Monday, February 2, 2009

Pinnacle Ridge loses a wall, gains some space

Received my first e-letter today from Pinnacle Ridge Winery in Kutztown, Pa. There was mix of past and future, including a report on the winery's recent recognition from both the Farm Show and the Pennsylvania Wine Society. And proprietors Brad and Christy added some details on what's ahead, a Valentine's weekend celebration, as you can read below.

Saturday February 14th (10AM to 5PM)
Sunday February 15th (Noon to 5PM)

Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away, so it is not too soon to plan for this special day. The Berks County Wine Trail Annual Chocolate and Wine Weekend is a great way to celebrate this special holiday. All eight wineries on the BCWT offer a FREE CHOCOLATE AND WINE food pairing. Pinnacle Ridge will be serving CHOCOLATE SACHER TORTE. Sacher Torte is a famous Viennese desert served in many a cozy cafĂ© in Austria and throughout Europe. This delicious chocolate torte is covered with a rich chocolate glaze. To top it off, we drizzle our torte with warm apricot preserves! We are pairing our Sacher Torte with our 2007 LATE HARVEST VIDAL BLANC. Our “love”-ly staff always gets into the spirit of this romantic holiday. We look forward to seeing you!

There was this bit of news on renovations in the tasting room:

In the past, perhaps some of our customers have had to wait to be served during busy weekends and special events. Brad and Christy have taken the plunge and contracted their favorite contractor, Jim Robertson, to remove the eastern wall in the tasting room and install a NEW BAR! PINNACLE RIDGE tasting room will now have 30% MORE BAR SPACE! Demolition has been completed.
The removal of the wall increases the visibility of the wine production area, which contains over one hundred American, French and Hungarian OAK BARRELS (lovingly imparting their fine flavors into our Dry Reds and Chardonnay). The tasting room has still retained its charming, rustic and intimate feel. We will have more staff and more bar space to serve our customers better!

2008 Chambourcin Rose
2008 Quaff

And my personal favorite, a "first-hand" report from the vineyard:

Bud: Poor Bud! He’s (she’s) really cold. Temperatures pushed down near zero degrees the last few weeks and poor bud has to stand out in an open field. How do grapevines responds to these cold temperatures? Will they die? How cold does it have to be before damage/death occurs?
Grapevines are a Mediterranean plant and do display negative reactions to cold temperatures. The first sign of excessive cold weather is the death of the buds, which hold the promise of the upcoming shoots and fruit. If bud damage occurs during a winter temperature event then fewer shoots and fruit occur the following growing season. The next step of winter damage is when the wood of the trunk or arms is damaged. In this case the wood experiences damage to the extent that nutrients and water can no longer flow and, consequently, everything downstream of the damaged part of the vine dies.
The ability of a grapevine to withstand cold temperatures depends on a number of factors. Vine variety is a very significant factor. Some varieties are more cold tolerant than others. For example, the native American varieties ( Concord, Niagra, Delaware) are very cold tolerant. The so-called French-American hybrids are variable in their winter hardiness. Some like Seyval Blanc, Foch, and Leon Millot can grow in places like Wisconsin and Minnesota successfully whereas others like Chambourcin are more winter tender. The most tender varieties belong to the traditional European grapes (vitis vinifera). Chardonnay, Riesling, and Cabernet Franc have reputations of being very cold hardy and one can see these varieties being grown in cooler areas such as the Finger Lakes in New York state and parts of New England. Other varieties such as Zinfandel are considered more winter tender and one rarely sees them growing on the East Coast whereas they are grown in more mild climates such as California and Italy.
Another significant (but often overlooked) factor in vine hardiness is vine health. Just as with people, grapevines in good health can tolerate more exposure to the elements than vines in poor health. If vines are over cropped, diseased, or mistreated then they will be more prone to winter injury than healthy vines. We don’t expect any significant winter injury to our vines at this point in time. So keep your finger crossed for warmer weather.

1 comment:

Lehigh Valley Girl said...

Looking forward to seeing the renovations to the Pinnacle Ridge tasting room when they are done. It's a nice space to begin with but it could stand to be a bit more open.

Brad carries some good brands of dips and spreads to go along with your wine. I think the Stonewall brand might be one he carries.

I'm partial to their sparking wines at Pinnacle. Good stuff!