Saturday, January 10, 2009

New York ice wine earns 'best' in class

Following up on the last post, this note from the weekly e-letter of the New York Grape & Wine Foundation on the judging results of the International Wine & Spirits competition.

“WORLD’S BEST DESSERT WINE,” as determined by the 2008 International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, is a Finger Lakes native: Casa Larga 2005 Fiori Vidal Ice Wine. The IWSC is one of the world’s most rigorous and prestigious wine competitions, and included over 5,000 entries from around the world, so even a Silver medal (like Casa Larga’s Fiori Cabernet Franc Ice Wine, also voted “Best of Class”) is a major accomplishment; but the “Best” designation is truly extraordinary. Casa Larga, with a vineyard including a view of the Rochester skyline in the distance, has a long history of major medals with its ice wines, including our Governor’s Cup award a few years ago. In addition, the ice wine was a favorite among consumers this fall at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, where we sponsored a New York wine presence. The wine is made entirely from vidal grapes that are frozen on the vine, then harvested and processed at the winery. The result is a rich and luscious dessert wine with flavors of butterscotch, apricot and pineapple. This is the first time Casa Larga has entered the IWSC—but I bet it won’t be the last. For more information, visit

Vineyard & Winery mag founder hurt in crash

From New York's weekly e-letter, these two bit of news for readers closer to the industry:

BILL MOFFETT, who founded Vineyard & Winery Management magazine and its many spinoffs including Wineries Unlimited, was in a major car accident over the holidays with his wife Hope Merletti, but has made encouraging progress. Both were hospitalized, and Bill was in a coma for some time but has emerged from that, though he remains on a ventilator. Anyone wishing to send him good wishes may do so by going to, type in “visit” and “billmoffett”. Bill was also instrumental in founding a tiny organization called the Association of American Vintners, now known as WineAmerica and representing wineries from 48 states.

CHRISTIAN WOLFFER, founder and owner of Wolffer Estate Vineyard on Long Island, died in a swimming accident in South America around the turn of the year. Wolffer Estate, one of the few wineries on the island’s South Fork (“The Hamptons”), has been an industry leader in wine quality, winery ambiance, and widespread reputation. Like Mr. Wolffer, winemaker Roman Roth has German roots and an unfailing commitment to quality. We send our best wishes to the Wolffer family and the staff of the winery.

The Event Grapevine, Jan. 10-11

One of my favorite regional events, the Soups of the World, takes place this month at
Woodhall Wine Cellars in Parkton, Md., just off I-83. Woodhall serves a month’s worth of soups prepared by Patricia Della Casual Fine Dining, the restaurant that’s next door. Some are old classics (like Cream of Crab and Gumbo), and others are new (say Tom Yum Gai from Thailand).

All are served with bread from Stone Mill Bakery and Woodhall wine pairing recommendations.

The event starts this weekend and continues through the month, from noon to 3 p.m. Obviously call tomorrow Those who attend are served a bowl of each of three different soups. And to honor their anti-recession kick, they are holding last year’s price of $15 per person. Reservations are requested at 410.357.8644 or responding to this newsletter.

The menu for the month includes the following:

Jan. 10-11
Soups of ITALY
Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Bisque
Italian Wedding Soup
Tortellini in Brodo

Jan. 17-18
Soups of FRANCE
Butternut Squash Soup

Jan. 24-25
Soups of the ORIENT
Miso Soup (Japan)
Tom Yum Gai (Thailand)

Jan. 31-Feb. 1
Soups of AMERICA
Cream of Crab
Manhattan Clam Chowder

Otherwise, here’s what’s happening this weekend and beyond.


Adams County Winery, Orrtanna: Wine appreciation class ($$), Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m.; home wine-making ($$), Sunday, Jan. 11, 1 to 3 p.m.,
link to winery

Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars, New Tripoli: Music every Saturday ($$), 6 to 9 p.m.,
link to winery

Chaddsford Winery, Chaddsford: Academy Awards of Pennsylvania Wines ($$), Harrisburg Hilton, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2:55 p.m., tickets through the Wine Society of Pennsylvania; Taste of the Brandywine benefit at Hilton Garden Inn ($$), Friday, Jan. 23, 6 to 10 p.m., members of the wine trail will showcase its newest releases along with hors d’oeuvres provided by the Hilton; Eric Miller wine and food pairing dinner at The Kitchen Shoppe in Carlisle ($$), Friday, Jan. 23, 6 to 9 p.m.; Wine and Chocolate Reserve Tastings ($$), every weekend in February,
link to winery

Clover Hill, Breinigsville: Snowy 6 Pack Sale, 20 percent off purchases of any six bottles of wine, Jan. 15-18; beginning wine-tasting class ($$), Saturday, Jan. 17, 3 to 4:30 p.m., reservations required,
link to winery

Country Creek Winery, Telford: Resolution Revolution, Saturday, Jan. 17, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Wine and Chocolate Tasting, Friday, Feb. 6, 6 p.m., Harleysville Books, 672 Main St., reservations requested,
link to winery

Crossing Vineyards & Winery, Washington Crossing: Food and wine pairing ($$), Sunday, 5:30 p.m.; Wine Tasting for Singles ($$), Friday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m.; Insider’s Guide to Vintage 2008 ($$), five-course gourmet meal, Saturday, Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.; Wine Tasting for Dummies ($$), Sunday, Jan. 18, 2 p.m.; wine and cheese pairing, ($$), Tuesday, Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Wine Tasting in Riedel Crystal ($$), Sunday, Jan. 25, 2 p.m.,
link to winery

Hauser Estate Winery, Biglerville: New winery open, Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; Candle Light Friday/Happy Hour, the last Friday of every month, 5 to 8 p.m.; satellite shop opened at 17 Lincoln Square, Gettysburg,
link to winery

Kreutz Creek Vineyards, West Grove: Music at West Chester tasting room, 44 E. Gay St., Fridays and Saturdays, 6 to 9 p.m.; Valentine's Day celebration, Feb. 14-15,
link to winery

Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery, Wrightsville: Music every Saturday (2 to 5 p.m.) and Sunday (2 to 5 p.m.); will close Fridays at 5 p.m. at least through February,
link to winery

Naylor Wine Cellars, Stewartstown: Lovers Weekend Dinner White Wine Tasting ($$), Saturday, Feb. 14, 3 to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 15, 2 to 5 p.m.,
link to winery

Pinnacle Ridge Winery, Kutztown: Chocolate & Wine Weekend, weekend of Feb. 14-15, Berks County Wine Trail event,
link to winery

Rushland Ridge, Rushland: Closed January and February; will reopen March 5,
link to winery

Tamanend Winery, Lancaster: New winery open, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m., classically styled premium wines in their bottled wine group, and premium sweeter styled wines in their Bag in Box group of wines,
link to winery

Twin Brook Winery, Gap: Souper Saturday/Sunday ($$), Jan. 24-25, soups & stew in fresh bread bowls available for sale, paired with a glass of wine; tickets on sale for Valentine’s Concert in the Vineyard ($$), Saturday Feb. 14; Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Weekend, Saturday, Feb. 14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 15, noon to 5 p.m., link to winery

Va La Vineyards, Avondale: New holiday hours starting Dec. 1, weekdays, 12:01 to 5:27 p.m., Saturday and Sundays, 12:02 to 5:48 p.m.,


Visit Pennsylvania Wineries from January 10th to the 17th at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg, Pa. Pennsylvania wines will be used in the "Culinary Connection." Among those participating:

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


Black Ankle Winery, Mt. Airy: Open for business, winner of Maryland Governor’s Cup in 2008; winter hours start Dec. 1, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., other times by appointment,
link to winery

Boordy Vineyards, Hydes: Chili Winter Days ($$), Jan. 17-18, 24-25 and 31, 1 to 5 p.m.; Fond of You Fondue ($$), Saturdays in February, 1 to 5 p.m.,
winery link

Frederick Cellars, Frederick: Inaugural celebration, stop by to toast the new president, Saturday, Jan. 17, and Sunday, Jan. 18, music at 7 p.m. on the 17th, and meet the new winemaker from 3 to 5 p.m. on the 18th
link to winery

Fridays Creek Winery, Owings: Wine & Chocolate Tasting United Way Fund-raiser ($$), Saturday, Jan. 24,
link to winery

Linganore Winecellars at Berrywine Plantations, Mt. Airy: Wine and desserts pairing ($$), through the month; Jazzin’ in January ($$), Saturday, Jan. 24, noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.,

Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, Dickerson: Tasting room grand opening dedication and presidential inauguration event, January 17-20, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., wine tastings and tours of the winery, sales on selected wines, hot soup, cheese platters, hors d'oeuvres, bottle engraving and entertainment, link to winery

Other MARYLAND winery events can be found at
this link, VIRGINIA events at this link and New York events at this link

$$ – Admission charge