Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Patone, the 8th member of Brandywine Valley trail, to pour at Harvest Festival's second weekend

Patone Cellars will be open for visitors during this second weekend of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail's Harvest Festival. The official opening is probably a good six months off. Patone said by phone on Tuesday that various obstacles have pushed back the opening of the winery to next spring. But doing what they can to participate with their partners as one of the newest members of the eight-winery trail, they will be pouring a few samples out of what amounts to a garage where the winery and tasting room will be built at 646 S. Guernsey Road in West Grove, Pa.

That room was a bit too cramped for any business last weekend, but the grapes that occupied that space have been moved out and the boutique winery will be open during the afternoon of both days to serve visitors. "We're going to pour some of the '08 stuff we made last year," Patone said, noting that includes some Merlot out of the barrel and a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier. The latter is a white, he said, that has been "real nice, real clean, real crisp . . . it's been a real big hit so far."

Patone said they made around 1,000 gallons of wine last year and expect to make a little more than that this year. Maybe the winery isn't open, but he's plenty busy between making wine out of the grapes he's importing, focusing on the plans for the building project that's just about ready to grow, and, oh yeah, working his regular job.

I forgot about that part of his life he had to juggle, I told him.

He began to laugh. "Unfortunately, I don't," he said.

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