Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sixteen wineries set for Farm Show stint

OK, I admit. I always head to the Farm Show in Harrisburg as much to watch the rodeo as anything else. But, almost a year into this blog, I'll have to add the "Culinary Connection" section of the show to my list of places to visit.

According to the Pennsylvania Wine & Wineries site, these wineries will be appearing at the show, which starts next Saturday, Jan. 10, and runs through Jan. 17. Results of the Farm Show competition held recently at the Rutgers Fruit Research and Extension Center in Cream Ridge, N.J. , also will be announced.

Jan. 10-11: Eagle Rock Winery, Christian W. Klay Winery, Mount Hope Estate & Winery, Starr Hill Winery
Jan. 12-13: Paradocx Vineyard, Glades Pike Winery, Naylor Wine Cellars, Chaddsford Winery
Jan. 14-15: Shade Mountain Winery, Long Trout Winery, Adams County Winery, Benigna’s Creek Vineyard & Winery
Jan. 16-17: Brookmere Winery & Vineyard, Nissley Vineyards, Sand Castle Winery, Blue Mountain Vineyards

The skinny on buying grapes

So a reader, Marc Plesse, asks by e-mail: "I stumbled across your site. My question is, can you buy grapes from a vineyard to make wine at home? Have you done this, any recommendations, etc.? I live in the Brandywine area."

And Lee Miller, from Chaddsford Winery, takes a few minutes off from celebrating her birthday and New Year's to offer this insight. Thanks Lee.

"Like most things, the answer is 'it depends' . . . on the vineyard. Usually those of us with large vineyards sell by the ton and pick mechanically with a harvester into one ton bulk bins. So it's a bit of a bother to sell a few pounds to a home winemaker. BUT, some of the smaller vineyards who pick by hand might be willing to have someone come out and pick with them and sell small quantities. I would suggest they contact Carole and Jim Kirkpatrick at Kreutz Creek Vineyards or Dave Hoffman at Paradocx. If not, I would keep trying the smaller vineyards, maybe Stargazers in particular."

Plesse said he won a home wine-making kit through a raffle and thought he'd give it a try.

Any more questions regarding wines or winemaking? Just direct them to