Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pennsylvania Riesling?! Vynecrest Dry Riesling 2011!!! (PA)


Pennsylvania Riesling? Seriously And dry at that? Hmmmm…I frowned, as I picked the bottle up from the tasting table. I was at the Easter Wineries Exposition when I saw this wine. I wasn;t sure what t make of the idea of a serious Pennsylvania Riesling.

But I have to say, I gave it due consideration given the producer: Vynecrest. Vynecrest is known for their eclectic mix of traditional Old World grapes such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Lemberger; hybrids such as Seyval Blanc, Vidal, Chambourcin and Vignoles and New Age grapes such as Traminette, Noiret, Cayuga and the new grape NY81.

Vynecrest’s roots can be traced back to John and Jan Landis back when they began winemaking in 1972.  Jan was editing a book called "Homesteading." Piqued by the possibilities, they purchased a 5 acre farm in Breinigsville, PA in 1973. Extensive research into soil and weather conditions led them to plant their first fifty vines in 1974. John applied his chemical engineering background to courses in enology and viticulture. Vynecrest Winery officially opened its doors in 1989.

In 1998, Vynecrest became a charter member of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail. It has expanded several times over the years. In 1999, Vynecrest started a partnership with Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem where their German Gluhwein, "Spiced Winter Red," remains a seasonal favorite.In 2002, Vynecrest became a Limited Liability Company (LLC), as John and Jan’s youngest son Sam came back into the business. In 2003 Vynecrest completed a modern facility connected to the original barn that is used for producing and aging wines.  Vynecrest is currently producing 12,000 gallons a year with a goal to reach 20,000 gallons. Over 85% of all wines produced at Vynecrest are estate bottled. With the acquisition of an additional forty acres of outstanding grape growing land in 2007, Vynecrest has enough land to continue further expansion.

The current partners of Vynecrest are John and Jan Landis, their son Sam, and Malachi Duffy. John has a Ph.D. of chemical engineering and is the winemaker at Vynecrest. In addition, he recently was the president of the Pennsylvania Wine Association (PWA) and presently serves on the PA Wine Commodity Board. Jan was president of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail for four years.

So they are serious folks. I decided to fill my glass. This is a classic dry German-style dry Riesling Straw colored in the glass, the wine oozes tropical notes, melon, and a hint of apple. On the palate the green apple comes across with a tart, citrusy ending. Bright, delightful, and elegant. A wonderful Riesling!
Cngrats to the folks at Vynecrest!