Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fall Tour: Galen Glen Vineyards & Winery

Galen Glen's Sarah Troxell (center), from January 2007, when the winery's 2005 Vidal Ice Wine won Best in Show and Best Dessert Wine; she's standing between officials Pat Kerwin and Jim Sharp.

So what’s the best part about the news earlier this fall that The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philly added Galen Glen’s Cabernet Franc to its “Wine Spectator Award for Excellence” list? They came after the winery.

“They called us and asked to come up and see our facilities and our vineyard, and meet with Galen and I, try the wines,” co-owner Sarah Troxell of
Galen Glen Vineyards & Winery said by phone the other day. “They brought up a couple of, I believe, three representatives from the school and I believe a student who was in charge of the school student wine organization. And they came and tasted; they had come here with the purpose of [tasting] the Cabernet Franc. In fact, they just ordered more. It’s doing real well. We’re very excited.”

Galen Glen’s Cab Franc is the first Pennsylvania wine to be placed on the school’s well-respected list. Appropriately, this is the first time that the winery has made the grape as a varietal; before it had been used in a blend that Galen Glen produced. And the significance, besides the fact that visitors to a respected restaurant school in Philadelphia are purchasing the wine, serves a broader purpose. “And from our perspective,” Troxell said, “we get to interact, via our wine, with a whole bunch of new chefs, because all of their chefs go through their wine program and work in their restaurants, and that can be fun as these chefs go out into Pennsylvania and work at or create their own restaurants.”

On top of that good news came word that The Café in
The Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh has added Galen Glen’s Beerenauslese, a dessert wine, to its list. Again, those folks searched out Galen Glen. This is a nice little coup for the winery, which like almost all of those across the region struggle to find time to cook up relationships with restaurants.
“It actually is very much a struggle,” Troxell said. “We’ve got a few that do a really nice job, and this is sort of out of our region. So, we’re hoping to attract some Philadelphia customers as well.

“Getting into a restaurant is sort of like having a little star out there; another way for people to meet us and come visit us at the winery. And the best case is to have it happen when somebody wants your wine.”

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