Sunday, May 30, 2010


Dominique and I have been going to Chaddsford Winery ever since we first met. She grew up in the Brandywine Valley. And the first winery I ever visited there was of course Chaddsford.

Of course, Eric Miller is the son of New York state wine pioneer Mark Miller. Miller was so active and influential in pushing for new farm winery laws, that he received the first farm winery license in New York state. Miller had achieved great success as an illustrator, and had created several iconic artisitic styles for Madison Avenue before embracing his personal wine roots.

In 1981, Eric left New York to start Chaddsford Winery with his wife Lee, a wine journalist who had published “Wine East of the Rockies” and co-founded Wine East magazine. For the Millers, the first step in founding Chaddsford Winery was to scour the east coast to find what they believed was the best grape growing region for their new venture. This journey brought them to the beautiful and historic Brandywine Valley in southeast Pennsylvania, and ultimately to the 17th century colonial barn that is still the winery’s home. Today, the Millers still believe they have found the best grape growing region on the east coast, and continue to work toward establishing the Atlantic Uplands as a significant American wine district.
Eric is a great winemaker. And Chaddsford Wineries continues to be one of the great wine estates of the eastern seaboard. He routinely gets high marks from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and numerous other publications and blogs. Chaddsford is a monster in Pennsylvania. They are certainly one of the biggest producers, and they are still one of the best quality producers in the region. Eric has a way with wine.

I came home one night, and Dominique had been in a creative mood, and made a special roasted chicken, stuffed with lemons and garlic cloves, and the outside skin rubbed with butter and seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary. The aromas in the house were incredible. She paired it with some butternut squash the consistency of mashed potatoes and some fresh slightly steamed green beans. There was a baguette to be had as well.
The wine was delicious. It was fruity up front. Lots of light plum and strawberry. Maybe a hint of fresh raspberry? But on the back of the palate the wine balanced out with enough tannins and acidity to make it slightly chewy in a good way. With a fantastic dry finish, the flavor lasted a good 40 to 60 seconds on the palate. A lovely wine. And it complimented the meal perfectly. A light, but flavorful companion. A wonderful, light red dry wine.
Of course, I didn't expect anything less from Eric.