REGION’S LESSER-KNOWN CHAMBOURCIN WINE GRAPE IS THE STAR OF THIS MONTH’S LEHIGH VALLEY WINE TRAIL EVENT
Wine drinkers know Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Grigio, but Chambourcin? The Lehigh Valley’s official wine grape may be lesser known amongst the more popular varieties, but it grows so well in the climate and soil of this region that it has become the only wine grape grown by all nine wineries of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail.
Local wine lovers can become familiar with it during the Chambourcin Weekend event on Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18. Each winery will feature its own activities such as wine tastings, live entertainment, vineyard tours, or food and wine pairings (see detailed list below). Event hours at all of the wineries are Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon – 5 p.m. (Chambourcin Weekend is a free event, however some wineries charge for wine tastings, tours and/or entertainment.)
In the greater Lehigh Valley, there are more than 40 acres of Chambourcin that ferments into approximately 150,000 bottles of wine. Chambourcin is very versatile and the wineries craft it into several styles of wine including nouveau, rosé, semi- sweet, sweet, dry barrel aged, sparkling and port.
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. All of the member wineries have won numerous awards at state, national and international levels. For more information on the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail visit www.LehighValleyWineTrail.com.
CHAMBOURCIN WEEKEND WINERY HIGHLIGHTS
Amore – will feature four styles of Chambourcin paired with rigatoni in red sauce.
Big Creek – will have its Regent (a European offspring of Chambourcin) ready to pair with treats from MMM Cookies.
Blue Mountain – On Saturday at noon there will be a chili contest where customers can sample chilis and judge which one is the best. They are also welcome to enter their chili into the contest. There will also be live music with Adam Motto from 1-4 pm (no reservations required).
On Sunday from noon – 5 pm is the Northampton County Open Gate Farm Tour, which will feature crafts available for children, and guided tours with the winemaker every half hour on the hour. From 2-5 pm is Sunday Blues with live music featuring the Octavia Blues Band. Advance reservations are required. $5 per person, includes wine tasting.
Clover Hill – will offer samples of two different Chambourcin wines – Turtle Rock Red and 2013 Chambourcin. In addition they will have samples and sales of freshly pressed Chambourcin grape juice (while supplies last).
Franklin Hill – will have a mulled wine bar with three varieties of mulled wine to sample and to purchase by the mug. Chef Phil from Social Still will be making his award-winning chili, which will also be available for purchase. They’ll have McCollians local honey for sale and Kendra’s Buttercup Bakery will be onsite with sweet treats as well as several other local vendors. Tours of our facility will be given at noon and 2 pm. Tastings of all of their wines, including the new Potion X Pumpkin Spice wine, will be available all day inside or outside under the new pavilion.
Galen Glen – will offer a complimentary pairing of their 2015 Chili Competition Winner, Brian Eager’s Beef & Brisket Chili (recipe available) with a taste of Chambourcin or Cellar Red. Foodies who think they have what it takes to be the next celebrated chili champion can request an application to enter the third annual Chambourcin chili cook-off on January 16, 2016.
Pinnacle Ridge – will feature Windy Acres BBQ sauce made with the winery’s Chambourcin Wine drizzled over pulled pork and baked beans, paired with a choice of either the medal-winning Chambourcin Reserve or the Chambourcin Rose.
Tolino – on Saturday the winery will offer 2012 Chambourcin paired with vanilla bean bread pudding by Trixie’s Treats, whose food truck will be on site from noon – 4 pm for additional food purchases. Enjoy live music by Blue Hearts Revelry from 1-4 pm and wagon tours of the vineyard at 2 pm and 4 pm. On Sunday, Tolino will offer 2012 Chambourcin paired with Italian ring bologna and cheese from Communale’s Italian Market in Mt. Bethel. Erin McClelland will perform live music from 1-4 pm and wagon tours will be at 2 pm and 4 pm.
Vynecrest – will partner with Vince’s Cheesesteaks, a Lehigh Valley tradition. They will pair their 2013 Estate-Bottled Chambourcin wine with a taste of “Mini Vinnies” steak sandwich. The meat in the steak sandwiches will be marinated in Chambourcin before they are grilled. The Vince’s Cheesesteak food truck will be at Vynecrest all day Saturday and Sunday with its full menu of chicken and beef cheesesteaks and other items for purchase.