Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chambourcin time on the Lehigh Valley Trail - Go, Now!

Paul Vigna is one of my favorite east coast wine writers. Here's a new piece about Chambourcin on the Lehigh Valley Trail.

Lehigh Valley trail uses weekend to extol its favorite grape

PAUL VIGNA, The Patriot-News By PAUL VIGNA, The Patriot-News
on October 19, 2012 at 10:17 PM, updated October 19, 2012 at 11:20 PM

It’s safe to say that you wouldn’t find Chambourcin Weekend in many places outside Pennsylvania. But it’s a big deal here, especially among the wineries of the Lehigh Valley trail, which will hold its annual homage to the hybrid grape on Saturday and Sunday. Chambourcin has made itself at home in the mid-Atlantic’s climate, earning its stripes in particular in the area around Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, and even got a push at one point to become the state grape of Pennsylvania. A chambourcin from Vynecrest won the annual "best in the state" competition held by the Pennsylvania Wine Society in January.

"Chambourcin is the jewel of the Lehigh Valley, all eight of our wineries grow it and make a myriad of varieties from dry to sweet,” Jan Landis, of Breinigsville’s Vynecrest Winery, wrote in an email. “Our terroir (climate and soil) is a perfect match for this grape and we are one of the major producers of Chambourcin wine in the United States. Originally from the Loire Valley of France, our Lehigh Valley winemakers have produced a wonderful variety of red wines, blush, nouveau, and sparkling from this hybrid.”

Vynecrest is one of eight Lehigh Valley Wine Trail wineries that will participate in Chambourcin Weekend, which will include a variety of a variety of foods and entertainment in addition to the wine itself. Here’s a list of what’s scheduled at each winery, off the wine trail site.

I asked Kari Skrip, who juggles marketing among the many balls she keeps in the air for Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, how much chambourcin her winery makes and what kind of visibility the grape has. 
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