Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fall Tour: Blue Mountain Vineyards/Winery

Caught up to Vickie Greff of
Blue Mountain Vineyards & Winery in New Tripoli, Pa., yesterday and she was coming up for air after what’s becoming one of the busiest weekends on the winery’s calendar.

For one, they were welcoming visitors for Nouveau Weekend, one of a number of events that members of the
Lehigh Valley Wine Trail hold throughout the year. Not only did they release their first new wine from the 2008 crop0, but they paired it Saturday with Cranberry Glazed Chicken. In addition, March Madness 2009 Passports went on sale at all nine wine trail wineries. Those cost $30 apiece and are limited in quantity. The trail uses the holidays as a pitch to visitors to buy them and give them away as stocking stuffers. Those passports can be used any weekend in March to sample wine and food pairings at any of the nine wineries on the trail and also receive a complimentary wine trail gift, which this year is a Prodyne Vino Gondola two-bottle wine bucket. This black wine bucket is embossed in gold with the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail logo and the names of all the wineries. These can be picked up in March at the winery where folks buy their passports.

On top of all that, Greff said that they held their fifth annual German Night celebration on Saturday night. For $18.50 a person, attendees get to dine on authentic German food, music and dancing, and leave with a souvenir glass.

Otherwise, they are reveling at what has been up to now a good business year. Sales have been steady, she said, and the events have been well-attended. The designation of the Lehigh Valley trail as an
American Viticulture Area in April enhanced the reputation of all the wineries. That has helped Blue Mountain and others forge new relationships with restaurants that have in the past only carried wines from outside the region. Now, the official AVA designation has turned some heads. Still, she admitted, it’s a fight for recognition and respect that hasn’t ended. Trying to pitch Blue Mountain in particular and local wines in general remains a challenge, something they are forced to squeeze into their schedules amid a number of other priorities.

Still, with the winery 23 years old and going strong, and with a wine trail that gives added support, she and husband Joe are counting their blessings and looking ahead to 2009 with a great deal of expectation.

Oh, what’s on the horizon? Two more Sundays of the Fall Foliage Tastings, from 2 to 5 p.m., and then the ninth annual Christmas Wine Tasting, from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6.

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