Spring time for a local winery means bud break on the vine with vineyards coming back to life after being dormant all winter. It’s the kick-off of the growing season with the promise that it holds for the 2017 vintage.

To celebrate the season, the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail is inviting wine lovers to visit its nine member wineries on May 20 and 21 for the Spring Wine and Cheese Pairing event, where guests can sample complimentary pairings as follows:

Amoré Vineyards & Winery, Nazareth – will serve a variety of Italian cheeses paired with wines appropriate to the nature of the cheese and the customer’s palate.

Big Creek Vineyard and Winery, Kresgeville – will introduce its wine by the glass program and for the epicurious, an augmented cheese plate.

Blue Mountain Vineyards, New Tripoli – will feature Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta paired with their 2015 Riesling (dry) or their 2015 Vignoles (Semi-Sweet). Cheese and wine will be available for purchase.

Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville – will feature Riesling paired with a Vermont Maple Sriracha Windsordale cheese, and Turtle Rock Red paired with Drunken Goat cheese.

Franklin Hill Vineyards, Bangor – will offer Cheddar, Bacon, and Bourbon Fondue served with pretzel bites prepared by our sister company, Social Still. They’ll pair it with White Jade, which was recently awarded the Best Dry White Wine at the Pennsylvania Wine Association Competition. For sweet drinkers they’ll offer Vidal Blanc as a pairing. Local vendors and specialty cocktails will also be available.

Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas – will feature its decadent Cannoli Dip (made with ricotta and cream cheese – recipe available) and a locally smoked cheese paired with their wines.

Pinnacle Ridge, Kutztown – will team up with Camillo’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria on Kutztown whose chefs are preparing mini cheese pinwheels made with buffalo mozzarella and Camillo’s very own fresh dough. After baking, the pinwheels are sprinkled with garlic and Parmesan cheese. They will have two wines available for pairing: customers can choose either the smooth, full-bodied, French Oak-aged 2015 Chardonnay, or for a sweeter option, the 2016 Vidal Blanc.

Tolino Vineyards, Bangor – will pair Mama’s Rose with Pastae, a Tolino family recipe. Pastae is similar to quiche and is made with hard Italian cheeses, eggs and pasta. This rich and decadent dish is a tasty side at any party. The touch of sweetness in the fruity rose is a perfect complement to the savory dish. Live music Saturday (and every Saturday) by Jeff and Karen.

Vynecrest Winery, Breinigsville – will pair PA Preferred September Farms Mango Fire Cheddar with their seductive, spicy Traminette wine.

Event hours are Saturday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon – 5 p.m.

(Note: The wine and cheese pairing samples at each winery are free – limit one wine and cheese pairing per person, per winery. However, many wineries charge a fee for additional wine tastings.)

For additional event information visit: http://lehighvalleywinetrail.com/events/spring-wine-cheese/

The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail is a non-profit organization of wineries whose mission is to promote agri-tourism and to create a premiere wine destination and grape growing region while promoting Pennsylvania wines from the region.

The Lehigh Valley region is an official American Viticultural Area as designated by the Federal Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in April 2008. The Lehigh Valley AVA includes portions of Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Schuylkill, Carbon and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania. In order to receive the designation a least 85% of the grapes used to make local wines must be grown within the region. Wineries in the region are permitted to list “Lehigh Valley” as the growing region on their labels. www.LehighValleyWineTrail.com