Monday, April 22, 2013

Reid's Orchard Zin on Skins (PA)

I was Eastern Wineries Exposition 2013 in Lancaster, PA, tasting at the opening evening gala. Wines from all over the east coast were there, especially Pennsylvania and the north east. As I was going through the tables, I saw a bottle that intrigued me. Reid’s Orchard Zin on the Skins.

Reid's Orchard & Winery is located in beautiful and historic Buchanan Valley, in Adams County, Pennsylvania, which was settled by pioneers as early as 1750.  It was here in Buchanan Valley that young Mary Jemison, the White Squaw, was taken from her family during a tribal raid on white settlers.  She came to be known as the White Squaw and spent the rest of her years living with her captors.  St. Ignatius of Loyola Church, the Catholic Church in Buchanan Valley, is also referred to as the White Squaw Mission. 

This farm was originally settled back in the 1850's by descendants of the Hall family.  The smoke of muskets and cannons, as well as the sound of the battle itself, infiltrated the peace of this valley and this farm during those three horrible days in Gettysburg during the Civil War.  Over the years, parcels of land were broken off from the original tract and put to various uses. 

Dave Reid purchased one of these tracts from June and Donald Hall in November, 1976.  Eventually we recovered three other tracts of the original farm and now farm 100 acres of the original tract in this historic valley. 

Our farm's soil type is unique within Adams County, classified as Highfield Channery loam, and possesses many of the same desirable characteristics of the soil found in some of the best and most productive areas of farmland in France. 

Reid's Orchard & Winery is our family owned and operated fruit farm and winery located in beautiful Buchanan Valley, Pennsylvania.

Reid's Orchard came into existence in November 1976 when Dave purchased the home farm. Since that time, Dave’s family has grown and so has his farm! From the beginning they have direct marketed their produce at farmers' markets in the Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia area. In addition to our more traditional plantings we also have a large selection of heirloom apples and tomatoes.

In March 2009, they opened the doors to our winery tasting room and began doing business as Reid's Orchard & Winery. They are on the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail that weaves through the Pennsylvania/Maryland border. In addition to their farmers' markets, Ried’s Orchards now have two winery tasting rooms - the Winery Tasting Room at the Home Farm and the Winery Tasting Room at Jennie's House in Gettysburg, the historic birthplace of Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed during those three days of battle in Gettysburg.

Dave and his family have a belief in stewardship of the land. “Reid's Orchard & Winery farms with the knowledge that we are stewards of the land. The land that we farm today is land that has been farmed by the generations that came before us. The land that we farm today is ours to cultivate and nurture for the time we are here. The land that we farm today will be farmed by those generations who choose to follow us as farmers and vintners. As responsible stewards, we make choices in land and crop management based not only on the needs of this year's crop but also considering the long-term effects of our decisions on the land and on the environment.”

According to K.L. Sullivan in The Wine Traveler, “Reid believes that the wines in this region of Pennsylvania have the potential to be the best in the state. Reid produces red, white and fruit wines. Some of these include Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Strawberry, Cherry, Peach and Blueberry. We visited at a time when the winery tasting room was closed and only one wine was available for tasting. Troika was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. This ruby colored wine offered dark fruit notes including blackberries and plums. The fruit yielded to earthy tones with mild tannins.”

So, I gave the wine a pour. This was a nice big, round wine. Obviously made from  Zinfandel, it was a nice medium-bodied red, with some big dark cherry and plum and raspberry up front. Good balance of acids and tannins. Very, very drinkable. A really, really pleasant surprise!