Our new blog series introducing you to the staff members at our wineries continues with Franklin Hill Vineyards Winemaker Bonnie Pysher:
Franklin Hill Vineyards for 34 years. I started the harvest of 1982 and the winery opened at Christmas 1982. Most visitors ask me how I got into winemaking. I tell them I had twins and they look baffled. That is actually how I got into making wine. I had 3-year-old twins when I started working at FHV in 1982. Elaine asked me to come help her label wine for Christmas and my response was "Oh to be able to talk to some adults would be great!” The rest is history. Now my twins are grown and I have four grandsons.
What is your favorite wine that your winery makes, and why? What do you like to pair it with?
That is a tough question. Fainting Goat which is black cherry and I pair it with Coke or Pepsi and lots of crushed ice. It tastes like adult Dr Pepper Black Cherry. Or our Crush which is Pomegranate Peach. I mix that with cranberry juice and lots of crushed ice. I pair both of them with "vacation.”
What is the most popular question you get asked by visitors about Lehigh Valley wine or wineries, and how do you answer it?
Not so much a question as a statement: "We didn't know you could grow grapes in PA.” My answer to that is that our little spot in PA is just like you would find in Germany. We have very shaley soil, just like Germany.
What do you like most about local, Lehigh Valley wine and wineries?
I love proving to people that you can grow grapes in PA and make good, quality wines here. I like the diversity of all of our wineries. Most of us use the same grapes, but the wines are all different.
What is the one piece of advice you offer to wine lovers traveling along the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail?
Take your time and enjoy our little piece of heaven. I think our area is so beautiful during every season. When visiting Franklin Hill Vineyards, you think you are driving to “no man’s land”, but you just don't know what you will find on your way back along our 1-mile long driveway. I live 2 miles from the winery and my traffic jam in the morning could be a tractor or a flock of turkeys or some deer standing in the lane!