Sunday, December 30, 2007

BOORDY VINEYARDS - STILL IMPORTANT AS IT WAS FOUR DECADES AGO






Boordy Vineyards, in Maryland, was the brain/lovechild of founders Philip and Jocelyn Wagner, who operated Boordy nursery in the 1930’s and introduced new varieties of French hybrid grapevines throughout the United States. Philip Wagner was almost singehandledly responsible for helping to sustain an east coast winemaking tradition, when many wine growers were ready to leave the region for dead. He was a staunch advocate for east coast winemaking - and french-American hybrids. The Wagners established Maryland’s first commercial winery in 1945.

Few people today, especially in the eastern wine business, realize the debt we all owe to Mr. Wagner. His winery was cutting edge in its day, and they was one of the loudest, strongest voices in wine fore more then three or four decades. As all things must happen, the winery eventually stumbled. Newer, younger winemakers take hold. The new becomes the old...real fast...especially in America.



The R. B. Deford family has owned the winery since 1980. Rob Deford, who received formal training in oenology at the University of California, Davis, manages Boordy with his wife, Julie, a graduate of the Maryland Institute of Art. Boordy’s winemaker since 1986 is Tom Burns.



In the last ten years they have upgraded and extended their plantings, and in the last four to five years they have completely transformed the winery, the wine, and their labels. What results is the classic major regional winery dedicated to quality and local involvement. And they are also business minded enough that while they drive a large amount of business form their winery operation, they have exceptional penetration into the liquor store market, one of the few wineries that have made friends with wholesalers, as their product can be found in almost every Maryland wine and spirits shoppe.



They have selected their wines into two groups - fine wines, and "just for fun wines." This addresses the needs of regional wineries who want to make fine wines, but face the need to develop more fun styled wines for popular consumption, greater volume, and wider distribution.



From the Landmark Series, their Chardonnay was a shocker. Clean, crisp. Half naked chard; half oaked chard, the hint of oak was nice without overpowering. Excellent.

The Syrah was a big red wine. Deep purple. Very dry. Made from California grapes, but made by them.

Eisling, Sweet Riesling Reserve was an incredible success as a dessert wine. Sweet with honey and apple and apricot, it also had enough acidity to balance it out. Very nice. Not too sweet. Perfect.

From the Icons of Maryland Series we loved their Seyval-Vidal-Chardonnay which Dominique both thought was refreshing and clean. The blush was lovely. The Riesling was also extremely nice.

From their Just for Fun wine series we liked the Wassail (which is an old Boordy favorite), and the Chilled Apple.

The DeFords and Mr. Burns have succeeded in not only saving a landmark in and of itself, but have excelled at advancing the business of the regional winery. They are a model for others to look at.

Congratulations to them. And congratulations to us...that Boordy's is a strong and vibrant player in this new century, just as it was in the last.

A LUCKEY DAY FOR NEW YORK WINES



A good friend of mine, Bill Luckey, a New York native of many years, and a long time friend, and I happily found our way down to Vintage New York not long ago. We needed to kill some time before a formal event late in the city in late December. I told Bill I knew just the place.

Bill had not yet been, so I introduced him to the delights of their tasting bar and policy, and off we went on a oenological tour of New York state. We visited some of the unusual suspects, but of course, we found some pleasant surprises. Herein are a few of them:

We started off with the 2000 Chateau Franc Blanc de Blanc from the Finger Lakes. It was dry, fresh, and effervescent. It had a touch of citrus and lovely floral qualities. It's not inexpensive, but it is worth every penny.

Our next favorite among many was the 2006 Vineyard 48 Sauvignon Blanc from Long Island. As advertised, it was "zesty, vibrant, and clean." A lovely touch of lemon. Extremely nice! A new favorite!

Another stunner was the 2004 Paumanok Assemblage from Long Island. Big plums and dark berries. Nice hints of toast and vanilla. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a big, sophisticated red wine.

We left the shop feeling warm inside, bracing ourselves against the cold winter night, scarves, gloves, top coats, and bags of wine. We carefully and nervously handed over our bags of loot to the coat check person at our event, ever mindful to retrieve them when we left. And I brought them happily home to Dominique, who arched her eyebrow when I arrived late and with wine in hand.

All three can be found at Vintage New York. Enjoy!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Richard Leahy - One Voice for the Eastcoast Wineries



First, let me say, that I do not know Richard Leahy. He is not an old pal, nor a another wine insider I am secretly corresponding with. There is no back to scratch here.

Richard Leahy is the East Coast Editor and Director of Eastern Programs for Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, a leading wine industry trade journal for North America. He coordinates the seminar program for Wineries Unlimited, the largest trade show for the wine industry in the East, and also coordinates the International Eastern Wine Competition, one of the oldest and largest in the country.

Mr. Leahy was also the Executive Director for the Virginia Wine Experience in London, which brought the top Virginia wines to serve for leading British wine media and trade in May 2007, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown settlement.

Mr. Leahy is currently enrolled in the Second Year program for the Institute of Masters of Wine. Other writing credentials include being a regional editor for Kevin Zraly's American Wine Guide, 2nd edition (2007); being Mid-Atlantic and Southern Editor for the Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America, (2000) and short pieces on wineries of eastern North America in Decanter.

Mr. Leahy has been a judge in the International Eastern Wine Competition, the Grand Harvest Awards, and regional competitions in the Mid-Atlantic, and was invited to participate in the Master Napa Valley program in September 2004, designed for the industry's most promising wine professionals. A graduate of William and Mary, Mr. Leahy also holds a Master's degree from the University of Virginia and lives in Charlottesville, VA.

All this said, it is important to note that Richard Leahy has been and is one of the single greatest promoters of East Coast wines in North America (along with Howard G. Goldberg), and is the leading voice for the wine movement on the East Coast. As the East Coast has now become a sizeable and recognizeable wine region, in and of itself, there is no singular voice that unites all the different states, New York, Virginia, Pennsylavania, Maryland, etc. like Mr. Leahy.

While it is good that the wineries are involved in their wine trails, and their regions (the Valleys and AVAs, etc.) and their state pride, eventually, for these wineries, and for the East Coast to gain the reputations they need to get to the next level, it will take someone who can speak with one voice for the region. That voice right now belongs to Mr. Leahy. He has the bully pulpit of his magazine column, and his position within the industry. As someone who believes in the East Coast as a region, as big and diverse as California, I think it is important to note that Mr. Leahy has that vision as no one else. And no one is articulating it as he is. And we should all be greatful he does.

And he is someone to be watched. The East Coast is something to be watched.

Vineyard and Winery Management Highlight Vineland Estate Winery



Vineyard and Winery Management magazine placed Vineland Estate Winery on the cover of the Novemeber/December issue. Always one of my favorite Canadian wineries, I thought it would be a great idea to feature a winery from up north way...especially with the winter wonderland of Decemeber, January and February approaching.

Situated on the slopes of the Niagara Escarpment with Lake Ontario in the distance, Vineland Estates Winery has been consistently among the best of Niagara's premium wineries.

In 1979 fifty acres of the 75 acre Estate were planted with German Riesling vines. Established on a homestead dating back to 1845, the Estate, while utilizing many of the original historic buildings has evolved into a world class winery and restaurant.

Vineland Estates Winery can lay claim to having one of the best locations for growing grapes. The slopes of our new vineyards are perfect for our recent plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc vines, imported directly from French nurseries.

Brian Schmidt is the resident winemaker. He was raised on his family's vineyard in British Columbia. The Schmidt family was one of the founding families in the Okanagan Wine Industry and this was the foundation of Brian's interest in winemaking.

Brian traveled extensively throughout Europe, studying winemaking and the winemaking process. In 1991, Brian traveled to Ontario to train with his brother Allan, who was the original Winemaker at Vineland Estates. Brian took over as Winemaker of Vineland Estates Winery in 1994 and has consistently produced Award Winning Wines that have garnered national and international attention.

This is a beautiful winery, with gorgeous buildings and marvelous vineyards. And they make lovely wines! If you're going anywhere near the region for the holidays, as many do, why not stop there? You won't be sorry you did.

Lewiston Christmas Walk Features Niagra Wines


Published: November 29, 2007 07:32 pm
LEWISTON: Christmas Walk keeps village lively
Lewiston officials look to replicate event’s success throughout holiday season
By Dan Miner/minerd@gnnewspaper.com
Niagara Gazette

VILLAGE OF LEWISTON — Popular for its events in the summer and fall, officials in Lewiston are hoping this weekend’s 40th annual Lewiston Christmas Walk makes the village an attraction for all seasons....

A 7-foot ice bar will be located in front of the Village Vineyard Wine Boutique on Center Street, according to a release from the chamber. It will feature complimentary wine tasting from the wineries along the Niagara Wine Trail.

As it expands, the wine trail has been featured more prominently in village events recently.

“Not just locally but nationwide people are really interested in agro-tourism and wineries,” Hays-Mies said.

Oscar Vizcarra, president of the wine trail and also owner of Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyard in Gasport, said the village is ripe for increasing the wine trail’s visibility.

“We want to make sure we support these kinds of events, because the exposure creates new markets for us,” Vizcarra said. “We certainly can’t lose in promoting ourselves.”

The Christmas Walk also coincides with the wine trail’s Holiday Happening event, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. People can stop at each winery on the trail and collect a commemorative wine glass and ornament at each winery.

for the full story go to: http://www.niagara-gazette.com/local/local_story_333193230.html

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Holiday Wine Fun in Pennsylvania


November 23 - 25 Stone Villa Wine Cellars, Inc. Holiday Open House
Come out and celebrate our Holiday Open House! There will be Wine Tastings, New Releases and Special Discounts on Wines and Gourmet Gift Baskets.
Personalized Wine Label Service is Available!
Time: Friday and Saturday 11a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday Noon - 5 p.m.
For more information contact the winery at 724-423-5604


November 24 Christian W. Klay Winery Grand Opening of Holiday Greenery Sale & Event
Grand Opening of Holiday Greenery Sale & Event
Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Select from an array of wreaths, swags and trees while enjoying a bon fire, hot mulled wine, and hayrides for the kids. Complimentary admission.
Visit www.cwklaywinery.com for the most up-to-date listing of our special events.


November 25 Crossing Vineyards & Winery Wine Tasting in Riedel Crystal
Join us for a Wine Tasting in Riedel Crystal. Includes: 90 minute tasting workshop; a tasting of 4 premium Crossing Vineyards' wines; a tasting kit with 4 Riedel Vinum series glasses (Retail value $125); 20% off any Riedel purchase.
Cost: $99
Time: 2PM
Call for reservations at 215-493-6500, ext 19 or buy on-line: www.crossingvineyards.com
Email: info@crossingvineyards.com.


December 1 Christian W. Klay Winery Annual Christmas Open House
Annual Christmas Open House
Time:11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Popular carols, holiday food favorites, wine tasting and activities for kids of all ages make this afternoon an old-fashioned Christmas homecoming. Be sure to bring your Christmas list and select from an array of holiday gift ideas, including beautiful wine and gourmet food baskets, giftware, and custom labels. Complimentary admission.
Visit www.cwklaywinery.com for the most up-to-date listing of our special events.


December 1 & 2 Chaddsford Winery Holiday Open House
Come see the winery in its holiday finery, laden with great wine gifts for everyone. Make shopping fun with tasting, hot mulled wines, holiday sweets and live carolers.
Time: 10am - 6pm
For more details contact the winery at 610-388-6221 or www.chadsford.com


December 1 & 2 Wilhelm Winery Winter Holiday Celebration
Mark your calendar to relax and enjoy the holiday season with us. Bring your friends to sample our vast array of wines, enjoy hors d'ouuvres, our spiced hot mulled wine and share in our warm holiday cheer.
Time: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more information contact the winery are 724-253-3700, or email to wilhelm3700@alltel.net.


December 1 & 2 Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery Dickens Holiday Open House
Come on out! We are decorated and dressed for the season, we're ready to help you select the perfect wine for dining or gift giving. Sample some of our famous homemade fruitcake and mulled wine too! Free!
December 1
Time: 10am - 5 pm
December 2
Time: 12 - 5pm


December 1 & 2 Stone Mountain Wine Cellars Christmas Open House
Stone Mountain Wine Cellars
1615 Panther Valley Rd.
Pine Grove, PA 17963
Time: 11am - 5 pm
Raising of Christmas Wreath Saturday Dec. 1 at 4:30 pm
Wine Specials, New Wine Releases and Cheese Samplings
For further inform,ation call Linda 570-739-4418 or on-line at www.stonemountainwinecellars.com


December 1 & 2 Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery Holiday Open House
Mark your calendars to celebrate the holidays with Clover HIll Vineyards & Winery! Visit either the Winery in Breinigsvielle or the Vineyard in Robesonia to start your holiday shopping! Each location will have special wine tasting, wine and food pairing, and great holiday gift giving ideas. Craig Thatcher will be playing at the Winery in Breinigsville from 1-5pm both days. Reservations are not required. Happy Holidays!
December 6 Crossing Vineyards & Winery Candlelight Holiday Concert
Take a break from the hustle and bustle with a romantic, candlelit evening of Christmas music.
Guaranteed to put even Scrooge in the holiday spirit. A great gift idea!
Cost: $45
Time: 7:30pm
For more information or reservations, contact us at cmc@crossingvineyards.com or call 215-493-6500, ext. 19


December 8 & 9 Crossing Vineyards & Winery Holiday Festival
Stock your wine cellar. Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts.
Time: Noon - 6 pm
For more information contact us at cmc@crossingvineyards.com or call 215-493-6500, ext. 19


December 8 & 9 Chaddsford Winery Holiday Open House
Come see the winery in its holiday finery, laden with great wine gifts for everyone. Make shopping fun with tasting, hot mulled wines, holiday sweets and live carolers.
Time: 10am - 6pm
For more details contact the winery at 610-388-6221 or www.chadsford.com


December 9 Crossing Vineyard & Winery Wine Tasting for Dummies
Come out and learn about wine and have fun!!
Cost: $25 per person. Includes instruction, wine tasting, cheese and fruit.
Time: 2PM
Call for reservations at 215-493-6500, ext. 19 or buy on-line: www.crossingvineyards.com
Email: info@crossingvineyards.com


December 13 Crossing Vineyards & Winery A Charlie Brown Christmas & Other Favorites
Join us for a fun evening of Christmas favorites and original holiday music featuring The Eric Mintel Jazz Quartet. Includes hot mulled wine anc Christmas cookies.
Cost: 35 Per person
Time: 7:30 PM
For mor information or reservations, contact us at cmc@crossingvineyards.com or call 215-493-6500, ext. 19


December 16 Crossing Vineyards & Winery A Wine Tasting in Riedel Crystal
Join us for a Wine Tasting in Riedel Crystal. Includes: 90 minute tasting workshop; a tasting of 4 premium Crossing Vineyards' wines; a tasting kit with 4 Riedel Vinum series glasses (Retail value $125); 20% off any Riedel purchase.
Cost: $99
Time: 2PM
Call for reservations at 215-493-6500, ext 19 or buy on-line: www.crossingvineyards.com
Email: info@crossingvineyards.com.

Happy Holidays for Virginia Wine Lovers


Lots of fun doings in Virginia from now until New Years. See below for some fun destinations and events!

Nov. 17-25
Hickory Hill Vineyards & Winery’s Holiday Open House
Join us for a Country Christmas in our decorated farmhouse, where you can sip our hot
mulled wine, taste seasonal snacks and purchase gifts for the wine lovers on your holiday gift list. Free. 11am-5pm.
www.hickoryhillvineyards.com, 540-296-1393

Nov. 23-25
Holiday Open House at Barboursville Vineyards
Celebrate the holidays with us. Special sampling from PalladioRestaurant will be
available. Make your own gift baskets with our wines. No reservations required. Noon-
4pm.
www.barboursvillewine.com, 540-832-3824

Nov. 23-25
Thanksgiving Open House at Burnley Vineyards
Tasting new releases including Cabernet Sauvignon and Hot Mulled Wine (Spicy
Rivanna). Items to nibble will be available. Free admission. 11am-5pm.
www.burnleywines.com, 540-832-2828

Nov. 23-25
Wintergreen Winery’s Holiday Open House
Get in the spirit with hot mulled wine, unique gift shopping, warm hospitality & a festive setting! Enjoy complimentary tasting of our award-winning wines and delicious holiday refreshments. Located in beautiful Nelson County on the Sunrise Side of the Blue Ridge
Mountains. 10am-5pm.
www.wintergreenwinery.com, 434-361-2519

Nov. 23-24
Horton Vineyards Thanksgiving Open House
Join us for hot soup and Horton Norton Chili. Browse for gifts for the wine lover. Take a stroll through the vineyard and walk off some of that Thanksgiving feast. Stock up on wine for the Holiday season with special discounts on our award winning wines. $5/person includes glass.
www.hvwine.com, 540-832-7440

Nov. 24-25, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16
Christmas Time’s A’Coming Open House at Peaks of Otter Winery
Come join us by the fire and taste warm Cinfulious (apple cinnamon) wine and cider in the wine tasting room. Gift packs of the many beautiful bottles of wine and canned products will make wonderful Christmas gifts. Noon-5pm.
www.peaksofotterwinery.com, 540-586-3707

DECEMBER 2007 EVENTS

Dec.1-24, 26-30
“Winter in Wine Country!”
Capture the beauty and magic of wine country during the winter months. Offering Special wine tastings and champagne tastings at select wineries this month!
www.VirginiaWineTour.com, 540-622-2505

Dec. 1
Green Springs Holiday Open House
Wine, Gifts and Cookies! Save the date for our second annual holiday open house.
Purchase Green Springs Wine for all your holiday gifts. Check out the holiday specials,gifts and local crafts. Enjoy a glass of wine and handmade cookies by the fire while you take care of all your holiday shopping! Light fare available, no RSVP necessary. 10am- 6pm.
www.GreenSpringsWinery.com, 540-967-WINE

Dec. 1-2
Holiday/Christmas Open House at Burnley Vineyards
Tasting new releases including Riesling and Hot Mulled Wine (Spicy Rivanna). Items to
nibble will be available. Free admission. 11am-5pm.
www.burnleywines.com, 540-832-2828

Dec. 1-2
Gray Ghost Holiday Open House
See the world’s largest cork Christmas display containing over 50,000 corks and complete with a ten-foot Christmas tree. Enjoy spectacular holiday foods and wine! Collect the 13th in a series of unique holiday glasses. This event is a Gray Ghost favorite! $15 per person includes food, wine and collectable holiday glass. 11am-5pm.
www.grayghostvineyards.com/upcoming_events.htm, 540-937-4869

Dec.1-2
Olio and Vino Novelli at Villa Appalaccia Winery
This is a rare treat. We will bring back olive oil pressed within the prior 10 days in Tuscany and present it along with our 2007 fresh Chianti! What a combination: almost like being there! Enjoy the new wine, oil and oven-baked flat breads. We will have holiday wine specials available. Fee for event. Noon-4pm
www.villaappalaccia.com, 540-593-3100

Dec. 1-2
Heart of Virginia Wine Trail Jingle Bell Wine Trail
Tour Central Virginia’s premier wineries-Cooper, Grayhaven, Green Springs, James River and Lake Anna. Receive souvenir glass, special gift for completion of trail, tastings and light holiday fare. $10/person. 11am-5pm
www.jamesrivercellars.com, 804-550-7516

Dec. 1-2
Hearth Warming Open House at Naked Mountain Winery
Hot and cold hors d'oeuvres are served in front of an open fire. Come browse our holiday gift selections and watch the train encircle our Christmas tree. Admission is free. 11am-5pm.
www.nakedmtnwinery.com, 540-364-1609

Dec. 1-2
A Shenandoah Wine Country Event Deck The Halls Weekends
Shenandoah Valley Wine Growers Association Venues. Pick up your unique holiday
ornament at each of the SWX Venues. Each participating venue will feature a unique
design or theme. $15 per wreath. Go to your assigned starting winery and begin a
weekend of fun and festivities. Limousine transportation available. Participating
Shenandoah Valley Wine Growers Association Venues and to sign-up visit our website.
1-5pm.
www.shenandoahvalleywinecountry.org, 888-367-3965

Dec. 1, 8
Wreath Making Workshop at Barboursville Vineyards
Enjoy festivities of the season by creating your own boxwood wreath! Bring your hand
pruners! $40 per person. Reservations required, 540-832-3824. Noon-3pm.
www.barboursvillewine.com, 540-832-3824

Dec. 1-2, 8-9
Winter Open House at Afton Mountain Vineyards & Winery
Barrel Tasting of the new vintage with complementary minestrone soup. Taste our entire selection of wine for the holiday gifts including our sparkling wine. Light picnic fare available. 10am-5pm.
www.aftonmountainvineyards.com, 540-456-8667

Dec. 1-2, 8-9
Breaux Vineyards Holiday Open House
Join Breaux Vineyards for a Holiday open house complete with light fare, mulled wine and discounts on holiday gifts and our award-winning wines! Gift certificates, wooden wine boxes and library wines available. Unique items for the wine lover on your list are in ample supply. Free. 11am-5pm.
www.breauxvineyards.com, 800-492-9961

Dec. 1-2, 8-9
Holiday Open House at Ingleside Vineyards
In December we celebrate the holiday season with refreshments, tours, tastings (including mulled wine), and special holiday wine and gift specials. Our gift shop has been called the best at a Virginia winery. Sat, 10am-5pm. Sun, noon-5pm.
www.inglesidevineyards.com, 804-224-8687

Dec. 1-23
Yuletide at The Winery at La Grange
Share holiday cheer by decorating our christmas trees with your historic themed ornament and receive a free tasting of our award-winning wines. (one free tasting per ornament please) Member of The Blue Ridge WineWay. 11am-6pm.
www.wineryatlagrange.com, 703-753-9360

Dec. 6-9, 13-16, 20-23, 27-30
Holiday Wine Specials at Old House Vineyards
Holiday shopping made easy at Old House Vineyards. Stop in for 10% discounts on all
wine bottle purchases. Enjoy a wine tasting and a warm hearth to kick your legs up on.
Thursdays-Sundays in December, 1-5pm.
www.oldhousevineyards.com, 540-423-1032

Dec. 8
Holiday Open House at Woodland Vineyard
Celebrate the holiday season at Woodland Vineyard. Join us for wine tasting, light hors d’oeuvres, our signature mulled wine and holiday cheer! We also have hot cider and cookies for the kids. Noon-5pm.
www.woodlandvineyard.com, 804-739-2774

Dec. 8-15
Happy Holidays from Mediterranean Cellars Winery
Happy holidays from Mediterranean Cellars Winery! Join us for some holiday cheer and
unique gift shopping. 11am-6pm.
www.mediterraneancellars.com, 540-428-1984

Dec. 8-9
Holiday Open House at Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery
Come in out of the cold and enjoy fruit wines and meads. Food pairings, hot soup, hot
mulled wine. We’ll show you how our wines pair with foods. Lots of Holiday spirit. Find a unique gift for someone special from our gift shop or wine selection. Included logo glass.
Saturday 11am-5pm, Sunday open 1-5pm.
www.hilltopberrywine.com, 434-361-1266

Dec. 8-9
Oakencroft Holiday Open House
The holiday season is approaching and Oakencroft wines make a great holiday gift. We
offer the opportunity to avoid the crowds and sample some of Virginia’s best wines while doing your shopping. Snacks will be available and we will offer special holiday discounts. Oakencroft is the closest winery to Charlottesville and The University of Virginia. 11am-5pm.
www.oakencroft.com, 434-296-4188

Dec. 8-9
Pearmund Cellars Holiday Celebration Weekend
Come share the joy of the season with Pearmund Cellars. Offering superior awardwinning wines and savory hors d'oeuvres while shopping for that special wine lover gift. You can’t go wrong with a gift in hand of Pearmund Cellars wine. Let our knowledgeable friendly staff assist you. 11am-5pm.
www.pearmundcellars.com, 540-347-3475

Dec. 14-16
James River Cellars’ Holiday Open House
‘Tis the season for celebrating with friends, family and of course our seasonal wines. Who is naughty and who is nice? Find those perfect last minute gifts, taste our award-winning wines, and visit with special craft vendors to pick up some unique Holiday gifts. Stock up on wine, gifts and especially, holiday cheer! 11am-5pm.
www.jamesrivercellars.com, 804-550-7516

Dec. 15
North Mountain Vineyard Winter Solstice Celebration
Help us celebrate and bring light into the longest nights of the year by lighting the great bonfire on a late winter’s afternoon. Warm yourself around the stone fire pit while sampling our authentic German Gluehwein with traditional German cookies. Gourmet light fare specials and homemade soup available. Snow, rain, or shine. Hopefully snow. A wonderful pre-Christmas festivity.
www.northmountainvineyard.com, 540-436-9463

Dec. 15-16
“Wassail Weekend” at Smokehouse
Warmed, spiced mead to nurture the soul. Come in from the cold and enjoy mead and
good cheer. We will feature some special musical acts this winter at the Meadery (TBA
soon). Come in and groove as well as hunting down some unique gifts. $10/person.
smokehousewinery@earthlink.net for more info.
www.smokehousewinery.com, 540–987–3104

Dec. 15-16
Holiday Open House at Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery
Come in out of the cold and enjoy fruit wines and meads. Food pairings, hot soup, hot
mulled wine. We’ll show you how our wines pair with foods. Lots of Holiday spirit. Find a unique gift for someone special from our gift shop or wine selection. Included logo glass.
Saturday 11am-5pm, Sunday open 1-5pm.
www.hilltopberrywine.com, 434-361-1266

Dec. 15-16
Christmas at the Cellars at Rappahanock Cellars
Spoil yourself this holiday season. Sample award-winning wines; tour, listen to live music and shop for those on your gift list. Christmas gift baskets available. Tasting Fees: $4.50/includes souvenir glass. Food: Light fare, i.e. cheese & crackers. 11:30am-5pm.
www.RappahannockCellars.com, 540-635-9398

Dec. 15-16
8th Annual Christmas in the Cave at Valhalla Vineyards
Our wine cave, 60 ft. under the vineyard, is decorated for the holidays. Bring your out of town guests for this neat event. Special wines from our ‘wine library’ will also be available this weekend only, so if you have been looking for that wine you loved but cannot get any more, try this weekend.
www.valhallawines.com, 540 725 9463

Dec. 28-31
Winter Open House at James River Cellars
Come in out of the cold and warm up during our winter open house. Did you run out
before the New Year? Then stop by at James River Cellars as you sample our awardwinning wines and restock before the new year. Perfect indoor ambience sets the scene for a warm and cozy Winter Season Wine Tasting. 11am-5pm.
www.jamesrivercellars.com, 804-550-7516

Dec. 31
New Years Eve Dinner at Barboursville Vineyards
Join us at the Palladio Restaurant at Barboursville Vineyards. Celebrate the New Year
with us at Palladio Restaurant. Enjoy a five-course dinner prepared by Chef Melissa Close and expertly paired with six Barboursville wines. Reservations required, 7:30pm-Midnight.
www.barboursvillewine.com, 540-832-7848

New Jersey Holiday Wne Trail Nov. 23, 24 & 25


NEW JERSEY’S PREMIER WINE TRAIL OFFERS AWARD-WINNING WINES
DURING THE HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL WEEKEND
November 23rd, 24th & 25th

It has been a great year for New Jersey wineries, with dozens of Gold medals won at prestigious national and international wine competitions, with the opening of new wineries, with the continued recognition of New Jersey as the fifth largest wine producing state in the country and, to top it all off -- an outstanding harvest. To celebrate, New Jersey wineries will be holding a Holiday Wine Trail Weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 24th, 25th, & 26th, from Noon to 5:00 p.m. and all are invited to attend.

The weekend will offer visitors a chance to learn more about wine, wine tasting, and wine making; as well as the opportunity to stock up on award-winning wines for the holidays. Participating wineries will offer wine cellar tours, food that can be sampled with the wines, a gift to all who attend, and more. The event is free at all but two wineries and takes place on New Jersey’s Wine Trails, which are day trips to several wineries.

Participating wineries include:
» Alba Vineyard, Village of Finesville - $5 fee
» Amalthea Cellars, Atco
» Amwell Valley Vineyard, Ringoes
» Bellview Winery, Landisville
» Cape May Winery, Cape May
» Cream Ridge Winery, Cream Ridge
» DiMatteo Winery, Hammonton
» Four JGs Winery, Colts Neck
» Four Sisters Winery, Belvidere
» Heritage Vineyards of Richwood, Richwood
» Hopewell Valley Vineyards, Pennington
» Kings Road Vineyard, Asbury
» Renault Winery, Egg Harbor - $3 fee
» Silver Decoy Winery, Robbinsville
» Sylvin Farms Winery, Germania, NJ
» Tomasello Winery, Hammonton
» Unionville Vineyards, Ringoes
» Valenzano Winery, Shamong
» Westfall Winery, Montague.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New York Strikes Big in Tom Stevenson's Wine Report 2008



NEW YORK WINERIES once again got great ratings in Tom Stevenson’s Wine Report 2008, with the “Atlantic Northeast” section created by Sandra Silfven of the Detroit News. For the fourth year in a row, Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars was #1 among the “Greatest Wine Producers”, with all four of the top five also from New York (Bedell, Wolffer, Lenz and Paumanok) followed by L. Mawby (MI), Linden (VA), Barboursville (VA), Chaddsford (PA) and Sakonnet (RI). Among the “Fastest-Improving Producers” were Heron Hill (#1) and Anthony Road (#3); “New Up-and-Coming Producers” included Thirsty Owl ((#4); and “Best-Value Producers” had Fox run (#2) and Lakewood (#4). In the “Most Exciting or Unusual Finds” category, the top five were from New York : Chateau Frank Blanc de Blancs 1999, Martini-Reinhardt Selection Riesling 2005, Taste White 2005 from Bedell, Meritage 2005 from Ravines, and Meditazione 2004 from Channing Daughters. While New York made a strong showing in the book, equally exciting is the fact that so many wineries in so many states are making exceptional wines as well. Wine—the all-American art form.

Dove Valley Vineyard Debuts


Thanksgiving Marks Dove Valley Winery's Debut
By Jennifer O’Keefe

The week of Thanksgiving, one of the Maryland Wineries Association’s newest vineyards, Dove Valley, will host its grand opening in Rising Sun.

Nine years ago Harry Hepbron discovered wild grape vines, nearby a farm he had recently purchased. He turned to his wife and children and said “I bet you that soil is great for grapes.” Sure enough, Hepbron found out he was right after having the soil tested.


After Hepbron realized he wanted to cultivate a vineyard, he interest was to educate his own family including his wife, three sons, daughter and grandchildren. “This has become very hands on,” his daughter Janel Griffith said, “We are learning everyday, as a family, how to maintain, harvest and make wine.” Although he grew up on a farm and has a background in agriculture, Hepbron attended a wine school in New Jersey to gain a better understanding of how to open and run a vineyard and winery.

For eight years now, grapes have been planted in the ground. Fortunately enough, a couple of years ago, Dove Valley was able to sell their grapes to other Maryland Wineries. “By selling our harvest, we are able to gain some profit to put back into planting and growing,” Griffith said. After years of growing and preserving the land, Dove Valley wine is ready to be sold.

“We are excited to be the first licensed winery in Cecil County,” Griffith said. The winery has eight different varieties of wine, including Cabernet Franc, Vignoles, Rose, and two Dove Valley blends. The family hopes their wine will spark the interest of the local people, farmers, and tourism too.

The wine is made and kept in the air tight, temperature controlled basement. “On one side, there is a heated room for the fermentation process and on the other side is where the wine and kegs are kept cool at about 60 to 64 degrees,” Griffith said. The winery itself is a log cabin to fit the architecture of the other homes on the farm. The wine tasting room and porch will be where visitors are welcome to drink their wine, they can enjoy the beautiful setting of the vineyard and valley. Without a doubt, there will be walking tours throughout the land to see the grapes, vines and the processes of growing and winemaking.

The name for the winery Dove Valley derived from all the birds, especially doves, to be found nesting in the vines. “Out in the vineyard in the early spring, I saw a bird come fluttering out of the branches and realized there are doves all over the vineyard,” Griffith said. She brought the notion of the name to her father and it was deemed so appropriate for the vineyard and winery.

“The toughest step of the process has been getting our labels approved,” Griffith adds, “now, we are waiting on them to be printed.” Once the bottles are branded by Dove Valley, the vineyard will be nearly ready to open in just a couple of weeks. “Everyday is an experience for us here and our family is really looking forward to the opening,” Griffith said.

Dove Valley Vineyard & Winery
645 Harrington Road
Rising Sun, MD 21911

410-658-8388
dovevalleyvineyard@zoominternet.net
www.dovevalleywine.com

Hours:
Opening in December. Please call before visiting.


For more information on Dove Valley and Maryland wine, please log onto www.marylandwine.com/mwa/wineries/dovevalley.shtml.

Hopewell Valley WInery Announces New Ports & Other Events



Premier Wine Tasting Party
Featured Wines - Porto Rosso & Porto Bianco
November 16th, 2007 (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
Free Admission

Join us to celebrate the much anticipated arrival of our Porto Rosso Red Port. Aged for 3 years, we're now ready to let the tasting begin! Also, back in stock, Porto Bianco White Port. Specially selected hor d'oeuvres will be chosen to compliment the Ports. Reservations not required.


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Holiday Wine Trail Weekend
November 23rd, 24th, and 25th, 2007 (Noon to 5:00 p.m.)
Admission $5.00

Participating wineries will be offering samples of their award winning wines. For a list of participating wineries and directions please visit
www.newjerseywines.com/wine-trails.html


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November Music Night - Hopewell Valley Vineyards' Jazz Ensemble featuring Matteo Neri & Samantha Friedman
November 24th, 2007 (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
Admission $10.00
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
Pennington, NJ 08534


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Premier Wine Tasting Party
Featured Wine - Spumante Secco
November 30th, 2007 (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
Free Admission

Join us for the release of our brand new sparkling wine, Spumante Secco! Specially selected hor d'oeuvres will be chosen to compliment the Sparkling Wine. Reservations not required.


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5th Annual Holiday Open House
December 7th & 8th, 2007 (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
Free Admission
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
Pennington, NJ 08534


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Premier Wine Tasting Party
Featured Wines - Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio with Sushi by Sumo Sushi
December 14th, 2007 (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
Free Admission

Join us as we sample our new Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio complimented with great sushi by Sumo Sushi in Pennington, NJ. This will certainly be a special treat! Reservations not required.


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December Music Night
December 29th, 2007 (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
Admission $10.00
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
Pennington, NJ 08534

New York Times Discovers/Raves About Canadian Ice-Ciders


photo Christinne Muschi for The New York Times

Where Cider Gets a Frech Kick
By MARIALISA CALTA
Published: November 11, 2007
ASK for a glass of “cidre” in Quebec and you will get not the unfermented, unfiltered juice of the apple that cider drinkers in the United States expect, but an alcoholic, sometimes sparkling beverage that can range from sweet to dry. Ask for cider in the Eastern Townships — a sprawling area east of Montreal and south of Quebec City — and you are likely to be served a flute of cidre de glace, or ice cider, an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting the juice of apples that have been left to freeze in the frigid Quebec winter. In local restaurants, it is offered, well chilled, with the cheese or dessert course.

Although there are producers of ice cider outside of the Eastern Townships, there is a de facto “cider trail” concurrent with the well-marked Route des Vins (wine route), which extends from Bedford, Quebec (about 10 miles north of the Vermont border) on the west, north to Farnham and east to Lac-Brome. At least four ice cider makers and five vineyards are clustered around the towns of Dunham and Frelighsburg, just east of Bedford.

to get the rest of he story go to:
http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/travel/11journeys.html?ex=1195621200&en=c2aeb9d9397fc331&ei=5070&emc=eta1


Clos Saragnat: 100, chemin Richford, Frelighsburg, Quebec; (450) 298-1444; www.saragnat.com, also makes and sells ice wine and aperitifs. Open daily from late May to Thanksgiving, then weekends through December. Ice cider tastings are free; other products cost from 75 Canadian cents to 1.50 Canadian dollars a sample, 82 cents to $1.63 at $1.09 to the Canadian dollar.

Domaine Pinnacle: 150, chemin Richford, Frelighsburg; (450) 263-5835; www.domainepinnacle.com. Open daily May through December; tastings are free.

Val Caudalies: 4921, rue Principale, Dunham; (450) 295-2333; www.valcaudalies.com. Open Wednesday to Sunday from June to November. Free tastings.

Vignoble les Blancs Coteaux: 1046, route 202, Dunham; (450) 295-3503; www.blancscoteaux.com. Also available: wine, ice wine and apple aperitifs. Open daily May through December, and on weekends January through April. Tastings are 50 Canadian cents a sample.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

RAPHAEL GOES VERTICAL FOR MALBEC



I often don’t write from the perspective of an insider, because I have been an outsider, though a somewhat knowledgeable on, for many years. I have always liked giving the tasting counter experience, because it’s what the consumer or other friends might really experience for themselves.

I recently had the privilege of touring the cellars of Raphael, in Long Island with Richard Olsen-Harbich. He showed me their extensive caves, and let me taste all manner of wines, from bottled to wine still in barrels. Everything was yummy one from the other.



But one thing indeed caught me eye. As far as I know, Raphael makes the only east coast malbec. Malbec is a blending grape from Bordeaux and the surrounding regions. I has been growing alongside its better known counterparts - Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for years. There are a great many great houses that use a small percentage of malbec in their assemblages.

But the South Americans have found this French bit-player, and made it a star. Argentina and Chile feature no small amount of big wines made with this deep, purpley, jammy grape. These wines offer up bits of plum and dark black berries in huge abundance, but finish dry and smooth.

I have written about Raphael’s malbec before. They grow a small amount of it at Raphael for their wine club. Rich allowed me to taste there 2004, 2005, and 2006 malbecs. One was better than the other. Each was bursting with big dark fruits, and were mouthfuls of jam. Vanilla aromas gave the nose a magical effect. the colors were all dark and plummy.



Each wine was a great and unique experience. And I cannot crow about these wines enough. The only problem with these wines are that they are made in small supply, and are sold only through their wine club. Personally - I will do what I have to so that I can get my hands on these wines again. Call them, and join their wine clubs now. Find this wine no matter what you can do. Run, don't walk. It’s wonderful. It's excellent.

Sakonnet Rhode Island Red 2004


The train was taking forever. I had gotten on at Penn Station and was getting off in Hudson, NY. The train ride seemed to take forever since the cabin temperature was set to broil. I was dying. On top of it, we had gotten sidetracked because of late trains coming the other way. And when the train finally let out at the Hudson station I was 40 minutes late. Needless to say I was less than generous with slow driving locals who were impeding my way to see my wife and kids and the dogs.

Finally I was home. And my wife had prepared for me a lovely meal of grilled kolbasi, fresh peas and campanella pasta all tossed with butter and cheese and salt and pepper. We needed a nice wine to celebrate my long journey to my family.

Amonst the many bottles lay one I had not yet tried and Dominique, my long suffering wife, was willing to give it a try. Sakonnet Rhode Island Red 2004. It comes in a burgundy style bottle with a cool label. The wine looked lighter in the bottle than when it poured. It had a deep ruby color and silky tannins. The blueberry and boysenberry, violet and lilac, all came through, as well as a touch of oak. It was a much more serious wine than we suspected. Dominique was impressed, and she's a much harsher critic than I.

The label was created by a team of artists from the Rhode Island School of Design's Graphic Design Graduate Student Studio.

Needless to sa, it was an excellent accompaniment to our rustic little dish and homecoming, and we downed the bottle happily.

A TALE OF TWO CAB FRANCS


This is the story of two cabernet francs. Cabernet Franc is becoming more and more popular in the United States a an alternative deep red varietal. One of my favorites was the Neibaum-Coppola Cabernet Franc which I have long favored. But many east coat wineries have taken the plunge into the cab franc pool - and with great success.
The two which gained the most notable recognition early on were Schnider of Long Iland and Millbrook of the Hudson River Valley. Other eat coat success’s were tasted from Raphael in Long Island, and several others.
Two I recently tasted were quite exceptional. The first was Castello di Borghese’s 2003 Cabernet Franc. Castello di Borghese, in Long Island, is a venerable, even historic house. It is what remains of Louise and Alex Hargraves winery and vineyards, which were the first on Long Island.
The Borghese cabernet franc were a brilliant wine. A clear, bright ruby against a strong light, the wine burst forward with cherries, a touch of plum, and some vanilla. It was fruity up front, but finished dry and fabulous. It was an elegant wine, as one expects from a venerable Long Island house.



The other wine was a pleasant surprise,, although someone as experienced as Howard Goldberg, my venerable friend from the New York Times, might not be so shocked. Tomasello is a larger winery, and is mostly known by the public for the large amount of jug wines they sell, as well as large, inexpensive wines many people use for entertaining large crowds. However, Howard has always been good about citing Tomasello’s other side, a small line of high end wines, meant for a more discerning pallet.
This of course is the well documented Atlantic County series of wines. Packaged in dark bottles, with black labels, highlighted by a painting of a Jersey shore scene, Thi series is an accomplishment. And out of this series I plucked, from my local Wegman’s in Freehold, NJ, a cabernet franc. It's made from 100% Atlantic County New Jersey Cabernet Franc grapes. There is some rose petal in the nose. This Cab Franc spend six months in second year air-dried American oak casks which affords it a light oaky character as well as the roundness accomplished by barrel aging.
It was different in many ways, which is what makes the world go round, and why people bet on horses. It couldn’t have been more different yet just as lovely.
The wine was much darker and more opaque than then the Borghese. Plums and dark cherries were set off by an intense vanilla taste. The wine was rich and dry, and lovely.
Try either of these wines, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Catharine Valley Vineyards



One of the newest Seneca Lake Wineries; Catharine Valley is a family owned and operated Farm Winery committed to deliver the very finest Domestic and Alsatian style varietal wines. You can be assured of a warm welcome with a uniquely
local charm. It’s our goal to echo the same warm welcoming environment that Queen Catharine herself was noted for.

Donald and Jessica Kilcoyne are the owners. They met in college and dreamed someday of owning a winery. Eventually, they found their way to the finger lakes and bought 35 acres. Thankfully, their purchase included eight acres of productive vineyards.
Catharine Valley Winery, is located on the east side of Seneca Lake, a few miles north of Watkins Glen. Don and Jessica delved into the local history with visits to the Schuyler County Historical Society.

"We liked the name of the region," says Jessica, referring to how they came up with the name for the winery. The name pays tribute to the land nourished by Catharine Creek, winding its way from Pine Valley, through Montour Falls and emptying into Seneca Lake at Watkins Glen.

According to Jeff Richards of the Star-Gazette:

"The 2002 Traminette has a spicy, full-fruit nose. A cousin to gewurztraminer, it has delightful, spicy flavor with a very smooth finish."

"The 2002 Riesling is lighter-bodied than several others from the Finger Lakes. It is a semidry wine that starts with a peach taste and finishes with the taste of green apples."



"The Lost Irishman is a sweet, smooth Catawba wine made from the Catawba grapes already producing on four acres of the Kilcoyne's land. They have planted pinot gris, merlot and cabernet franc grapes, and Don and Jessica plan to next plant grapes for traminette, gewurztraminer and Riesling."

Their emphasis will be on Alsatian-style wines. "They tend to be drier, bigger and yummy," Don told Jeff.

The Lost Irishman is one of their most popular wines. And by all accounts its a fun sipping wine.

Congrats to Don and Jessica! Stop by and see their on your way around the Finger Lakes. A wonderful find!

New York Wines and Dines Winding Down; Albany Next

NEW YORK WINES & DINES is winding down is New York City , and gearing up in Albany for the month of November. For the past month, over 70 top restaurants and 20 fine wine shops in the Big Apple have been featuring New York wines, along with New York foods in the restaurants. This week, the Capitol District embraces our “Eat Local. Drink Local. Think Local.” theme, with 17 restaurants and 28 wine shops putting New York front and center. A great example of doing it right is Reds restaurant in West Coxsackie, which has a page of “New York Wines & Dines” Featured Specials with appetizers, entrees, and desserts listing the farms where the ingredients come from along with New York wines by the glass including a brief description of the winery. They get it!

The big event in November (10 & 11) is the Pride of New York Harvest Fest at the Desmond which showcases over 90 agricultural producers including 45 wineries in a “farmers’ market” setting where consumers can buy the products right there, just in time for the holidays.

All the information about the Albany New York Wines & Dines program is at www.newyorkwinesanddines.org starting this Wednesday, October 31.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pennsylvania Wine Events for Fall




EVENTS AT WINERIES and Regional Wine Events

October 5 Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery Weekend Music
Come out and hear some live music. A.D Chandler & His Imaginary Band (Original Music from the harder side of life.) Time: 6PM - 9PM For more information contact www.moondancerwinery@aol.com of 717-252-9463

Oct. 6 Moon Dancers Vineyards & Winery Harvest Festival
Harvest Festival: Saturday, October 6, 2 - 8 PM
For details contact:
Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery
1282 Klines Run Road
Wrightsville, PA 17368
717-252-WINE
MoonDancerWinery@aol.com / www.MoonDancerWinery.com

October 7 Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery Fols By Association
Come on and hear live music. (Folk By Association) For more information contact www.moondancerwinery@aol.com or 717-252-9463

October 8 Corssing Vineyards Class #5: How to Serve Wine
Learn how to handle wine from storing to opening to serving. Includes a formal comparative tasting of two red wines. Cost: $30. Includes instructions, wine tasting and learning material. Time: 6:30pm to 8:30Pm Call for reservations at 215-493-6500, ext.19 or buy on-line: www.crossingvineyards.com

October 13 & 14 Crossing Vineyards Happy Birthday
Join the staff at Crossing Vineyards in celebrating its fourth birthday. Free Gift with Case Purchase, Live Music, Drawing for VIP Winery Tour and Tasting for 8 People (No purchase Required) For mor information plealse call 215-493-6500, ext. 18

October 13 & 14 Berks County Wine Trail Artisan Cheese & Wine Festival
Pennsylvania Wines from Berks County pair up with Pennsylvania Cheeses. More details to follow or visit www.berkscountywinetrail.com or www.pinridge.com

October 14 Christian W. Klay Winery Fall Foliage Fest
Christian W. Klay Winery
412 Fayette Springs Road
Chalk Hill, PA 15421


October 21, 2007
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Fall Foliage Fest
Learn about wine, taste samples of our 2006 vintages, listen to live music, and much more! There will also be hayrides for the kids, complimentary light fare, and a preview of holiday gift ideas. A $6 fee includes a logo wine glass. $5 per person.
Visit www.cwklaywinery.com for the most up-to-date listing of our special events.
For reservations, contact the winery directly at 724-439-3424.
Ticket price is refundable up to 48 hours prior to the event. Ticket prices include tax and gratuity.

October 14 Crossing Vineyards Wine Tasting for Dummies
Learn about wine and have fun. Includes instructions, wine tasting, cheese and fruit. Cost: $25 Per person Time: 2pm Call for reservations at 215-493-6500, ext.19 or buy on-line: www.crossingvineyards.com

October 15 Crossing Vineyards Class #6 Basic Food and Wine Pairing
Learn the basic principles of pairing food and wine. Cost:$30. Includes instructions, wine tasting, learning material and food samples. Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm Call for reservations at 215-493-6500, ext.19 or buy on-line: www.crossingvineyards.com

October 16 Corssing Vineyards National Television debut
View on national television on The Style Network in the destination wedding series "Married Away" Tuesday Ocotober 16 at 9PM. "Married Away " features unique and exotic locations all around the world. Crossing Vineyards was chosen as the venue for the rehearsal dinner.

October 19 Crossing Vineyards Wine Tasting for "Singles"
Wine, Cheese and Music. A unique way to Meet New People. Cost: $20 Time: 7pm - 9pm. Call for reservations at 215-493-6500, ext.19 or buy on-line: www.crossingvineyards.com

October 20 Crossing Vineyard's Harvest Winemaker's Dinner
Come Lavish a four course gourmet meal, Award winning wine. Featuring a vertical tasting of past vintages and the release of Crossing Vineyards' limited quantity Viognier 2005 Reserve. Cost: $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call for Reservaiont: 215-493-6500, ext. 19 or buy on-line: www.crossingvineyards.com

Octobe 20 Christian W. Klay Winery Murder Mystery
Christian W. Klay Winery
412 Fayette Springs Road
Chalk Hill, PA 15421

October 20, 2007 6 p.m.
Murder Mystery
Who done it? You be the judge as the winery presents this popular interactive murder mystery. The evening includes complimentary wine tasting of your favorites from the award-winning Christian W. Klay collection and a delicious buffet dinner. $36 per person, plus tax.
Visit www.cwklaywinery.com for the most up-to-date listing of our special events.
For reservations, contact the winery directly at 724-439-3424.
Ticket price is refundable up to 48 hours prior to the event. Ticket prices include tax and gratuity.


October 21 Adams County Winery Home Wine - Making Class
Come see step-by-step instructions how to make wine all by yourself. You'll receive tricks of the trade and tips on how to get the best product from a box. Time:1 to 3pm Cost: $25 per person with a special rebate after completing the class. Call or email us to reserve your spot. 717-334-4631 or vintner@adamscountywinery.com

October 21 Seven Valleys Vineyard & Winery Pig Roast
For more information call 717-235-6281.

October 27 Christian W. Klay Winery Murder Mystery
Christian W. Klay Winery
412 Fayette Springs Road
Chalk Hill, PA 15421
October 27, 2007 6 p.m.
Murder Mystery
Who done it? You be the judge as the winery presents this popular interactive murder mystery. The evening includes complimentary wine tasting of your favorites from the award-winning Christian W. Klay collection and a delicious buffet dinner. $36 per person, plus tax.
Visit www.cwklaywinery.com for the most up-to-date listing of our special events.
For reservations, contact the winery directly at 724-439-3424.
Ticket price is refundable up to 48 hours prior to the event. Ticket prices include tax and gratuity.


November 10 Christian W. Klay Winery Murder Mystery
Christian W. Klay Winery
412 Fayette Springs Road
Chalk Hill, PA 15421
November 10, 2007 6 p.m.
Murder Mystery
Who done it? You be the judge as the winery presents this popular interactive murder mystery. The evening includes complimentary wine tasting of your favorites from the award-winning Christian W. Klay collection and a delicious buffet dinner. $36 per person, plus tax.
Visit www.cwklaywinery.com for the most up-to-date listing of our special events.
For reservations, contact the winery directly at 724-439-3424.
Ticket price is refundable up to 48 hours prior to the event. Ticket prices include tax and gratuity.

November 17 & 18 Select Wineries The Pennsylvania Food & Beverage Show
Select Pennsylvania Wineries will be featured.
The Pennsylvania Food & Beverage Show
Featuring a Wine & Beer Garden and Holiday Gift Area

November 17 & 18, 2007
York Expo Center's Toyota Arena
York, PA
$15 for Premium admission (includes tasting in Wine & Beer Garden)
$11 General admission
Contact: Rene Staub @ (717) 637-3831 or rstaub@thepeak985.com

November 24 Christian W. Klay Winery Grand Opening of Holiday Greenery Sale & Event
Christian W. Klay Winery
412 Fayette Springs Road
Chalk Hill, PA 15421


November 24
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Grand Opening of Holiday Greenery Sale & Event
Select from an array of wreaths, swags and trees while enjoying a bon fire, hot mulled wine, and hayrides for the kids. Complimentary admission.
Visit www.cwklaywinery.com for the most up-to-date listing of our special events.


December 1 Christian W. Klay Winery Annual Christmas Open House
Christian W. Klay Winery
412 Fayette Springs Road
Chalk Hill, PA 15421
December 1, 2007 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Annual Christmas Open House
Popular carols, holiday food favorites, wine tasting and activities for kids of all ages make this afternoon an old-fashioned Christmas homecoming. Be sure to bring your Christmas list and select from an array of holiday gift ideas, including beautiful wine and gourmet food baskets, giftware, and custom labels. Complimentary admission.
Visit www.cwklaywinery.com for the most up-to-date listing of our special events.

Maryland Wine Events for October



October 2007
October 5
Elk Run Vineyards
Wine Down Friday and Open Mike Night
6-9pm
Watch the sun set over the vineyard. Stop in and enjoy a glass of wine or tasting; take a bottle of wine home for the weekend along with local bread and cheese, musicians are welcome.

October 6
Basignani Winery
Harvest Saturdays
9am-1pm
Experience the harvest by volunteering to pick grapes, and learn how grapes become wine. Followed by delicious lunch and winetasting. RSVP. Free

October 6-7
Riverside WineFest @ Sotterley
Hollywood, MD
St. Mary's County
Get the details

October 6-7
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
A Celebration of Colors
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm
Celebrate the harvest, enjoy spectacular fall colors while sampling our latest releases. New vintage of Abisso port, our dessert Riesling, Melody and many others. Free

October 6-7
Elk Run Vineyards
Connoisseurs Challenge and Harvest Alert Weekends
Tour the winery as it’s in action making wine, watch the harvest. Try to identify the wine with the correct grape or get really involved and jump in for picking, and stay for lunch. Call for details.

October 7
Boordy Vineyards
Autumn Wine Fest 2007
1-5pm
Live music, wine tastings, vineyard wagon rides, grilled foods, organic breads, handcrafted cheeses, grapepressing demonstrations, winery tours, crafters, fall perennials, and more…
$10 for adults, $5 children 2-12

October 12
Elk Run Vineyards
Wine Down Friday and Open Mike Night
6-9pm
Watch the sun set over the vineyard. Stop in and enjoy a glass of wine or tasting; take a bottle of wine home for the weekend along with local bread and cheese, musicians are welcome.

October 13-14
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
A Celebration of Colors
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm
Celebrate the harvest, enjoy spectacular fall colors while sampling our latest releases. New vintage of Abisso port, our dessert Riesling, Melody and many others. Free

October 13-14
Elk Run Vineyards
Connoisseurs Challenge and Harvest Alert Weekends
Tour the winery as it’s in action making wine, watch the harvest. Try to identify the wine with the correct grape or get really involved and jump in for picking, and stay for lunch. Call for details.

October 13-14
Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard
Grape STOMP 2007
12-6pm
Live music, grape stomping contest with prizes and tours of the vineyard & winery.
October 14
Boordy Vineyards
Autumn Wine Fest 2007
1-5pm
Live music, wine tastings, vineyard wagon rides, grilled foods, organic breads, handcrafted cheeses, grapepressing demonstrations, winery tours, crafters, fall perennials, and more…
$10 for adults, $5 children 2-12

October 19
Elk Run Vineyards
Wine Down Friday and Open Mike Night
6-9pm
Watch the sun set over the vineyard. Stop in and enjoy a glass of wine or tasting; take a bottle of wine home for the weekend along with local bread and cheese, musicians are welcome.

October 20-21
Autumn Wine Festival
Salisbury, MD
Wicomico County
Get the details

October 20-21
Elk Run Vineyards
Connoisseurs Challenge and Harvest Alert Weekends
Tour the winery as it’s in action making wine, watch the harvest. Try to identify the wine with the correct grape or get really involved and jump in for picking, and stay for lunch. Call for details.

October 20-21
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
Vintage Jazz Wine Festival
Sat 12-6pm, Sun 12-6pm
Features two live bands, over 25 arts and crafts vendors, food, free glass, wine tasting and guided winery tours. No pets please. Rain or shine. $

October 21
Boordy Vineyards
Autumn Wine Fest 2007
1-5pm
Live music, wine tastings, vineyard wagon rides, grilled foods, organic breads, handcrafted cheeses, grapepressing demonstrations, winery tours, crafters, fall perennials, and more…
$10 for adults, $5 children 2-12

October 21-22
Elk Run Vineyards
Family Fest at the Farm
12-4pm
Experience the Elk Run Harvest with hay rides, crafts, tours and tastings. Local breads and cheese are for sale. Part of a 12 Farm County Tour.

October 26
Elk Run Vineyards
Wine Down Friday and Open Mike Night
6-9pm
Watch the sun set over the vineyard. Stop in and enjoy a glass of wine or tasting; take a bottle of wine home for the weekend along with local bread and cheese, musicians are welcome.

October 27-28
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
A Celebration of Colors
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm
Celebrate the harvest, enjoy spectacular fall colors while sampling our latest releases. New vintage of Abisso port, our dessert Riesling, Melody and many others. Free

October 27-28
Elk Run Vineyards
Connoisseurs Challenge and Harvest Alert Weekends
Tour the winery as it’s in action making wine, watch the harvest. Try to identify the wine with the correct grape or get really involved and jump in for picking, and stay for lunch. Call for details.

October 28
Elk Run Vineyards
Annual Volunteer and Case Club Harvest Party
5-9pm
Join us for a bon-fire and pot luck celebration of harvest. Elk Run provides the beast and the wine. Invitation only.

Maryland Governor O'Malley Awards Governor's Cup To Boordy's





In Annapolis, Maryland, in early September, Governor Martin O’Malley awarded Robert Deford, owner and manager of Boordy Vineyards and winner of Maryland’s 2007 wine competition, with the Governor’s Cup for their 2006 Vidal Blanc. During his remarks, Governor O’Malley discussed the importance of the wine industry for the State’s economy, vowed his strong commitment to supporting the growing industry, and promoted Maryland’s annual wine festival, held September 15-16, 2007 in Carroll County.

“I am proud to be part of this year’s celebration and proud to present the Governor’s Cup to Boordy Vineyards, winner of this year’s wine competition,” said Governor O’Malley. “Maryland’s wine is a first-rate product and thousands flock to our state to attend our annual wine festival, to try our wines, our food and our crafts,” said Governor O’Malley. “I am committed to doing my part to promote Maryland’s wine industry so that it thrives for the next generation of Maryland vintners, winemakers, and grape growers.”


“There has been tremendous growth for grape growing and wine making - important parts of Maryland agriculture,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Buddy Hance. “Today we are celebrating the Best of the Best of Maryland’s fine wine.”

The Governor’s Cup has been awarded since 1991 when William Donald Schaefer endorsed the annual recognition for Maryland wines. The competition is sponsored by the Maryland Wineries Association and is judged by a panel of experts. The wine receiving the highest overall score wins the Governor’s Cup.

“The Boordy Vineyards Vidal Blanc represents all that is great about Maryland wine – a beautiful wine made from Maryland-grown grapes,” said Kevin Atticks, Executive Director of the Maryland Winery Association.

To date, there are 26 wineries licensed in Maryland, and each year more continue to open. Last year alone, annual sales of Maryland wine was approximately $10.6 million with approximately 968,000 bottles sold. Maryland’s wineries grow most of the grapes in the state, comprising 120 acres of vineyards. Maryland grape growers harvest an average of 800 tons a year, and there are more than 450 acres of grapevines planted in Maryland.

“The Governor's comments speak to the support of the State of Maryland in our effort to expand vineyard acreage, and keep land preserved in agriculture for generations to come,” said Atticks. “It is important to highlight the high-quality Maryland grapes that go into our award-winning wines,” said Kevin Atticks.

The Maryland Wine Festival is in its 23rd year of celebration and is held at the Carroll County Farm in Westminster, Maryland. Festival goers can sample various Maryland wines, attend Wine Education Seminars, enjoy on-stage entertainment, and tour the Carroll County Farm Museum, artisan exhibits and demonstrations.

Boordy Vineyards, the oldest winery in the state, has been owned by the R.B. Deford family and is located on their historic 240 acre farm in the Long Green Valley of northeastern Baltimore County. Robert Deford, an enologist, manages and owns Boordy with his wife, Julie.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thirsty Owl Wins 2007 Governor's Cup at NY Food & Wine



CONGRATULATIONS to Thirsty Owl Wine Company on Cayuga Lake for winning our Governor’s Cup with its 2006 Dry Riesling; and to Red Barn Winery near Syracuse for winning Winery of the Year accolades at the 2007 New York Wine & Food Classic in Napa , CA .

After a day and a half of swirling, sniffing, sipping and spitting, 24 expert judges ultimately rated Thirsty Owl’s Dry Riesling as the best of 790 New York wines entered, with other “Best of Category” wines including Swedish Hill Spumante Blush, Barrington Cellars 2006 Buzzard’s Blush, Pindar Vineyards 2005 Cabernet Franc, and Mazza Chautauqua Cellars 2005 Ice Wine of Vidal Blanc. In the “Specialty Wine” category, which includes non-grape fruit wines, meads, and other products, Red Barn’s 2006 Raspberry Wine took top honors, with its “Pauley’s Port” (made from Concord) also taking a Best of Class award, its Blueberry wine a Gold, along with several other medals for both grape and fruit wines. Other top contenders for Winery of the Year, which is based on the number and levels of medals, included (in order) Swedish Hill, Fox Run, Thirsty Owl, and Chateau LaFayette Reneau. Due to the increasing numbers of “specialty” wines and wineries, starting next year a new category will be created to recognize quality in those products, but the Winery of the Year award will be based on grape wines (since they are still over 95% of our industry’s production and consumption). Not surprisingly, the top winners started getting calls as soon as the results were posted on our web site, with one large Buffalo retailer immediately ordering 15 cases of the Thirsty Owl Dry Riesling. Many thanks to Teresa Knapp for doing a great job organizing the competition, the entire back room staff, our 24 terrific judges, and Peter Marks of Copia for being such a great and generous host. Next year’s Classic will return to New York State , with the exact location to be determined.

Congratulation to all the winners. Full results are available at www.newyorkwines.org under “What’s New”.

Special thanks to Jim Tresize

Billsboro Winery Enjoys Second Birth!




BILLSBORO WINERY on the west side of Seneca Lake is one of New York ’s newest wineries, enjoying a second birth under the ownership of Vinny and Kim Aliperti.



Billsboro was created in 2000 by the late Dr. Bob Pool, a world-renowned viticultural researcher at Geneva , and a partner. Robert m. Pool earned his Ph.D. in 1974 Ph.D. from Cornell University, after recieving his M.S. and B.S. at the University of California at Davis studying food service and enology. He was instrumental in grape vive research including: Vinifera variety and clone evaluation, mechanization of vineyard operations, crop level related to grape and wine quality, sustainable viticulture, vineyard floor management, cultural practices and rootstock effects on cold hardiness, and interaction of disease (fungal, bacterial and viral) and vine productivity. All of eastcoastwine owes a huge debt of gratitude to Bob Pool

But back to the winery....



Vinny (seen here with wife Kim and family) is head winemaker at the award-winning Atwater Estate Winery on the southeast end of Seneca Lake. His creations there are something quite special. And now he is now making his own wines as well. They include a Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon and, on the white side, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay along with a “House White” made from Vidal and Cayuga. The winery is in a restored 19th Century barn just south of Geneva , and features local artisanal breads, cheeses and meats.

Go visit the Alipertis and have some fun at a family owned and operated winery, and enjoy some wonderful wines.

For more information. www.billsborowinery.com

Bet The Farm Winery in Aurora, New York



“BET THE FARM” is the unusual name for an unusual new winery in Aurora , on the east side of Cayuga Lake , that is devoted to “local”. Owner and winemaker Nancy Tisch began with the concept of selling local foods and wines together (I remember that phone call years ago), which is only do-able if you are licensed as a farm winery. So she undertook the long and arduous licensing process, makes the wine at a nearby winery, and has the tasting room on Main St. in Aurora , home of Wells College . In addition to her own wine, she sells other local wines along with an assortment of local foods.

For more information, visit www.betthefarmny.com.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Maryland Wine Festival® Sept 15-16 at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster!


The Maryland Wine Festival® Sept 15-16 at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster!

The Maryland Wine Festival®, now in its 24th year, is evolving to benefit MD wine lovers.
• 18 wineries attending
• Ticketless sampling!
• Expanded grounds – more space!
• Hospitality tent with widescreen
so you don't miss the games



This is one of Dominique's and mine favorite wine festivals. The wines are great, the food is fun, and the weather...well, it doesn't matter. We never had a bad time even for all the times we went.

Enjoy!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Jonathan Edwards: Bi-Coastal Wine Star




Jonathan Edwards is blazing new territory - the same one the pioneers blazed more than a century ago. He's going transcontinental. A wine maker who came of age as a winemaker in Napa,California, Edwards' New Stonington Connecticut winery sells wines made with estate fruits as well as with fruits Edwards carefuly monitors in California.



Edwards' has long term contracts in California. He leverages this kind of commitment with a demand for quality - a quality he tries to oversee himself. During harvest season his grapes are hand picked under Edwards direct supervision. Their transition into wine happens immediately in California. The young wine is then brought to Connecticut in refrigerated trucks to begin 12-18 months of barrel aging and bottling.

Meanwhile, back in Connecticut, Edwards has selected varietals that flourish to their optimum in the unique New England coastal climate. These grapes are also harvested by hand. Edwards' customers often participate!

The place itself is gorgeous. It is easilly one of the prettiest in New England, and is perfect for weddings and events. The interiors are painted with warm, buttery yellows trimmed in creame and lined with slate and natural woods. The extrior is classic New England white barns. The vineyards are botanical garden perfect. The effects are dazzling.



But what about the wines. Ah, yes. Now, for purists, the California wine connection might seem a little spurious. But Edwards has strong ties to California - so it's not a ploy.

Edwards California wines are very good. HIs Chardonnay is very fine and lovely. And the rest of the west coast menu is mostly big and robust reds. Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petite Syrah top the list. The Syrah is one of the most intense syrahs i have ever had, with a nose full of cherries and plums and vanilla. It's all berry up front, but this is a big wine and it finishes bone dry. Exceptional!

Edwards also offers a Connecticut estate Chardonnay (also very nice) and Gewürztraminer. HIs Cabernet Franc was exceptional, and is easilly one of the better Cabernet Franc in New England, and probably on the east coast.

A Sunday drive to the Stonington back country, to Jonathan Edwards is defintely a winemaker to watch. And his winery is well worth the trip - a treat for all five senses. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Newport Vineyards Shines in Rhode Island



Newport Vineyard’s 2006 Pinot Grigio was recently selected as the 2007 Best Rhode Island wine and earned a Silver medal in the Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition. Winning wines will participate in various venues during the 2007 Big E, Sept. 14 through 30.

Virginia Named as One of Five Up-and-Coming Wine Destinations in the World



Thursday, July 12, 2007

Travel + Leisure's wine and spirits editor cites state's wineries, authentic cuisine and accommodations as factors that make Virginia the only American destination named.

Virginia is one of the top five new wine travel destinations in the world, according to the July issue of Travel + Leisure magazine. Virginia was the only American region to be featured in the Wine-Lover's Guide: 5 Wine Regions to Visit Now article, highlighting some of globe's hottest new wine destinations.

Written by Bruce Schoenfeld, the magazine's wine editor and former contributing editor for Wine Spectator, the article features Virginia, as well as regions in the renowned wine-producing countries of Italy, Spain, Chile and New Zealand, as five new destinations for travelers who are passionate about wine, food and new experiences.

"If you're a wine lover, you are going to love going to Virginia's wineries," said Bruce Schoenfeld, wine and spirits editor of Travel + Leisure. "It's not just the wineries but also new restaurants, B&Bs and inns that make Virginia such a great destination. Virginia is democratizing the wine experience -- anyone can go to a Virginia winery and feel comfortable while trying exciting wines."

Schoenfeld's article highlights Virginia's largest wine regions in Central and Northern Virginia. Barboursville Vineyards, Breaux Vineyards, and Linden Vineyards are featured as wineries to visit. Boar's Head Inn, 1804 Inn & Vineyard Cottage, Grandale Farm Restaurant, Inn at Little Washington, and Palladio are touted as cuisine and accommodation destinations.

"This article captures the essence of wine travel in Virginia," said Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. "Our wineries stretch across the state and are surrounded by unique places to enjoy local cuisine and excellent lodging choices. Virginia is one of the only wine destinations that offers a kayak trip to a winery or combines bluegrass with wine tastings. It's these unique experiences that are drawing more and more wine lovers to Virginia."

Virginia is home to 130 wineries and is fifth in the nation for number of wine producers. Wine tourism is so big that the state designates October as Virginia Wine Month each year and celebrates with special events, tastings and tours. Virginia's picturesque wine trails make visiting wineries easy and fun. Virginia wineries that are open to the public are marked from the road with a designated Virginia Wine Tour road sign.

Summer is an excellent time to visit Virginia wineries for tastings and special events. In August alone there are more than 50 concerts, special tastings and celebrations at Virginia wineries across the state including the Beach Party Wine Festival at James River Cellars just north of Richmond, Blackberry Days Wine Festival at Tarara Winery in Northern Virginia, or the Black Dog Wine and Music Festival at Chateau Morrisette in Southwest Virginia.

For more information about Virginia's wineries and to start planning a visit, go to www.Virginia.org/wine or call 1-800-932-5827 to request a 2007 Virginia Travel Guide.

Pindar and Fox Run Star at New York State Fair





Pindar Vineyards 2005 Johannisberg Riesling Ice Wine from Long Island took “Best of Show” honors at the recent New York State Fair Commercial Wine Competition. The Best of Category Awards went to Fox Run 2006 Riesling (white wine), Knapp 2005 Cabernet Franc (red), Chateau Frank 2000 Blanc de Noirs (sparkling), Torrey Ridge Scarlet Red (fruit),Atwater 2005 Celsius Chardonnay (dessert—shared with Pindar’s Ice Wine), Penguin Bay 2006 Rosé of Chamourcin (rosé/blush), and Goose Watch Classic Cream Sherry (fortified). All of the Best of Category were “Double Gold” medal winners, joined by Fox Run 2005 Dry Riesling, Glenora 2006 Pinot Blanc, Goose Watch Diamond, Knapp Superstition, Ospreys Dominion 2006 Gewurztraminer, Rooster Hill 2006 Traminette, Ventosa 2004 Merlot and 2003/2005 Pinot Noir.

Los Angeles Times Lauds Long Island Wines



Long Island wines recently got some nice press in the Los Angeles Times, where a tasting panel explored some wines of a few “other” states— Arizona , New York , and Texas —that often received high marks. The New York selection was all from Long Island , which is best known for Merlot and Chardonnay, but the panel was particularly struck with Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Among the panels favorite Long Island wines were three from Wolffer Estate, two each from Lenz and Paumanok, and one each from Channing Daughters, Jamesport, and Shinn Estate.

All Hail Essence From Eve's Cidery



In Canada there is a new type of cider they've been drinking for some time - iced cider. It is an ice wine made from apples and it is stupendous. I have reviewed one of them before.

But now, for the first time, an American winery is now making ice cider - Eve's Cidery, in Ithaca, New York. An it is an excellent iced cider.

Eve's Cidery is a small orchard and cidery nestled in the hills of the Finger Lakes region of New York State. They produe excellent ciders made with traditional cider apple varieties of English, French, and American origin.

According to Eve's, "At Eve’s Cidery we strive to be part of the small but growing bunch of artisan cider makers who are reviving this essential orchardists craft by producing beverages from distinct varieties and allowing for expression of vintage and terrior....Essence is an ice cider or intensified cider. We make it by allowing late harvest juice to freeze partially. As the juice freezes the water is separated out and the remaining juice is concentrated with high brix and intense flavors. Although ice ciders are wildly popular in Quebec and other parts of Canada, the Bureau of Alcohol in this country doesn’t have an ice cider category, yet."

Kathie Williams wrote in the Ithaca Journal, "Owner and operator of Eve's Cidery, the area's newest winery, Autumn Stoscheck, also an employee of Littletree Orchards and former agricultural student at Cornell University, said that while the business is not part of the orchards, she has had the idea of a cidery for several years."

"Every orchardist tends to have a barrel of hard cider in the back," Stoscheck said.

"She traveled to England where cider is a beverage category. While there, Stoscheck visited several cideries, took a class in processing cider and got so inspired that she cane back and decided she wanted to open her own cidery. Since the various ciders include alcohol, she also had to apply for a state liquor license, a process which took a year," wrote Williams.



As promised Essence delivers honey, caramel, apricot jam and juicy apples. And it is wonderfully tart. This ice cider is impressive as dessert itself. It also goes great with numerous things, like Stilton cheese and some apples, a creme brulee, biscotti or homemade cinnamon doughnuts.

Dominique and I were entertaining some guests in up state New York. The sun was out and the weather was beautiful. We made kabobs with organic beef bred and grown around the corner from our farm, skewered with onion, pepper, and organic mushrooms. We also had fresh Jersey (the tomatoes not yet being ready).

Afterwards, Dom served a raspberry-blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. The dessert was superb, as the warm sn shone down upon us. And the wine went wonderfully.

I bought my bottle from a young woman at the Union Square Farmer's Market. You can buy one at he following places.

Sparrow's Fine Wines
www.sparrowswines.com

VintageNewYork.com
www.vintagenewyork.com

Ithaca Farmers Market
www.ithacamarket.com

Savoy Restaurant
www.savoynyc.com

Just a Taste Wine & Tapas Bar
www.just-a-taste.com

The ABC Cafe
www.theabccafe.com

Applewood Restaurant
www.applewoodny.com

Gramercy Tavern
www.gramercytavern.com