Blair Vineyards – Lehigh Valley, PA

Specializing in Dry European Style Wines

2015 Vintage May 13, 2015

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It’s been quite some time since we’ve posted a new update.  With the weather we’ve had the past few winters, this year we were very excited for bud break and the warmth that spring has afforded us.  To keep you updated throughout the harvest, we thought that we’d follow a specific grape from bud break through finished wine.  So for the 2015 vintage, we’ll be following our Pinot Gris from the Hummels Hill Vineyard (the vineyard located at the winery).  With a cool start to the season, bud break was later than normal.  On April 30th, we toasted to the start of Vintage 2015!

Budbreak 2015

Over the past two weeks, we saw amazing weather – dry, and unseasonably warm (I think to make up for the past 5 months)! So over the course of one week, the vines saw amazing growth!

PG 5-6-15

Only 2 weeks into vintage 2015, anything can happen.  As long as the weather continues on this course, we could have an early harvest.  We’ll be excited to share how the growing season progresses throughout the summer and how the fermentation follows through the fall.

Each time you visit the winery for a tasting, you can see how the Pinot Gris is fairing.  As your coming out of the tasting room onto our patio, the Pinot Gris is directly on the left.  The wonderful thing about vines is that each year is completely different, and we look forward to sharing this one with you!

 

2011 Harvest has begun with Pinot Gris! September 20, 2011

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So this year’s growing season has been a roller coaster ride!  The rain and cold weather throughout April & May led us to believe that this was going to be a long season.  Bud break was late and the sun barely seemed to be out.  But Memorial Day weekend the glimmer of hope for a great growing season began.  The sun was out, the weather was hot, and we had just enough rain to not have to worry about irrigation!

                               

June & July were gorgeous.   They were hot & dry, and veraison (the point where the grapes begin to change color) was slightly earlier than normal.  We picked up enough degree days to move us from a two week late harvest to an ontime harvest.  That was until August…

Since then you can probably count on your two hands the number of days you saw the sun.  Even if it wasn’t raining, there was more than enough haze that the sun couldn’t find it’s way through.  Which leads us to this year’s harvest.  Although the conditions haven’t been the greatest, we still have found ourselves with grapes much riper than we expected.

After several days of picking, we brought in about 700 gallons of Pinot Gris from both our vineyard here at the winery in Kutztown, as well as our home vineyard in Mertztown.

                 

After sorting the grapes to take out any unripe clusters, it was a quick trip into the crusher/destemmer and into the press. Two hours later, all the juice has made it into the tanks, and beginning of fermentation!  In another week or so, the first of our juice will officially be wine!

                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Cork has a Story! September 2, 2011

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Last year around this time we participated in the Great Pennsylvania Wine Toast with 60 other wineries across the state of Pennsylvania.  The goal was to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest group of people toasting at the same time.  While we didn’t meet that goal, we did surround ourselves with over 300 of our friends and spent a fun day together!

This year the Pennsylvania Winery Association has put together a wonderful new experience for all the Pennsylvania wine drinkers out there!  Just as each of the wineries in Pennsylvania has it’s own unique story, so does each bottle of wine produced and enjoyed.  We love to hear about the wonderful experience you’ve had at Blair Vineyards, as well as the wonderful times our wines have spent with you!  And so do many other people.  So in celebration of a fabulous wine industry, PWA has asked that you submit your favorite wine story online.  With each story submitted, a cork will be added to a collection that will be turned into a cork sculpture, $1 will be donated to the National Center of Literacy, and more importantly, many people can enjoy reading your most memorable experience, and hopefully have one of their own!

In 2006 my husband and I got married at the end of October in a cold & rainy year.  The last of the grapes had been picked only a few days prior.  We celebrated with many of our friends and family with a wine created for both our wedding and my brother & sister-in-law’s wedding that was held four weeks later.  The first bottle of our 2005 Wedding Cuvee was opened and enjoyed at my wedding.  That was the beginning of a wonderful wine & marriage!  Our tradition on our anniversary is to enjoy a bottle of Wedding Cuvee and remember the amazing moments we’ve had since then.  This is only one of many memories that a bottle of wine holds for me.

We would love to hear your stories!  Don’t forget to post your story at the PWA website and ours as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Ready for Harvest! August 1, 2011

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Although 2011 started off as a cold wet year, with a delayed budbreak, harvest looks as if it will be upon us in a little over a month!  Verasion has begun, so the grapes are starting to change from the hard bright green berries into softer berries that will carry the color that the grapes are know for, dark purple for the Pinot Noirs & Cabernets, red for the Pinot Gris, and pink for the Gewurztraminer.  Over the course of the next month they’ll start to pick up a lot of sugar, and harvest will begin when the acid, pH and sugar levels are at their optimal levels!

This month is a big month in the winery as well.  The last of the 2010 whites need to bottled, and the blends for the 2010 reds need to put together.  Blending entails tasting every barrel and determining which barrels are best for bottling as the varietal, putting into our Bordeaux style blend (Wedding Cuvee) or put into our great table wine blend (Three Sisters).  It’s a tough job, but somebody needs to do it. 🙂

Last year around this time we celebrated our grand opening in our gravity flow winery at our Kutztown location.  We’ve enjoyed showing off the new winery to our old customers, and introducing our wines to our new customers.  In celebration of a fabulous first year, we are having an Anniversary Sale on our signature wines – Chardonnay & Pinot Noir.  Purchase of case of Pinot Noir and/or Chardonnay (mixing and matching of vintages are also allowed),  and receive a 25% discount off of that case!  We want to thank you for all your support!