Sunday, May 21, 2006

French Creek Ridge Vineyards and My Sons

French Creek Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1991 in Warwick Township, which is located in northwest Chester County, the south eastener coner of Pennsylvania. The property that was purchased was not a winery and vineyard . Janet and Fred Maki then proceeded to reshape the old farmhouse with log cabin and prototypical Chester County barn into what you see today. The farm-winery is an elegant, charming, beautiful and the best looking wineries on the east coast. The winery building is one of the prettiest barn/wineries I have ever seen, in either Chile, California, or elsewhere.

In Paris, France, on March 23, 2001 in a stunning coup for Eastern U.S. wines, French Creek Ridge Vineyards was awarded a gold medal for their 1997 Blanc de Blanc brut sparkling wine at the prestigious Viniales Internationales Wine Competition. It would have been a special victory for US manufacturer, but especially for viticulture here on the eastcoast.

Today, my sons Dylan and Dawson were baptized. And we wanted to choose a special wine. It was the J. Maki, Blanc de Blanc. Dominique grew up in hunt country Pennsylvania, riding many horses, and seeing many foxes. This is a special part of the country, with tremendous colonial era stone farmhouses and beautiful estates.

My wife is from Chester Springs. Very near Yellow Springs. These are delightful 18th century bucolic villages located just a few miles down the road from Kimberton and Charlestown, just off Route 113. George Washington used this as the first Revolutionary hospital. The native Americans first discovered mineral waters and utilized them for medicinal purposes. In the 19th century guests came to partake of the springs' restorative mineral waters. Visitors nowadays can stroll the paths through the stately water gardens that surround the legendary spring houses.

Pickering Hunt

Yellow Springs is also known for its Equestrian events - especially Fox Hunting! Participate in a stirrup cup with the members of the hunt. Marvel at majestic horses, elegant riders, and Penn-Marydale Fox Hounds as they search for the elusive red fox (don't worry, nowadays it's another member with fox scent to lure the hounds!)

The weather cooperated beautifully. The clouds and possible rain disappated, and bright shine bathed the neighborhood. While our celebration was supposed to start in the livingroom, with the bright blue skies, and burgeoning green trees, and flowering plants now beckoning, we put a Provencal table cloth out, with an array of deviled egss, Italian antipasto, and other canapes. And then we had some J. Maki Blanc de Blanc.

The straw colored wine, was bone dry, crisp, and elegant. In fluted glasses, the bubbles trailed up nicely and for a long time. We squinted with pleasure and smiled, for our boys, for the lovely weather, for friends and family, for the return of spring, and for the delicious wine.

Congrats to Dylan and Dawson from Mom and Dad....and special thanks and congrats to French Creek Ridge Vineyards on an excellent wine.