Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall tour: Kreutz Creek Winery

I tracked down owner Carole Kirkpatrick mid-week at the Kreutz Creek Winery in West Grove, Pa., doing any number of tasks now that harvest has come to a close. Calling it a really good year, Kirkpatrick said the only problem of the next few weeks it trying to do it all: pressing grapes, racking, and then bottling. Oh, and there’s those holidays beating a path for the door that will keep Carol and husband Jim plenty occupied.

Their winery is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, plus they have a Bring Your Own Food tasting room at 44 E. Gay St. in West Chester that’s open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays thought Thursdays and Fridays and Saturdays from 1 a.m. to 9 p.m. They offer music from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

While they sell a variety of reds and whites, Carole said one of the pleasant surprises has been the sale of the port wine. “I’ll tell you what, we cannot keep that on the shelf,” she said. “It keeps going, going, going, so we’re really happy with that.”

Jim works full time, leaving evenings and weekends to get to the many chores that await at the winery. That’s the primary reason why, as Carole explained, “We don’t bottle 3,000 cases [of something] at a time. We bottle in smaller lots, and that’s why we can’t keep it on the shelf. He’ll get 50 or 60 cases done, and another month or so later he’ll need another 60 cases.”

Called a
dessert wine on their Web site, it’s described as a liquid with a cherry flavor complemented by dark chocolate. It sells for $14.99.

“There are some folks who really think of it as a fireplace wine,” she said, but we sold it all summer long. We’ve had it out for about a year and a half, maybe not quite that long. It’s just been very popular.”

'Drink NY' promotion gaining momentum

This comes out of the New York weekly e-letter, on the subject of promoting state wines that I covered with foundation director Jim Tresize a month or so ago.

LOCAVORE & LOCAPOUR seem to be catching on in the Big Apple, according to the way restaurants and consumers are behaving these days. I spent most of the week in New York City, arguably the world’s most competitive wine market, and there is not only awareness, but enthusiasm, for local foods and wines. At BLT Market, a highly successful, seasonally-focused restaurant on 59th St. right across from Central Park, the wine list is undergoing a transformation after the beverage director took a trip to the Finger Lakes. At the French bistro Brasserie Les Halles on Park Ave., the special selection of New York wines is accompanied by a special menu featuring foods of New York as well.

The Cornell Club hosted a fabulous New York-centric winemakers’ dinner featuring many New York foods paired with wines of Channing Daughters of Long Island and King Ferry Winery (Treleaven) in the Finger Lakes. The sommelier at Chef Waldy Malouf’s Beacon restaurant said the “New York Wines & Dines” promotion had gone well, that New York wines sell much more readily now, and he intends to continue featuring some after the promotion ends. But the real highlight was a Wednesday night fundraiser for the parent organization of the New York City Greenmarkets, where a couple dozen of the City’s top chefs created recipes using farm fresh products gleaned at the Greenmarket that day. Thanks to the initiative of our colleagues at Wine & Food Associates, only New York wines were poured, reinforcing the “local” focus, and the consumer reaction was great—curious, enthusiastic, and supportive.

Wycombe releases spice wine

Wycombe Vineyards in Furlong, Pa., has just announced the release of its first spice wine, called Everything Nice! This wine is made from Chardonnay and spiece, and served warm. It's selling for $15.

The winery hours are noon to 6 p.m., Fridays through Saturdays.