Friday, February 26, 2016

Get to know... Kathy Matson of Galen Glen Winery

We're excited to begin a new occasional blog series introducing you to the many staff members at our wineries.

We're kicking it off with Kathy Matson, Tasting Room Manager, at Galen Glen Winery in Andreas.

1.     Which winery do you work for and how long have you worked there?

Galen Glen Winery. About five years total, almost three years full time.  I was a long-time customer desiring Karen's job before that.

2.     What is your favorite wine that your winery makes, and why? What do you like to pair it with?

That's like asking me which of my children is the favorite; I know the answer, but telling might be hurtful to the other! It's a toss up between Gruner Veltliner and Gewurztraminer. Gewurztraminer is what made me a "regular" at the winery as I love Asian and Indian BYO restaurants in the Valley. Gruner is amazing with asparagus and I could eat asparagus every day, so Gruner would be my "every day" wine.

3.     What is the most popular question you get asked by visitors about Lehigh Valley wine or wineries, and how do you answer it?

After "what's your favorite wine?" it would be, "Where else can I get your wine?" Since we are not in the PA state stores, I mention they can enjoy our wines at over 60 restaurants in PA and surrounding areas and that we are the only PA wine on the menu at Wegman's Pub in Allentown. I then tell them how I no longer have cart rage when shopping now that I can have a glass of wine and a yummy meal first.

4.     What do you like most about local, Lehigh Valley wine and wineries?

I like living in an AVA (American Viticultural Area). That's amazing to me.  I don't need to board a plane or take a long car ride to visit an AVA. It's right here... pretty impressive!

5.     What is the one piece of advice you offer to wine lovers traveling along the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail?

My advice is do your research. When you plan to visit a winery, check out their website. See what they offer, what wines they grow and produce, their upcoming events, and more. Also, I'd recommend two other things: Leave your cologne and perfume at home. They affect your ability to truly smell wine aromatics and taste effectively. The other thing would be don't wear white - it can unnerve the best server - plus if you are anything like me, a splash of red wine or food is sure to find its way onto your outfit by the end of the day.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bring your friends for Ladies Night Out in April at Blue Mountain Vineyards

Ladies Night Out
April 8 from 6-9 pm

Join us for an evening of wine, chocolate, cheese, and relaxation. Grab your girlfriends, co-workers, daughters, mothers, and more and join us at Blue Mountain Vineyards. Live music will entertain you while you nosh on the three main food, cheese, and chocolate!

Cost includes wine tasting, live music with Kendal Conrad, cheese, and chocolate. Other goodies will be available, too. Tickets must be purchased in advance. All ticket sales are final; no refunds will be issued. Once purchased, tickets will be held at the door on the night of the event. You do not need to pick up your tickets in advance. Limited tickets available. By law only Blue Mountain Vineyard wines can be consumed on the property. For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.

Sunday Blues

Join us 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. Let us help with the perfect way to "wine" down your weekend.

Please be aware that in the indoor room where the band is located seating is given to the first 50+ reservations, all other reservations will be seated outside or in the tasting room.

(No alcohol except for Blue Mountain Vineyards wine is permitted on the property or in the building. If found on your person you may be asked to leave.)

Reservations are required - (tickets need to be purchased at time of reservation). $5 per person (includes wine tasting). For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.

  • March 6 - Sarah Ayers and James Supra Quartet
  • March 13 - Scott Marshall 
  • March 20 - Steve Brosky and Jimmy Meyer

March Wine Special - $3 off Shiraz

Available in store and online. To order online, visit and enter the code MARCH at checkout. Offer expires 03/31/2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

10 important things to know about Vino in the Valley Passport Program

Below are a few things to know about our annual Passport Program.

If you are new to this event, please take a moment to also read the five steps that explain how the program works and our tips for traveling the trail HERE.
  1. The event takes place at all nine of our wineries weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) in March. Winery hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. on Sunday. HOWEVER: our wineries will all be closed on Sunday 3/27 for the Easter holiday. So the last weekend of the event is only one day - Saturday 3/26. 
  2. Online passport sales close on Friday 2/26, so place your order soon! Passports are mailed out via first class USPS and need 3-4 days to arrive in the mail prior to the starting weekend of the event. You MUST have a passport to use for the event. Printing out an online receipt for your passport order will not work.
  3. Passports can also be purchased in person (cash or check only please) at our member wineries. HOWEVER: wineries are starting to sell out of their supplies of passports. Big Creek and Blue Mountain are already sold out. So be sure to call ahead before going to a winery to buy passports just to make sure they still have some left to sell to you!
  4. Write your name on your passport as soon as you get it and record your passport number somewhere in case you lose it at one of our wineries. This way we can return it to you!
  5. Pick up your passport holder gift - a t-shirt and logoed wine glass - at the winery indicated by the number on the top corner of your passport. There is a small chart on the front of the passport that correlates passport numbers to wineries. It indicates which winery you should collect your gift at. 
  6. Wine and food pairings at each winery are tasting sized, so they are small. They are just meant to be a sample of each. Please do not expect large portions or a small meal. Review the list of pairings HERE
  7. Start at any winery and visit the rest in any order you wish. Consider planning out your visits in advance based on your favorite food and wine pairings each weekend. 
  8. Get your passport stamped at each winery you visit. When you have collected at least 8 stamps, fill out the contact information on the bottom front of the passport, tear it off and turn it in at the last winery you visit. This will get you entered into a Grand Prize Drawing to win wine trail gift certificates. 
  9. Please expect the wineries to be VERY busy! Saturdays are busier than Sundays in general, and the first two weekends of the event tend to be busier than the last two are.
  10. If you will be traveling with a group, please be sure to review the Group Guidelines HERE before heading out.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Chocolate and Wine pairing weekends continue at Galen Glen and Tolino

If you missed Valentine's Weekend at our wineries, there's still time to enjoy chocolate and local wine pairings at two of our wineries this weekend and next.

Galen Glen -

Seduce your taste buds with a wine and chocolate adventure. The winery owners invite you to indulge in their Triple-Treat of three decadent chocolate truffles with a 3-ounce glass of wine for $3. Lancaster chocolatier, Steve Evans, has created more truffles with Galen Glen wine.

Tolino Vineyards -

Each weekend in February the winery is partnering with a different local chocolatier to offer a free chocolate and wine pairing with the purchase of a premier tasting. The winery also has free live music from 1 - 4 p.m. each Saturday.

Vino in the Valley

Also, just a reminder that Vino in the Valley online passport sales end next Friday 2/26. Supplies are getting low so place your order soon. Or stop by one of our wineries this weekend or next week and pick up your passport in person. (Note: Blue Mountain and Big Creek are sold out.)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Vynecrest celebrates Valentine's Weekend with goodies, live music and jewelry

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.

Copies of our 2016 calendar of events are available to pick up at the front register at the winery and at Vynecrest on Main in Kutztown. While it's still a work in progress, we've added some exciting new things this year, including more live music in the Vyneskeller and food trucks. Our Winemaker Tours of the vineyard and wine cellar are listed on the calendar as well.

We have been partnering with Billy's Candies from Temple, Pa. for the last few months and we now have small heart-shaped Valentine's boxes of their delicious candy on sale at the winery. We have boxes of assorted milk and dark chocolates and boxes of nonpareils for $10.75.

▪ Wine of the Month - Lemberger - 10% off*
▪ 3 Pack of the Month - 3 Summertime Red - $25*

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

February 13 and 14 - Valentine's Day Weekend

Our Vyneskeller wine bar will be opening early for Valentine's Day Weekend. Both days from 10 am - 1 pm we will sell $3 mimosas. Pastries, croissants and chocolate-covered strawberries will be available for purchase as well. Reservations suggested. Call 610-398-7525.

Steve Myers will be playing the baby grand piano in the Vynskeller on Saturday from 10 am - 4 pm and Sunday from 1 - 4 pm. In addition, we will be partnering with Sorrelli’s Jewelry in the main tasting room on Saturday February 13.

February 28 - Jazz Sunday

Dan Harakal on the guitar and Mike Spangler on the Piano, 1-4pm, free admission

March 19 - Vynecrest Wine Dinner at Virginville Hotel - 6:30pm

$60 per person, all inclusive
Reservations: 610-562-7072

Spinach and Crab Flat Bread - A blend of fresh spinach jumbo lump crab and asiago cheese, baked on flat bread, accompanied by Naked Chardonnay

Grilled Romaine heart salad-fresh romaine hearts marinated and grilled topped with a house-made grape tomato bruschetta, drizzled with a balsamic glaze, accompanied by Traminette

Lamb Lollipops - fresh lamb chops sauteed with a leak orange rosemary saute. Served with red skinned garlic mashed potatoes and snap peas, accompanied by Chambourcin

Poached Pears, accompanied by Vynecrest White

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pinnacle Ridge to release three new wines in February

February Special:
Syrah -$12.99

This will be the last vintage for our Syrah. With an earthy, fruit-driven nose and a soft velvety mouth feel, this wine is enhanced with notes of plum, pepper and a touch of vanilla. This sale is only until February 28, so grab a bottle before it's gone. Not in the area? Purchase anytime online.

Case Club Event:
How to Pair a Sparkling Wine
February 12 at 5 pm

Due to its massive popularity, we will once again be hosting a class for Case Club members - How to pair a sparkling wine with appetizers. Winemaker Brad Knapp will give you pointers and samples of the many things you can do with a bubbly. We will be showcasing three sparkling wines: Brut Rose, Blanc de Blanc, and the brand new Cuvee Chardonnay.

Reservations are required: call 610-756-4481 or email
Case Club members may bring up to three guests. Sign up early; seats are going fast.


Cuvée Chardonnay

Made with 100% Chardonnay, this will be the driest option for our Sparkling Wine. The Cuvée Chardonnay was released February 6. Stop in for a tasting and pick up a bottle for your Valentine's Day celebration.

2015 Cayuga

Fresh pear and peach aromas, followed by some wonderful fruit cocktail flavors.

2014 Chardonnay

New Vintage. Barrel fermented in 100% French Oak. In the nose are hints of toast and apples followed by a round and soft buttery body. A perfect pairing for rotisserie chicken or a selection of good cheeses.

Keep an eye out for these new wines:

Grüner Veltliner 

Subtle notes of white and green peppercorn are balanced by ripe citrus on the nose, inviting new aromas with each intake of breath. A rich texture, coupled with a lingering finish, make this wine a perfect pairing for light appetizers and white meats.

Late Harvest Vidal Blanc

This dessert wine is a decadent treat! Aromas of tropical fruits and honey make this wine a perfect pairing for Crème Brûlée or for after dinner sipping.

Open House Concert Series

Our open house concert series will begin again on May 21.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wine and Chocolate Lovers Weekend at Galen Glen in February

Galen Glen Winery has partnered with Chocolatier Steve Evans of Lancaster to create two exciting new chocolate truffles made from their award-winning wines.

In February, visitors to the winery will have the opportunity to purchase a pairing featuring these delectable treats. The truffles will be part of what the winery is calling "The Triple Treat." For $3 visitors may purchase a pairing of 3 oz. of wine plus three mouth-watering truffles.

One of the three truffles is a Dark Chocolate Chambourcin, made with wine of the same name.  The next is a Zweigelt Salted Caramel infused with Galen Glen's Zweigelt, an Austrian grape they grow in Andreas. Finally, the third amazing truffle is Winemaker Sarah Troxell's favorite, the Double-Dark. Truffles will also be available in a half-pound box for purchase.

At Galen Glen, we farm wine. Ancient glacial soils atop millions of years old sea fossils form our topography. The land was patiently waiting for us, yielding only scrawny crops for our ancestors. As 6th generation stewards of our farm, we sustainably and respectfully balance nature and science. Our wines reflect a delicate tension of acid and ripeness, punctuated by a powerful sense of location.

Recipes and Pairings - Our Featured Stone Cellar Chambourcin Recipe
Beef & Brisket Chili 
Winner 2015 Galen Glen Chili Cook Off
Chef: Brian Eagers

Monday, February 1, 2016

Clover Hill introduces Ruby Port and plans Love Flights for Valentine's Day Weekend

We are excited to share with you our newest wine release: Ruby. This little gem is our first ever port wine modeled after the Ruby Port style. There are numerous different styles of port, but Ruby Port is one of the more common styles. A Ruby Port is produced as a young style port with more fruit forward and vibrant flavors. It tends to have a bright ruby color. Ruby Ports are only fermented in stainless steel tanks and are never sent to barrels for aging.

Ruby is Clover Hill’s first port ever released. Ruby is crafted from 100% Chambourcin grapes. We selected the Chambourcin grape to use for this wine mainly for its brilliant color and intense berry flavors. The grapes were fermented down to a point where approximately half of the sugar was consumed by the yeast and then we added back the high proof alcohol to stop the fermentation.

Clover Hill’s Ruby is a very fruit forward dessert wine, showing rich, ripe berry and jammy flavors and ends with a sweet, warm and soothing finish. Ruby is a perfect after dinner wine or best sipped on a cold winter’s night. We suggest serving this wine in a smaller cordial style glass at room temperature or with a slight chill. Only 574 bottles of Ruby were produced. Due to the limited availability of this wine there is a tasting fee of $3 per 1 ounce sample.

Wine of the Month - Catawba
For the month of February, Catawba is discounted 10% at all Clover Hill locations. Receive a 20% discount on Catawba when included in a case purchase.

Savor the sweet, grapey, and candied flavors of this wine.  Don't forget to sniff first to best enjoy the sweet grapey aroma. Now only $8.54.

Love Flights
February 13, 14, 15 & 16; noon - 5 pm all days
Tickets required: $10 per person; $8 per flight for seniors

The Winery in Breinigsville will host our annual Love Flights as a Valentine's Day celebration. Each flight will include for wines each paired with a sampling of food. There will be a dry wine flight and a sweet wine flight.

Beginner Wine Tasting Class
The Winery in Breinigsville
Saturday, February 20; 2pm
Tickets required: $25 per person

Join us in a beginner wine tasting class. This 1 ½ 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. You must be 21+ years old to attend. Call 610-395-2468 or visit the winery to reserve your ticket. Classes typically sell out in advance so make your reservation now.