About Me:

Lover of wine, food, and art - writing about the wine life on the East Coast in the United States.

Hackett Winery   0
4.5
5/25/2017

Quality over quantity is Robert Hackett’s philosophy. It all started with a wine appreciation course Hackett took in college, which initially was about finding an easy course to fulfill his college requirements. Drinking wine all semester was an added bonus. Little did he know that he would get bit by the wine bug, inspiring a passion for all things wine. Years later, he found himself in Australia where he spent a weekend during harvest season helping at his friend’s winery. During this time, he had an epiphany…this is what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.


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Folino Estate Vineyard and Winery   0
3.5
5/9/2017

The first thing you notice when driving to Folino Estate Vineyard & Winery is that it’s big, and that’s a good thing. While there are many wineries popping up all over Pennsylvania, most of them are small “mom and pop” operations. Folino is the exact opposite. It is Italian grandeur poised atop a sloping hill surrounded by grape vines. Not something you would expect in Amish-oriented Kutztown, Pennsylvania.


Walking into the facility is like walking in a piazza in Italy, complete with café chairs and tables, fountains, and soaring ceilings to give the foyer a relaxed, open-air feel. I’ve ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
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Weathered Vineyards   0
4.0
4/25/2017

When Weathered Vineyards first opened in 2014, I paid them a visit to welcome them to the area and taste a few of their first wines. They were pleasant, easy wines, but lacking age or depth, normal for a very young winery. Not bad, but nothing stood out. Two years later, I decided to pop in for another visit to see how they were faring in the rolling farmland of New Tripoli, PA. This time, the wines spoke for themselves.


Rich Woolley, a Meteorologist and Environmental Engineer, has a love of weather and wine…hence the name Weathered Vineyards. Dana, ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
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The Vineyard at Grandview   0
4.5
4/18/2017

After taking a scenic drive through the peace and serenity of Lancaster County's rolling farmland, occasionally passing horse-drawn Amish carriages, we arrived at The Vineyard at Grandview, a modest and unassuming winery and vineyard perched at the top of a hill. My first thought was that the winery looked like a charming, gently worn, shabby chic country barn. But when you enter the tasting room, you realize there is more than meets the eye. The tasting room is cozy and warm with elegant tables and chairs, perfect for relaxing and enjoying a glass of wine and some local cheeses. There ... Read full review



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Athena Vineyard & Winery   0
5.0
5.0
3/10/2017

In Greek mythology, born full-grown out of the head of her father Zeus and subsequently his favorite daughter, Pallas Athena, or simply Pallas, is known as the goddess of wisdom. She was logical, rational, decisive, practical, and urban. As a master strategist, she protected cities and armies, and introduced civilized legal proceedings with juries and due process, outlawing personal retribution. She was also the goddess of the practical arts, overseeing artisans such as weavers, goldsmiths, potters, dressmakers, shipbuilders, and winemakers. She gave people the tools for civilization, including plows, rakes, chariots, bridles for horses, and yokes for oxen. Knowing all ... Read full review



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The Dog and Oyster Vineyard   0
4.5
2/14/2017

Arriving at The Dog and Oyster Vineyard, you can feel the quintessential Southern ambiance. Large swaths of vibrant, green vineyards line the meandering, dirt road. Slowly, after a right turn just past the Merlot, the vines part to reveal The Wine Stand. It's a quaint cottage-like tasting room with a screened porch similar in concept to a local, country “fruit” stand. Glistening, crushed oyster shells pave the parking lot reminding visitors that they’re in oyster country.


In 2011, the owners of Hope & Glory Inn and their son Mark Hollingsworth had an opportunity to acquire a nearby vineyard. The ... Read full review



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3.0
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Laurita Vineyards & Winery   0
4.0
10/5/2016

For those who know anything about New Egypt, New Jersey, and most of you probably don’t, vineyards and wineries aren’t the first things that come to mind. I grew up in New Egypt, and that certainly isn’t what I remember of the small “mom and pop” town. New Egypt is a rural setting (population of less than 3000) with nearly 40 acres of recreational fields and lakefront parks and a commitment to Farmland Preservation Programs. I often tell people I grew up in the “pineys and cornfields” which is a fairly accurate summation of New Egypt.

In ... Read full review



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Ridgewood Winery   0
3.0
9/13/2016

When the Lewis family, and later the Dick family, built Ridgewood Farm, in 1725 and 1811, I’m sure they didn’t plan on having it listed as a National Registered Historic Site. First settled in 1725 by Welsh Quaker James Lewis and acquired in 1800 by Jacob Dick and his wife Susannah who built the magnificent Federal house and barn, the past, present, and future collides. It has been a well-intended, but short -lived children’s museum, another well-intended, but even shorter-lived veterinary science museum, a pig farm, and for centuries before any of these transformations, a working farm.

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2.0
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Black Walnut - Phoenixville   0
4.0
8/23/2016

Sometimes you happen to find a good thing, and Black Walnut Winery is one of those things. The desire and drive to produce high quality, dry European red wines is not a common theme among Pennsylvania wineries as it is challenging to produce grapes not native to the area. There is a reason Pennsylvania is known for its fruit wines and sweet wines; they do it well!

I can count only a handful of wineries that I know of who doggedly pursue European varietals in Pennsylvania. Often, people are surprised to know that there are ... Read full review



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Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery   0
4.0
5/12/2016

Vynecrest Winery is located seven miles west of Allentown, Pennsylvania in the picturesque, rolling hills of Breinigsville. It’s an unusual path to get to the winery as you drive through warehousing districts and housing communities, but once you’re on the other side, it opens up into beautiful countryside, leaving the industrial busyness behind.

Vynecrest is the oldest existing vineyard in the Lehigh County. The family-owned winery is housed in a 19th Century Swiss bank barn in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley AVA. A bank barn is noted for its accessibility, at ground level, on two separate levels. Often ... Read full review



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Galen Glen Vineyard And Winery   0
4.5
2/25/2016

Your first thought is, “Where are we? Is there really a winery out here?” Driving winding back roads through Andreas, Pennsylvania, I admired the beautiful, hilly farmland. There is an austere beauty to the bare trees creaking in the wind and a lone farmhouse framed against the grey sky. Round and up I went, the vines appeared in the distance dotting the hillside. I must be in the right place. I came upon an unassuming sign that said “Galen Glen Winery” and turned into the gravel parking lot.

The building isn’t much from the outside. ... Read full review



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McGregor Vineyard Winery   0
4.5
12/31/2015

The Finger Lakes of New York is the largest and most celebrated wine producing region in the Eastern United States. At its heart lies Keuka Lake, whose spectacular beauty and glacially-deposited soils inspired early grape cultivation and the birth of America’s wine industry in 1860. Keuka Lake is often referred to as the "jewel" of the Finger Lakes, considered the most picturesque lake of them all. Conventional wisdom said that the Finger Lakes climate, as much of the East Coast climate, was too harsh for the successful propagation of Vinifera grapes. Yet, for over forty years, the McGregors have grown the finest European wine grapes on Keuka Lake. In 1971, the McGregor family began planting 28 acres of premium Vinifera and Hybrid grapes overlooking the beautiful East Bluff of New York's Keuka Lake. Since its inception, McGregor Winery has followed the European philosophy of winemaking. Each year's production of estate bottles wines is a reflection of the "voice of the grapes," the skill of the vineyard manager and the art of the winemaker. They are pioneers of dry red and white wines, and are home to the legendary Black Russian Red wine. Today, the thriving McGregor Vineyard includes Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztramier, Muscat Ottonel, Cayuga White, and Vignoles. McGregor Vineyard is also home to the rare (in the United States) Vinifera grape varities Sereksiya Chami, Saperavi Rkatsiteli, and Sereksiya Rose'. WPAWinePirate wrote an interesting blog post about the Saperavi grape. I spoke with John McGregor, one of the owners of McGregor Vineyards & Winery, specifically about their Black Russian Red. It is one of my absolute favorite red wines and I couldn't wait to learn more about this unique wine. The Black Russian Red is a deep inky purple hue with a ruby tinge on the edges. Full-bodied, with intense notes of cranberries, baked plum, blackberry, elderberries, and earthiness interwoven with bold sweet toasted oak and grippy velvet tannins. This is delicious now, but is cellar worthy for years to come. The wine is a field blend of two Eastern European vinifera grape varities, Saperavi and Sereksiya Charni. Saperavi is an ancient winemaking grape originating in Georgia (former Soviet, not the USA state) and is a teinturier grape. This means it's a red fleshed grape and does not need to be fermented on the skins to extract color. They planted Saperavi in 1980 and were the first winery in the USA to devote serious attention to this variety and receive commercial success with it. Over 30 years later, John feels "it's very gratifying to see others in the region growing this grape and producing it." Sereksiya Charni, which originates from Moldova, was planted at the same time as Saperavi, and as far as John is aware, they continue to be the sole commercial producer of this grape in the United States. John has never seen these two varieties blended together elsewhere and it appears to be a creation from his father. Given where these grapes originate, they fit well with the cooler climate and they consistently do well. I wondered how Eastern European varietals, so rarely seen in these parts, made it to the USA. John said they received the wood for grafting from an acquaintance of his father from the American Wine Society. The acquaintence worked at the Agriculture Quarantine Station in Beltsville, Maryland, and was dedicated to finding hearty, viable red vinifera varieties for the Finger Lakes climate, so he offered John's father the wood to graft. At the same time, they also received Rkatsiteli, a white variety, and Sereksiya Rose, a pink grape. McGregor Winery continues to produce each of these as blended wines. In 1980, they produced and sold all four of these varieties as single varietal wines. After playing around with them for half a decade, John's father found that blending them produced a more interesting wine and they have been doing so ever since 1991. The McGregor family established their winery in 1980 and is a delightful place to sample their wines. The tasting room is laid back with a rustic feel like stepping into a remodeled old barn. One section of the "barn" is a tasting room and gift shop and the other part of the barn is an enclosed picnic area complete with picnic tables and benches. We enjoyed the sweeping view of Keuka Lake while we sampled their unique wines during a relaxed seated tasting. They offered small samplings of local food to pair with the wines we tasted. All of it was delicious. Throughout the year, McGregor Winery celebrates the release off their new wines by hosting special events for their visitors. Each event is designed to present their wines with creative, compatible treats so you can enjoy the new wine and food sensations. During the first weekend of March, they host their Black Russian Red Bash. This particular weekend is devoted to releasing the next vintage of the wine and pairing it with delicious food. They also set up a tasting station where people can try older library vintages alongside the current release, as well as barrel samples of a future vintage. On Saturday evening that weekend, John will be hosting a Black Russian Red Dinner at the NY Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua. If interested, contact the winery directly for more information. Trust me, you won't want to miss it!

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
3.5
5.0
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McGregor Vineyard Winery   0
4.5

The Finger Lakes of New York is the largest and most celebrated wine producing region in the Eastern United States. At its heart lies Keuka Lake, whose spectacular beauty and glacially-deposited soils inspired early grape cultivation and the birth of America’s wine industry in 1860. Keuka Lake is often referred to as the "jewel" of the Finger Lakes, considered the most picturesque lake of them all. Conventional wisdom said that the Finger Lakes climate, as much of the East Coast climate, was too harsh for the successful propagation of Vinifera grapes. Yet, for over forty years, the McGregors have grown the finest European wine grapes on Keuka Lake. In 1971, the McGregor family began planting 28 acres of premium Vinifera and Hybrid grapes overlooking the beautiful East Bluff of New York's Keuka Lake. Since its inception, McGregor Winery has followed the European philosophy of winemaking. Each year's production of estate bottles wines is a reflection of the "voice of the grapes," the skill of the vineyard manager and the art of the winemaker. They are pioneers of dry red and white wines, and are home to the legendary Black Russian Red wine. Today, the thriving McGregor Vineyard includes Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztramier, Muscat Ottonel, Cayuga White, and Vignoles. McGregor Vineyard is also home to the rare (in the United States) Vinifera grape varities Sereksiya Chami, Saperavi Rkatsiteli, and Sereksiya Rose'. WPAWinePirate wrote an interesting blog post about the Saperavi grape. I spoke with John McGregor, one of the owners of McGregor Vineyards & Winery, specifically about their Black Russian Red. It is one of my absolute favorite red wines and I couldn't wait to learn more about this unique wine. The Black Russian Red is a deep inky purple hue with a ruby tinge on the edges. Full-bodied, with intense notes of cranberries, baked plum, blackberry, elderberries, and earthiness interwoven with bold sweet toasted oak and grippy velvet tannins. This is delicious now, but is cellar worthy for years to come. The wine is a field blend of two Eastern European vinifera grape varities, Saperavi and Sereksiya Charni. Saperavi is an ancient winemaking grape originating in Georgia (former Soviet, not the USA state) and is a teinturier grape. This means it's a red fleshed grape and does not need to be fermented on the skins to extract color. They planted Saperavi in 1980 and were the first winery in the USA to devote serious attention to this variety and receive commercial success with it. Over 30 years later, John feels "it's very gratifying to see others in the region growing this grape and producing it." Sereksiya Charni, which originates from Moldova, was planted at the same time as Saperavi, and as far as John is aware, they continue to be the sole commercial producer of this grape in the United States. John has never seen these two varieties blended together elsewhere and it appears to be a creation from his father. Given where these grapes originate, they fit well with the cooler climate and they consistently do well. I wondered how Eastern European varietals, so rarely seen in these parts, made it to the USA. John said they received the wood for grafting from an acquaintance of his father from the American Wine Society. The acquaintence worked at the Agriculture Quarantine Station in Beltsville, Maryland, and was dedicated to finding hearty, viable red vinifera varieties for the Finger Lakes climate, so he offered John's father the wood to graft. At the same time, they also received Rkatsiteli, a white variety, and Sereksiya Rose, a pink grape. McGregor Winery continues to produce each of these as blended wines. In 1980, they produced and sold all four of these varieties as single varietal wines. After playing around with them for half a decade, John's father found that blending them produced a more interesting wine and they have been doing so ever since 1991. The McGregor family established their winery in 1980 and is a delightful place to sample their wines. The tasting room is laid back with a rustic feel like stepping into a remodeled old barn. One section of the "barn" is a tasting room and gift shop and the other part of the barn is an enclosed picnic area complete with picnic tables and benches. We enjoyed the sweeping view of Keuka Lake while we sampled their unique wines during a relaxed seated tasting. They offered small samplings of local food to pair with the wines we tasted. All of it was delicious. Throughout the year, McGregor Winery celebrates the release off their new wines by hosting special events for their visitors. Each event is designed to present their wines with creative, compatible treats so you can enjoy the new wine and food sensations. During the first weekend of March, they host their Black Russian Red Bash. This particular weekend is devoted to releasing the next vintage of the wine and pairing it with delicious food. They also set up a tasting station where people can try older library vintages alongside the current release, as well as barrel samples of a future vintage. On Saturday evening that weekend, John will be hosting a Black Russian Red Dinner at the NY Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua. If interested, contact the winery directly for more information. Trust me, you won't want to miss it!

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
3.5
5.0
5.0
4.0