Friday, February 27, 2015

How best to experience our Vino in the Valley passport program

Guest blog post by Kari Skrip of Clover Hill Vineyards

Vino in the Valley is a fun way to usher in spring, be inspired by fine food, and celebrate the premium wines of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail.

Let me offer a few tips to help you get the most from your Vino in the Valley experience:

~ Spread out your visit to the 9 participating wineries over the month of March. Don't try to visit all the wineries in one day or one weekend.

~ Review the full listing of food and wine pairings on our web site to help you plan your visit.

~ Ask questions. The winery owners love to talk about their wines and the foods that compliment them, so use this as an opportunity to learn more about wine and food.

~ Be open minded and try new wines. Our region is home to a wide variety of wine styles and tasting is the best way to find what you like. Make sure you sample Chambourcin, the official wine grape of the Lehigh Valley, during your travels.

~ Share your experience with us as you travel the trail by tweeting us your pictures or posting them to our Facebook page.

~ Get your passports now! This event is nearly sold out and we would hate to see you miss out on the fun. Pick them up in person at one of our member wineries, or order them online here while supplies last.

I look forward to seeing you on the trail for Vino in the Valley.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Galen Glen introduces Late Harvest wine; continues Raspberry wine special

Introducing... Late Harvest

Late Harvest - it is the new moniker given to the 2014 vintage of an all-time favorite, Erin's Auslese.  This blend of Vidal Blanc and Riesling that was last to be harvested is sweet, spritzy and just crisp enough on the finish to make it dangerous. Stop in and be the one of the first to taste this new wine.

Before they are gone...

It is that time of year when current vintages sell out and are eventually replaced with new vintages.  Don't miss this opportunity to stock up on your favorites before they are gone.

Grüner Veltliner 2013, Stone Cellar Dry White
Philadelphia Inquirer Review:
"Believed to be the best Grüner in America ... powerfully expressive of grapefruit, mandarin oranges and honeysuckle." Sublime with pork schnitzel, rich seafood and all vegetables, particularly asparagus.

Crooked Stick Red 2013, Dry Red  
A combination of Chambourcin plus splashes of our other red wines. Fruit-driven with fresh cherry flavors, jammy red plum notes and subtle oak. Delicious with BBQ, sausages, bacon and cheese steaks.

Visit the winery or order online.

This weekend... Triple Treat

Enjoy three hand-crafted chocolate truffles from chocolatier Steve Evans with 3 oz. of Raspberry wine for $3.

Friday, noon to 5 pm
Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday, noon to 5 pm

Raspberry Special
During the month of February we are celebrating our 20th anniversary with a special on our Raspberry wine. Purchase five bottles of Raspberry wine for $50. (This offer cannot be combined with additional discounts, however, these five bottles can be applied toward building a 12-bottle case for case club membership.)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Host a private wine tasting at your office or home with Blue Mountain Vineyards

Come to Blue Mountain for Sunday Blues every week

Join us every Sunday for music, fun and of course wine. Enjoy live entertainment on our glass-enclosed deck with commanding views of the mountains and our vineyard. Gourmet cheeses and fresh baked bread are available for purchase or bring your own snacks (no alcohol other than BMV wine is permitted). We sell out fast, so reserve a table as soon as you can.

Admission: $5 (+ tax) per person; includes wine tasting

  • March 1 - Sarah Ayres Quartet
  • March 8 - Adam Motto
  • March 15 - Arianne Rox
  • March 22 - Connie Edinger
  • March 28 - Jake Kalegis & Mike Rauscher 

Due to high demand, we ask that you are here by 2:30 pm, or we will release your table to the next group. Parking is extremely limited.  Carpooling is appreciated.

Host Your Own Private Wine Tasting

Let one of our experts come to your office or party and perform a fun educational wine tasting that your guests will remember. A Blue Mountain representative will expertly guide you through the ins and outs of wine tasting while giving history and insight to who we are, and what we do. With our award-winning lineup of wines, we are sure to have the perfect wine to please each guest. Learn more here.

A Vineyard Blog...from the Vineyard Dog!

Vidal, our resident Rottweiler, now has his own blog. He'll be sharing every few weeks about happenings in the vineyard, things going on in the cellar, news, food pairings, and more. Every time a new blog post is up, we'll share it on our Facebook page. Read blog posts here.

Can't make it to the vineyard in New Tripoli, but want our wine? We have 6 store locations.

  • Reading Terminal Market Coventry Mall
  • Montgomery Mall
  • Lehigh Valley Mall (Opening February 2015)
  • Hershey Giant Food Store
  • Willow Grove Giant Food Store

All our stores carry the full line of our wine, as well as fun accessories. We also ship our wines to most states. Get directions here.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Wine Dinner and Kutztown Tavern Wine & Beer Dinner coming up at Vynecrest

February is a great month to visit the winery. It's a little less crowded on the weekends with less tourist traffic. You can beat the March crowds and enjoy a tasting upstairs or a glass of wine downstairs in the Vyneskeller wine bar.

▪ Wine of the Month - Late Harvest Vidal, additional 10% off*
▪ 3 Pack of the Month - Three Vignoles for $30*

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

Upcoming Events

February 13 - Valentine's Wine Dinner at Camillo's Restaurant, 7 pm

Reserve your seats for our Valentine's Wine Dinner featuring Vynecrest Winery - call 610-683-5637.
Five courses paired with wine - $49 per person


Appetizer - Eggplant Roulade (eggplant stuffed with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic rolled and baked with our house tomato sauce) paired with Vynecrest Red

Salad - Burrata over mixed greens topped with balsamic glaze, paired with Naked Chardonnay

Pasta - Penne alla vodka, paired with Chambourcin

Second Dinner Course - Salmon pesto, paired with Pinot Noir

Dessert - Raspberry cheesecake, paired with Late Harvest Vidal

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 baby grand piano. Pastries, croissants and chocolate covered strawberries will be available for purchase. Reservations suggested. 610-398-7525

We will have live music from Steve Myers in the Vynskeller later in the day from 1 - 4 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 passports available for the annual wine trail March event at member wineries, though our winery is sold out. The winery will be open for tastings, but all food pairings are exclusively for passport holders. Tickets can be purchased online too.

March 12 - Kutztown Tavern Beer and Wine Dinner
6:30 - 9 pm

Tired of the same old dinner, join us for a interactive beer and wine dinner at the Kutztown Tavern on March 12. Head Brewer Colin Presby from the Kutztown Tavern and Sam Landis from Vynecrest go head to head on a five course dinner asking you "who paired it better?" You will not only be exposed to a great evening of beer, wine and great food but a chance to win prizes and come away with some great take home gifts. Stay tuned to our website's "What's Happening" page for more information regarding menu, reservations and final details. Reservations must be made through Kutztown Tavern - 610-683-9600.

Glass Half Empty by Malachi Duffy

Why is the Lehigh Valley such a great place to grow wine grapes? Some people might say it's not. I would agree with them, if the goal is to create consistently reproducible vintages.

That's not what this area is about and that's what makes it so great. Every year is different and we get to shape the grapes we grow and the wine we make to best fit that particular year. Just because the grapes are different from year to year doesn't mean they are of lower quality. It just means some years are better suited for certain varieties than others. That's why we grow 24 different varieties of grapes with different clones and rootstocks within those varieties.

Don't get me wrong. Some varieties are a little frustrating some years. Pinot Grigio a couple of years ago comes to mind and it can be a huge pain in the ass in the vineyard. It is a small cluster variety and the grapes are tightly packed together in that cluster. With the right combination of time of year, temperature and rainfall, rot can be a big problem. But, you have to take the bad with the good. That same year produced a Lemberger that won a double-gold medal.

The Lehigh Valley is a great location because we do get variation in weather but it's not so extreme that it kills off the vine in the winter or creates such unfavorable growing conditions that we don't have anything worth picking come September. What it does create are conditions where everything we pick is going to be good, but a few varieties every year will be great.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Chocolate and wine pairings highlight weekends at Tolino Vineyards this month

The wait is over! Our newest vintage has been released. Our 2013 Pinot Grigio, Vidal Blanc, Chardonnay, Papa's Red, Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc are all available to taste and purchase.

Chocolate Pairings 
February 14 and 15, noon - 6 pm

Valentine’s Weekend Tolino Vineyards will be offering 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 our premier tasting and for an additional $5 your tasting can be upgraded to include the famous "Fruits of the Czars" specialty chocolates made with Callebaut chocolate-coated apricots stuffed with almonds. We will also be offering our pink Berry Rosé Sangria for sale by the glass and will be giving away a fresh-cut flower to the first 50 customers who purchase a bottle of wine.

Chocolate Pairings from Chocolates on Broadway
February 21 and 22, noon - 6 pm

Simple and sweet, we will be offering dark chocolate covered lady fingers and pretzels from Chocolates on Broadway in Bangor paired with Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin and Papa's Red.  Free with premier tasting.

Girl Scout Cookie Pairings
February 28 and March 1, noon - 6 pm

Girl Scout cookies are delicious and a great way to support the organization's goal to "build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place." We will be offering a few of your favorite cookies to pair with a few of our favorite Tolino Vineyards wine free with the purchase of a premier tasting.

Vino in the Valley
Purchase passports for $35 in our tasting room or online here.

What's your favorite part of your meal? Appetizer, soup, main course or dessert? During Vino in the Valley we will be offering wines paired with four courses of an Italian meal each weekend in March.

We are partnering with J. DeFranco and Daughters catering to offer sample sized portions of ricotta, gorgonzola, honey and apple crostini paired with our 2012 Pinot Grigio on March 7 and 8. March 14 and 15 we will be offering red pasta fagioli soup with our 2012 Papa's Red followed by chicken tetrazzini paired with our 2013 Vidal Blanc on the 21 and 22. Finally, on the last weekend we will be offering decadent dark chocolate cherry biscotti paired with 2013 Cabernet Franc.  

To celebrate the last official month of winter, we are starting to "think spring." A make-your-own sangria bar will be available in our tank room. You choose the fruit and we pour the wine. Each Saturday during Vino in the Valley we will have live music from 1-3 p.m. that will highlight artists who will be part of our summer music series starting in May and running through October.  What could be better than local musicians and local wine?
Unique Party Venue
Are you looking for a unique place to hold you next private party or business happy hour? Our tank room is the perfect place to gather your friends or coworkers and enjoy a glass of Tolino wine. We also offer mid-week event discounts. Call us to inquire about our tented wedding packages.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Vino in the Valley food and wine pairings announced.

Below are the food and wine pairings that passport holders will receive during our annual March passport event, now known as Vino in the Valley.

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.

Amore –
Week 1 – Beef Stroganoff with bow tie pasta paired with Cabaret Amore
Week 2 – Tortellini in a sundried tomato and basil sauce paired with Chambourcin
Week 3 – Chicken Marsala medallions served over wild rice paired with Vidal
Week 4 – Chicken medallions and pasta Florentine, roasted red peppers artichokes and mushrooms in a light garlic wine sauce paired with Chardonnay

Big Creek – the Pocono-based winery will offer Potage Crecy as its pairing for the first three weekends. On the final weekend they will feature Lisa’s red velvet cake.
For dry wine lovers, Seyval or Marechal Foch are recommended pairings. For sweet wine devotees, Dulcinea is the suggested match.

Blue Mountain –
3/7 – Italian Pulled pork sliders by Giovanni Gourmet Italian Catering paired with Cabernet Sauvignon. Spice cake paired with Mountain Spice.
3/8 – Italian Pulled pork sliders paired by Giovanni Gourmet Italian Catering paired with Cabernet Sauvignon. Spice cake paired with Mountain Spice.
3/14 – Chicken and pasta with lemon sauce by Fenstermaker Catering paired with Chardonnay Reserve. Dark chocolate by Sweet Finesse paired with Victoria’s Passion. Rothschild Farms sampling from 11 am – 2:30 p.m.
3/15 – Chicken and pasta with lemon sauce by Fenstermaker Catering paired with Chardonnay Reserve. White chocolate fondue paired with Late Harvest Vidal Blanc.
3/21 – Bowtie pasta w/Alfredo pancetta, peas and sundried tomato by Giovanni Gourmet Italian Catering paired with naked Chardonnay. Dark chocolate by Sweet Finesse paired with Victoria’s Passion.
3/22 – Bowtie pasta w/Alfredo pancetta, peas and sundried tomato by Giovanni Gourmet Italian Catering paired with naked Chardonnay. White chocolate fondue paired with Late Harvest Vidal Blanc.
3/28 and 29 – Beef Bourguignon paired with Cabernet Sauvignon. Chocolate cake paired with Victoria’s Passion or Merlot.

Clover Hill –
Weeks 1 and 2:
Aleppo pepper taco with shaved cabbage and vinaigrette paired with Vidal Blanc.
Spiced apple crepe with whipped topping paired with Vignoles.
Weeks 3 and 4:
Sweet Thai turkey marinated skewer paired with Riesling.
Bumble-berry pie w/oat topping paired with DeChaunac.
The winery will also have a vegan option available upon request.

Franklin Hill – Signature dishes prepared by Social Still in South Side Bethlehem:
Week 1: Three bean chili paired with Evanswood.
Week 2: Penne pasta with a lemon white wine sauce paired with Chardonnay.
Week 3: Butternut squash soup topped with toasted curried pumpkin seeds and maple syrup paired with Chardonnay. *Souper Bowl VI “Best Vegetarian Soup” Winner at SteelStacks.
Week 4: Farfalle pasta with beef ragu paired with Evanswood.

Galen Glen – will offer Voodoo ravioli handmade by Fasta & Ravioli Co. (a PA Preferred company from State College). Fasta’s  signature ravioli brings together andouille sausage, shrimp, grits, and smoked Gouda.
The featured wine will be Riesling, dry or half-dry, a perfect match with the rich meld of flavors in the ravioli.

Pinnacle Ridge – the Kutztown winery is using the concept of a trip inspired by the culinary traditions of different wine-producing regions.
Weekend 1: March 7 and 8: Spain: “Ven con nosotros!”
A culinary adventure inspired by Spanish Cavas and that region’s abundance of fresh seafood, this weekend will feature Chef Adam Gluskin’s Spanish Shrimp and Rice dish – a tangy arrangement of saffron and citrus Spanish rice adorned with baby shrimp and fresh cilantro. It will be paired with a choice of one of their own sparkling wines, the Blanc de Blanc and the newly released Brut Rosé.
Weekend 2: March 14 and 15: France: “Magnez bien”
Mangez bien, French for “eat-well,” this weekend, will feature a mushroom Bourginion, prepared by Chef Dominick Smorto. This vegetarian take on the classic French beef stew is made with fresh herbs and wild mushrooms in a rich vegetable broth. They will pair this warm French dish with classic French varietals including the newly released 2014 Naked Chardonnay and 2012 Pinot Noir.
Weekend 3: March 21 and 22: Italy: “Salute”
A vegetarian approach will be taken to one of everyone’s favorite dish – lasagna – made with al dente pasta teamed with a creamy béchamel, and garnished with a basil chiffonade. It will be paired with the newly released 2013 Merlot and 2013 Quaff.
Weekend 4: March 28 and 29: Germany/Kutztown: “Ein Prosit!”
The winery will complete the event by featuring locally sourced bratwurst from nearby Dietrich’s Meats. It will be braised in a crisp and refreshing Dry Riesling and then pan seared to lock in the flavor and served with caramelized onions on a pretzel chip with some tangy, spicy mustard. They will serve it with classic German-inspired, newly released 2014 Rieslings to provide both a dry and semi-sweet option.

Tolino – will offer wines paired with four different samples of four courses of an Italian meal each weekend in March. The Bangor winery is partnering with J. DeFranco and Daughters catering to offer sample-sized portions.
March 7 and 8 – ricotta, Gorgonzola, honey and apple crostini paired with 2012 Pinot Grigio.
March 14 and 15 – red pasta fagioli soup with 2012 Papa’s Red
March 21 and 22 – chicken tetrazzini paired with 2013 Vidal Blanc
March 28 and 29 – dark chocolate cherry biscotti with 2013 Cabernet Franc.
 A make your own sangria bar will be available in the tank room where customers can choose the fruit and Tolino pours the wine. Each Saturday during Vino in the Valley they will be also offer live music from 1-3 p.m. highlighting artists who will be a part of its summer music series starting in May and running through October.

Vynecrest – will feature award-winning cheese from September Farms, a cheese maker from the Lancaster County area, every weekend in March.
Weeks 1 and 2 – September Farms smoked Gouda mac and cheese – the ultimate in comfort food. Experience the flavors of this signature dish with all of its smoky, creamy, cheesy texture paired with their estate-bottled 2013 Chambourcin.
Weeks 3 and 4 – September Farms hand-made lemon cheese tarts that are a sweet and tart lemon cheese cheesecake with a jolt of zest, paired along with their 2013 Blueberry wine.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Upcoming events at Clover Hill

Annual Wine Rack Sale
February 12-22

At all Clover Hill locations

Shop any Clover Hill location and save 30% off all in stock wine racks.

Love Flights
The Winery in Breinigsville
February 13 -  15 from noon - 5 pm
Tickets required - $9 per flight

Bring someone you love to the Winery in Breinigsville and enjoy a Love Flight. Flights will consist of four wines paired with four samples of cheeses. You will have your choice between a mixed flight of dry and off-dry wines, or a sweet flight.

Each flight is $9 per person. Tickets are limited so get yours early. For tickets, please call 610.395.2468 or visit the Winery in Breinigsville.

Wine & Food Inspiration
Saturday, February 14 from 11 am - 4 pm
The Wine Shop at the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer's Market

Stop in the Wine Shop for a perfect pairing for Valentine’s Day. We will offer samples of Blackberry Sparkler paired with chocolate truffle torte from the Amish Village Bake Shop.

Buck A Bottle Shipping Special
February 26- March 1

Stock up on Clover Hill wines and have them shipped right to your door. Purchase six or more bottles online and pay only $1 per bottle shipping (minimum order is six bottles to receive the discount). Purchase 12 or more bottles and also receive a 10% case discount along with $1 per bottle shipping charge.

Vino in the Valley Passport Program (formerly called March Passport Program)
A Lehigh Valley Wine Trail event
The Winery in Breinigsville
March 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 21 & 22, 28 & 29
*Passport required - $35 per person

Passports are selling quickly, so don’t wait to get yours online here. View the list of food and wine pairings from all nine wine trail wineries here.

This year’s passport holder gift is a wine backpack. It is recommended that you plan to visit no more than three wineries a day so you can get the most enjoyment out of your experience without being rushed. Groups of 12 or more are by appointment only. To participate in our wine and food pairings you either need a passport, or you can purchase a ticket for the day to sample Clover Hill’s pairings for $5 per person.

Clover Hill is excited to have Chef Nathan return with a fantastic menu:

March 7, 8, 14, 15
Aleppo pepper taco with shaved cabbage and vinaigrette paired with Vidal Blanc
Spiced apple crepe with whipped topping paired with Vignoles

March 21, 22, 28, 29
Sweet Thai turkey marinated skewer paired with Riesling