Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spumante is Cherry Valley's calling card

Among the wineries that very much push their fruit and sparkling wines is Cherry Valley Vineyards in Saylorsburg, Pa., not far off routes 33 or 80. A member of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail, Dominic and Mary Sorrenti have been building their business for more than 12 years, and one look at the wine list reflects the kind of wines they've found successful.

Probably best known for their award-winning Spumantes, they also produce a Champagne, four berry and fruit wines, and five blush wines. That's on top of a group of seven white wines that range from Chardonnay to the semi-sweet Vignoles, and 10 reds that run the gamut from Chambourcin to Concord.

They make no bones about what they've found works for them, pushing vines out of the hilly terrain of the Poconos. If you haven't been to their Web site, here's what they've crafted for their introductory message.

"Pennsylvania's Cherry Valley is not California (nor is it France, Italy, Australia or Chile.) So, it isn't too surprising that the grapes that grow in California (or France, Italy, Australia or Chile) don't grow very well here. We have different temperature patterns, soil, rainfall, etc. Don't look for a fine Pinot, Merlot or Cabernet made from our grapes, you will be disappointed.

"There are many grapes (including a lot of fine French hybrids) that are very happy here. They just have names with which you may not be familiar. Leon Millot, Foch, DeChaunac, Seyval and others. It is worth becoming familiar with these grapes. The wine is fine!

"Pennsylvania grows some wonderful grapes. Some make a delicious, dry, full-bodied, high-tanin wine. Others make delicate, fresh, semi-dry wines. Still others produce a luscious, grapey blush. But wait, there's more.

"Pennsylvania also grows fruit. Our wine makers have developed a whole cellar of 100% fruit wines, including Apple, Peach, Raspberry, Blackberry, Strawberry, Blueberry and more. Good fruit wines are both rare and difficult to make. Ours are exceptional and most are repeat medal winners.

"Then there are sparking wines. We have won more prizes for our Spumantes than we can count. They come in a rainbow of colors and fruits and are not to be missed. These too are Pennsylvania wines.

"We'd be holding out on you if we didn't mention that we make Champagne as well. That is right, Pennsylvania Champagne. Good luck buying a bottle, we frequently sell out well in advance of New Year's Eve. Why? Real Champagne is made Method Champagnoise. It ain't easy. But if you do it with art, craft and love, you get very good, dry Champagne.

"Wine from Pennsylvania? It is great! And we've won the awards to prove it."

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