Monday, November 23, 2009

A big splash: York trail's Nouveau event overflows tasting room at Naylor Wine Cellars

Dick Naylor said he looked at the 50 or so folks who visited his winery in Stewartstown on Friday and wasn't quite sure what the rest of the first Uncork York Wine Just Off The Vine promotion would bring. Turned out to be almost more than he could handle.

Naylor said they thought maybe 150 or 200 would stop by Saturday to taste his 2009 vintage wines. Instead, they wound up doubling that. "It was phenomenal," he said by phone Monday afternoon, confirming just by his tone that this likely will be an annual event for the trail. "We had over 350 people in here on Saturday. It was just nonstop. What happened, there were so many people we took care of them as far as the tasting [out of the barrel] was concerned, but when it got into the tasting room there were just so many people that they couldn't get up to the bar to buy wine, and a lot of them left."

Saturday alone he said they sold close to 14 cases, and almost 40 of those bottles were the Naylor Port, produced from the Chambourcin grape. Ten wineries on the trail participated int he event; the cost to stop by all and taste the Nouveau wine was $10 per person.

The Stewartstown winery had another 155 or so on Sunday, plus 54 to their winemaker's dinner. All of which left Naylor knowing that they have some work to do in the tasting room before the trail's next big event, Tour de Tanks, in March 2010.

"I told my son-in-law, I said, where we have the wine supplies at the end, we're going to have to knock that wall out," he recalled. "I told him that three weeks ago. In March, when we had this thing, we lost a lot of business because people [couldn't find a path to the bar] and get waited on. I wish I had knocked the thing out last week so we would have had the room available Saturday."

Not only is Wine Just Off The Vine behind Naylor now, but so is the Wines of the World community education course that he taught in conjunction with Penn State Harrisburg. It ran on Thursday afternoons over a period of six weeks. The finale almost two weeks ago featured wines of the East Coast. Naylor said he served a mango wine from Key West, Fla., a cranberry wine from New Jersey, and wines from Connecticut, New York, Virginia and Maryland (Boordy and Fiore).

Paris walk yields off-street surprise

People head to Paris to, among other things, drink the wine and not necessarily see the vineyards. But seeing the vineyard, singular in this case, was one of the highlights for me earlier this month. It's an out-of-the-way plot that sits a few blocks from Sacre-Coeur on the meandering walk down to the marketplace in Montmartre.

We just sort of happened by it; as it turned out about a month after the annual festival called Fete des Vendanges that takes place in early October. A vineyard called Clos Montmartre, it's the lone working vineyard in Paris. Those vines cover 1500 square meters and produce 27 varietals, filling about 1500 half-liter bottles. Generally those are sold to raise money for charities.

For more, check out this extended story on the vineyard that I borrowed the info from. What I provided are the couple of photos I've attached, taken the end of the first week of November.