Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Vynecrest winemaker's thoughts on all that goes into making a great red wine

August is a great time of year to come out, taste some wine, and enjoy the view of the vineyard. The grapes are just about ready to go through veraison, where they stop growing and start ripening. The red grapes will turn from green to red and the sugar levels start to rise. This change in color is also a signal for the birds the grapes are about ready to eat.

Just a reminder, the Vyneskeller is open seven days a week. So after you are done tasting you can grab a glass of wine and relax downstairs.

August Specials:
* Wine of the Month - Vynecrest Red - additional 10% off
* 3 Pack of the Month - 3 Bear Naked Chardonnay for $35

*available at the winery only

Aug 30 - Vineyard & Winery Tour, and Jazz Sunday

Vineyard and winery tour begins at noon. $5 per person. Tour should wrap up just in time to enjoy some live Jazz music in the Vyneskeller from 1 - 4 pm.

Glass Half Empty
by Malachi Duffy (left, pictured with Sam Landis)

When I have a glass of Lemberger I think about what went into making the wine that is in that bottle. Arguments over what to plant 4, 5, 6 years or more earlier. Remembering in 2008 we seriously considered ripping all of it out and not making it any more (thank goodness we didn’t follow through with that idea!). Wondering if the vines were going to make it through the sub-zero temps of the winter. Watching bud break and deciding how many clusters to keep. The awesome crew of guys in the vineyard who handle pruning, hedging, picking and everything in between. Prior to harvest, putting together the order for what yeast to use, enzyme and tannin additions, whether to cold soak or not. Tasting Lemberger on the vine when it gets close to harvest time. Arguing (again) over when to pick each lot of Lemberger. Finally picking and fermenting it.

Sam Landis and I having sand wedge contests over who can chip a golf ball into the fermenting red wine (the loser had to punch the caps). Sam punching the caps. Pressing the almost-dry wine and tasting the wine that runs out of the press as it is being crushed. Letting the wine sit for a few months before we put it on oak. Inevitably thinking that I have completely screwed up this vintage and I should have stuck with what I did last year. The following day retasting and not being so scared.

Oak additions to the wine a couple of months later: Some went to oak barrels, some went to Flex Tanks with oak staves and some with oak chips. At the end of the day (sometimes in the middle of the day) pulling samples and making sure everything is “progressing as it should.” That wonderful day when we have to come up with the final blend for Lemberger. Hopefully bottling before the current year runs out so we don’t have empty shelves. Grabbing a bottle as I head out the door to enjoy during dinner with the family.

It’s awesome to have a story about the drink you have in front of you. I am lucky enough to be involved in the process of producing that bottle. But hopefully you also have a story about Vynecrest wine. Maybe you had a great time in the Vyneskeller with friends and family, or you had Vynecrest wine at someone’s wedding. That’s the great thing about local wine, you don’t just go pick it up at the store, there is an experience associated with it. The wines are great by themselves (hopefully) but you can’t buy the moments off the shelf. The moments are what make that wine taste even better.

So, cheers to all the moments!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Get ready to stomp those grapes at Blue Mountain Vineyards!

The 2015 harvest is almost ready! You know what that means? It's time for the Picking Party and Grape Stomp at Blue Mountain Vineyards! 
The first dates for the 2015 Harvest Picking Party and Grape Stomp are scheduled. We offer a complimentary continental breakfast, lunch, wine tasting, and a lot of fun! Pick grapes in the morning and stomp them in the afternoon.
There's no cost to participate. Great for groups, wine clubs, book clubs, parties, family time, and more. Starts at 9 am sharp. Dress in comfy clothes and shoes that you don't mind getting dirty.
  • Saturday, September 19
  • Sunday, September 20
  • Saturday, September 26
  • Sunday, September 27

Call or email the winery to schedule a reservation now. Phone: 610-298-3068. 
Email: info@bluemountainwine.com

Friday, August 7, 2015

Lehigh Valley Cider and Wine Festival set for October 24 at Coca-Cola Park

On-Field Event Features Hard Cider and Wine Tastings; 
Save $5 with Early-Bird Ticket Special at www.LVCiderandWine.com

The Lehigh Valley Cider and Wine Festival – an on-field event featuring hard cider and wine tastings from local and regional cideries and wineries – makes its debut on Sat., Oct. 24 from noon - 5 p.m. at Coca-Cola Park. Attendees each receive a collector’s stemless glass to enjoy their cider and wine tastings and can also purchase a variety of food and crafts from local food trucks, vendors and artisans.

The festival – which takes place during Pennsylvania Wine Month -- also includes live entertainment, panel discussions describing the process of making both cider and wine, the ability to purchase wine by the glass, bottle or case and other fun activities such as an apple launch competition.
Lehigh Valley Cider and Wine Festival tickets are on sale now starting at $35 per person for a four-hour tasting from 1 - 5 p.m. VIP tickets are $45 per person and include a noon entrance time and a five-hour tasting. 

From now through Wednesday, Aug. 19, save $5 on all tasting tickets with a special early-bird ticket offer. For just $5, tickets are available for designated drivers who will receive complimentary soda or for those just wishing to visit the various food vendors and artisans. Interested parties are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance as there will be an additional $5 charge on all tickets purchased on the day of the festival. To purchase your discounted early-bird tickets or for more information, visit www.LVCiderandWine.com, call (610) 841-PIGS (7447) or visit the Coca-Cola Park ticket office during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
The Lehigh Valley Cider and Wine Festival will include 15-20 participating cideries, including local favorites Hardball Cider and Frecon’s Cidery, each offering multiple cider selections. The festival also includes wine tastings and sales by the glass, bottle and case from Lehigh Valley Wine Trail members. 

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. All of its member wineries have won numerous awards at state, national and international levels.
Participating wineries include:
Amoré Vineyards & Winery, Nazareth
Blue Mountain Vineyards, New Tripoli
Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville
Franklin Hill Vineyards, Bangor
Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas
Pinnacle Ridge, Kutztown
Tolino Vineyards, Bangor
Vynecrest Winery, Breinigsville
Please note that you must be 21 or older to attend. Vendors looking to participate in the Lehigh Valley Cider and Wine Festival should visit www.LVCiderandWine.com/contact. Parking is complimentary for the festival. 
Coca-Cola Park will offer a unique backdrop for this on-field festival as the ballpark was named Ballpark Digest’s “Ballpark of the Year” during the IronPigs’ debut season in 2008 and has since drawn unparalleled marks for its unique intimacy, family-friendly atmosphere and architectural design. 
Attendees are reminded that there are three entry points for parking and are encouraged to use the Dauphin Street entrance when traveling from downtown Allentown.  In addition to the Dauphin Street entrance, entry to Coca-Cola Park can be gained off American Parkway and Union Boulevard. Preferred/Handicapped Parking access is available via American Parkway only.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pinnacle Ridge to host Sparkling Wine Tasting Event for Case Club Members

Our 2013 Syrah will be the last vintage. So if it is one of your favorites come by and get a case while supplies last.

Case Club Sparkling Wine Tasting Event
Sunday, August 16 from 3-5:30 pm
Please call or e-mail to set up a reservation - 610-756-4481 or pinnacle_ridge_winery@yahoo.com

Sparkling wine tasting in the wine loft with the owner/winemaker Brad Knapp. Brad will be hosting a casual but informative wine tasting of domestic sparkling wines from the East and West coasts for the case club members who are not only thirsty for wine but for some wine knowledge. Topics of discussion will include production methods of sparkling wine and some comparisons of East coast and West coast sparkling wines. There will also be a preview of some Pinnacle Ridge sparkling wines, including the Cuvée, currently in process to give you some insight into the transformation of still wine into sparkling wine.

Live Music in the Barn
Featuring The Sterling Koch Band
Saturday, August 8 from 2-5 pm

Sit and relax on our couches in the barn or stand up and dance! We will be selling light food. Enjoy a bottle of wine starting at $12 or a glass of wine for $4. Visit The Sterling Koch band to check out their music.

Sterling Koch is an internationally recognized lap steel guitarist who performs a high energy mix of danceable, Texas style, roots/rock music containing both cover (from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s) and original songs. Sterling Koch’s music is informed by his influences of George Thorogood, ZZ Top, and the soaring slide guitar sound of Duane Allman.

(Note - We allow our wine to be enjoyed on the property by the bottle or glass, however, we do not allow any other alcoholic beverages on the property.)

Live Music in the Barn
Featuring Brosky & Meyer
Saturday, August 22 from 2-5 pm

Lehigh Valley icon, Steve Brosky teams up with Jimmy Meyer Extraordinaire (honorably mentioned in “the rock n’ roll hall of fame” With corporate band “The Difference”.) From the very start they had “it”, call it chemistry, ying and yang or peanut butter and jelly… Steve brings that bluesy/gravely voice and Jimmy, well Jimmy brings “it” on the guitar! Hearing Steve’s song in this setting is like sitting on the writing session and saying they “cover” other peoples songs…it’s more like they wake em’ songs up and get outta bed! So what ya got here is your basic American roots music with a edge of entertainment, the way it was meant to be…from the heart and the head! Steve and Jimmy have have opened for B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Monty Montgomery, Leon Rusell, Robin Trower, and The DoughBoys.

Sit and relax on our couches in the barn or stand up and dance! We will be selling light food. Enjoy a bottle of wine starting at $12 or a glass of wine for $4.

(Note: We allow our wine to be enjoyed on the property by the bottle or glass, however, we do not allow any other alcoholic beverages on the property.)

Upcoming Events In September

Blues in the Barn Weekend

September 5
Matt Roman and The Heard
Noon - 3 P.M.

The James Supra Band
4 P.M. - 7 P.M.

September 6
The BC Combo
2 P.M. - 5 P.M.