape varieties that we successfully grow and the popular wine we make bearing its name - DeChaunac. Since our kids left the nest, DeCha fills the void nicely. She likes to lick a little wine off my wife, Pat’s, finger, but moments later has to sneeze. We only give her this treat on special occasions like New Year’s Eve. She likes to go where I go whether it be riding shotgun in my golf buggy or accompanying me in my car. She is man’s best friend, and if you pet her you will have a friend for life!

New Year’s Eve is a time for our traditional New Year's Eve roof raising, town painting celebration… senior style. My wife and I, along with my 90-year young mother, Olga, for the past six years have been enjoying a stay-at-home lobster dinner complete with homemade French fries, cranberry sauce, a Spanish hand-dressed salad made by me, and  bubbles… lots of bubbles (that's champagne for all you BEER drinkers!).

But wait it gets better. The final act is the result of too many bubbles. There is a tendency to doze off before the big ball in Times Square touches down at midnight. After giving Pat a big New Year's kiss, toasting with a glass of Clover Hill Sparkling Pinot Noir, and making our new year’s resolution about losing weight for 2015, we retire for the balance of the evening.

Daughters, Kari and Lori, and son, John III, may call us to wish us a Happy New Year if they remember… the youngin's like to party more than us seniors. That is New Year's...Skrip Family/ Clover Hill style - life in the fast lane!

A NEW 2015 resolution for me will be that I spend less time with the grapes and wine business and more time at our second home, appropriately named by Kari as Grape Escape, at Cape Cod. Don’t worry - I’ll be watching Clover Hill but I’ll be watching more of Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Clover Hill will be in good hands with Pat, John III and Kari. As always, I will be available to cut the grass, take the garbage out, and all the other important chores they will ask me to do. Spending more time with my grandkids is also in the equation.

Bottom line is, I wish the BEST to you and yours in 2015. And remember to drink Clover Hill wine in moderation as your key to longevity! - John Skrip Jr.

Owner’s Selection for January 

The holidays may be over, but it is never too late to sip a warmed glass of Holiday wine on a cold night. This is a sweet rose that is jazzed up with cinnamon, cloves and citrus. Now only $9.45.

Try this: mix equal parts of Holiday and brown sugar for a sweet and spicy ham glaze.

Beginner Wine Tasting Class
Saturday, January 10 and 25 at 2 p.m. (almost sold out!)
Tickets required - $25 per person

Join us in a beginner wine tasting class. This 1.5 hour long class will teach you the basics of wine tasting, give you tips on wine and food pairing and help to answer any wine questions you may have. This class is limited in seats and tickets are required: $25 per person and you must be 21+ years old. Call 610-395-2468 or visit the winery in Breinigsville to reserve your ticket.

Winter Warmers 
The Winery in Breinigsville
January 17 and 18

Take a wintertime country drive to Lehigh County and sip something special. At Clover Hill Winery in Breinigsville we will be offering a trio of warmed wines for you to sample. Recipes will be available.