Thursday, December 30, 2010

Who Knew? (Originally posted on 8/28/2008)

Eastern Pennsylvania is home to a new AVA, the Lehigh Valley, designated in April of 2008.  My business travels brought me to this fertile farming area at the foothills of the Pocono Mountains.  With a cooler and wetter climate than Eastern Washington I was surprised by the variety of grapes grown here.  A new one to me and the star of the Leigh Valley is the Chambourcin a red varietal that thrives in this AVA and makes a great tasting red wine. The locals here use American Oak primarily and some even from cooperages right in Pennsylvania.  Traminette is a white grape that does well in this AVA, along with Vidal Blanc, Cayuga and Pinot Grigio.  I visited three wineries here and will review them separately later.  The alcohol levels are notably lower in the wines here rarely more than 11%, and they seem to have a market that tends more towards the sweeter fruitier wines, Concord wine is a staple and I must admit it was like Welch's grape juice, I think a sippy cup of this before nap time would have made a difference in raising the kids :-)

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