Wine drinkers know Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Grigio, but do they know Chambourcin? The Lehigh Valley’s wine grape may be lesser known amongst the more popular varieties, but it grows so well in the climate and soil of this region that it has become the only wine grape grown by all nine wineries of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail.
Local wine lovers can become familiar with it during the wine trail’s Chambourcin Weekend event on Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16. Each winery will feature its own activities such as wine tastings, live entertainment, vineyard tours, or food and wine pairings (see detailed list below). Event hours at all of the wineries are Saturday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon – 5 p.m. (Chambourcin Weekend is a free event, however some wineries charge for wine tastings, tours, and/or entertainment.)
In the greater Lehigh Valley, there are more than 40 acres of Chambourcin that ferments into approximately 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.
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. For more information on the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail visit www.LehighValleyWineTrail.com.
CHAMBOURCIN WEEKEND WINERY HIGHLIGHTS
Amore will pair its Chambourcin with beef Stroganoff.
Big Creek will pair Millie’s 5 Star Chili with their hearty red wines.
Blue Mountain will have a mulled Chambourcin to sample and to purchase by the mug (and you get to keep the mug) and complimentary samples of baked ziti. Nick & Nikki Sandt from Culinary Experiences will have shepherd’s pie and baked ziti, both made with Chambourcin, available for purchase.
Live music will be provided free of charge on Saturday from 1-4pm with Jordan White (no reservations needed). Crafts for kids along with guided tours with the winemaker will be offered from noon to 5pm on Sunday every hour, on the hour, coinciding with the Lehigh County Open Gate Farm Tour. There will be Sunday Blues music featuring Connie Edinger from 2-5 pm (reservations preferred; $5 admission, includes wine tasting).
Clover Hill will partner with American Café on Tilghman Street in Allentown to present cooking demonstrations featuring autumn belly warming foods prepared and paired with Chambourcin and Turtle Rock Red (made with 100% Chambourcin grapes with a hint of sweetness). Cooking demonstrations will take place at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. both days.
Franklin Hill – warm up with Chambourcin infused chili, hot mulled wines and creative fall cocktails featuring Social Still’s newly released Vanilla Maple Bourbon. And if there’s a chill in the air they’ll have samples of Spiked Pumpkin Pudding made with their seasonal wine Potion X. Kendra’s Buttercup Bakery, McCollians’ Farms, and CJ’s Gourmet Mystic Mustards will be onsite with their local products as well. Winery tours will be offered at noon and 2 p.m. both days and tastings will be available all day.
Galen Glen – enjoy a pairing of their 2016 Chili Cook Off Winner, Tripti Stashefski’s Sausage and Beef Chili with a taste of Chambourcin or Cellar Red. Her classic recipe will be available for customers to take home and recreate. Think you have what it takes to be our next chili competition champion? Request an application to throw your chef’s cap into the ring of fire in January 2017.
Pinnacle Ridge will feature Cavatelli pasta in a light garlic and butter sauce with a harvest vegetable medley of squash, zucchini, and mushroom. All ingredients will be fresh, in season, and sourced from local farmers’ markets. It will be paired with the customer’s choice of either the 2013 Chambourcin Reserve – a rich and spicy medium-bodied Dry Red; or 2015 Chambourcin Rosé – a crisp, light-bodied Rosé, featuring aromas of strawberry and a light tannic finish.
Tolino will pair its dry red Chambourcin with a sample of beef brisket on a baguette with barbecue sauce infused with Chambourcin from the Bob-B-Q food truck, which will offer food for sale all day Saturday. Enjoy live music by acoustic singers Chuck Schubert on Saturday and Erin McClelland on Sunday.
Vynecrest will partner with Cibo food truck all weekend. Vynecrest will offer complementary tastings of the 2014 Chambourcin with bite-sized homemade pizza squares by Domenico Buonsante, or as most people know him, Nico. Nico has been a mainstay at various wine festivals as well as Christkindlmarkt for years, and this will be the first time his brand new food truck will be debuting along the Wine Trail. The truck, named Cibo Pizza and More, will be selling food all weekend.