Helping You Find Your NEXT Favorite Wine!

Hi everyone, it’s been a long time since last I wrote, there has been so much going on from my dog dying to my kids getting married there has been such a myriad of stuff that unfortunately the blog was put aside for a while, but I’m happy to say that things are beginning to fall back into their orderly places and The Winechasers Blog is back on track.

Now, just because I haven’t written about it doesn’t mean we haven’t found some fun wines. The place I would like to send you to first, is St. Mary’s. I know, it’s winter, but trust me it will be worth the trip up the mountain.

A couple of miles outside of town is where you’ll find the Elk Mountain Winery. John, Tiff and I wondered in there one day while looking for elk (which we didn’t find) but we did find some awesome wine. We found out it was one of their first weeks open at the time. That was a few years ago and we’ve been back a number of times since and believe me it has just gotten better and better. The bottle I currently have open is called “Connie and Klyde” named after a couple of the larger elk that live near the winery. This red is full, sweet and has the most amazing finish. I almost drank the whole bottle by myself…

The folks at Elk Mountain obviously have a great sense of humor because the names of some of their wines just make you laugh out loud such as Group Therapy, ‘Lil Dick, and Pink Beaver to name a few. On weekends, they have a lady serving that has a story for each and every bottle she pours. One leads to the other and the more you drink the funnier they are.

But the names aren’t the reason you should try this wine- you should try this wine because it’s good! Here is the web site http://www.elkmountainwines.com/ Check them out – Like I said, It’s well worth the trip.

Glades Pike Winery

We recently re-visited the Glades Pike Winery is beautiful Somerset County, PA. Glades Pike is run by a really nice lady named Liz Diesel. Liz’s parents started the winery in 1994 and bottled their first harvest in 1995 and they currently bottle and sell about 7500 cases a year.

You may recall an earlier edition of this blog that featured Glades Pike. We really liked this place and when we went back we found a wine that we hadn’t previously tasted called Bicentennial Blush! Wow what a wonderful wine!! It was my kind of wine, you know sweet!  : )

But, just because I like sweet wine doesn’t mean everyone else does. So for you folks who like a “real” wine, Glades Pike does it right!  In fact, Glades Pike won a number of awards this year from the Finger Lakes International Wine Festival for a couple of their “real” wines. They brought home a gold medal for their 2008 Cabernet Franc, a silver medal for their 2008 Petit Verdot and a bronze medal for their 2008 Seyval Blanc.

I highly recommend visiting the Glades Pike Winery, just six miles south of the Somerset Borough on Route 31 (Glades Pike) in Somerset County.

If you’d like to learn more about the Glades Pike Winery check out their video at http://youtu.be/5cznXBvD_DU

Oh and incidentally, you can like us now on Facebook – check out the Wine Chasers Facebook Page.

Thanks for reading – Cheers!

I took the day off to do some spring cleaning. When I finally got to my son’s room I REALLY wanted to take a break but couldn’t because well, his room really needed my attention. While I was wrestling with the mounds of college stuff he had piled in the corner, I came across something that I should probably take credit for. It was a newspaper clipping from 2010 for a wine festival that was a fundraiser for a local fire company. Yep, I put that tiny piece of paper, attached with a paperclip to his fafsa application, in his room amidst the mountains of other assorted things that he can’t live without, yet hasn’t seen in months. It was amazing that I found it at all, so naturally I took it as a sign! I should  take a break and write about fundraising festivals!

As luck would have it, there is a fundraising wine festival coming up at the end of April in Altoona, PA. The festival is called Uncork the Alleghenies and a portion of the proceeds goes to the Blair County Miracle League which is a baseball league for kids with disabilities. The folks behind the Blair County Miracle League have been raising money for years to build a very unique field (which was finished a few years ago). The batters-box is oversized so kids in wheelchairs can get right up there and swing a bat and hit that ball. It’s a VERY heartwarming sight to watch a little boy or girl play baseball, who before this, didn’t have the opportunity. When you have a chance check out their link.

I digress, Uncork the Alleghenies is being held on Saturday, April 30 at the Altoona Railroaders Museum in the heart of Altoona and Railroad country and is being sponsored by our friends at Fox 8. The festival has two opportunities to visit. You can get tickets on the web site to attend from 2- 5 or 6 – 9  and there are 11 wineries representing some of Central Pennsylvania’s finest!

Folks from Allegheny Cellars Winery will be there, they sell Big Foot Wine (one of my favorites), Brookmere Winery and Vineyard Inn from Belleville (my first winery), Deer Creek Winery, Flickerwood Wine Cellars (Sweet Angel Red – heavenly), hometown hero’s Oak Spring Winery, Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery, Raspberry Acres, Seven Mountains Wine Cellars (winners of two Governors awards 2011), Starr Hill Vineyard and Winery (Bailey Road Red), The Winery at Wilcox and Walnut Hill.

As you can see, the wine list looks amazing. My only regret is that I will be in New Jersey when this festival is going on, so I won’t be able to give you any reports from the event.  Therefore, I’m counting on all of you to attend and give us some feedback. Feel free to simply respond to this blog post and let us know what you found and how much you enjoyed it.

Guess I better get back to cleaning – sigh

Wine on the Lake

As the name of this post implies, we attended and had wine on the lake! In reality, Wine on the Lake is a big wine festival held in the Lake Erie Convention Center and produced by Lilly Broadcasting. Shout out to some really nice TV folks!  Hey Erie TV!!!!  Anyway – Wine on the Lake is an annual event held near the end of March. This year the event had 22 wineries from as far away as State College (Mount Nittany Winery) and as close as,  well… Erie! Some of my favorites were in attendance such as Heritage Wine Cellars, Flickerwood (they make Sweet Angel Red), Starr Hill (Bailey Road Red) and the new kids on the block from our area Elk Mountain and yep I was able to secure some Jazzy Red. We think that wine is named after our dog – lol

As I mentioned, this event is always held near the end of March – gang it’s still cold in Erie at the end of March and in some places the lake was still frozen! BURRRRRR. Never the less, we were able to visit some of our old haunts before hitting the festival and even though it was cold we had fun!

There were thousands of people at this event  that was held in two sessions. Beth and Fred and John and I had a wonderful time! Bought lots of wine and shot a ton of video that we put into a short three-minute show that you can click on right here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0W971jMBvA

We are thinking about taking a bus tour back next year – if you’d like to hop on that bus shoot us an e-mail at thewinechasers@gmail.com and we’ll get you hooked up!

If you’ve never done anything like this before I promise you’ll have a really good time! if you decide to drive, and not take the bus make sure you take a designated driver because there is a BUNCH of wine at this event and it’s easy to get yourself in some trouble – PLUS the DD gets in at a cheaper rate – how cool is that!!

So save the date – March 31, 2012 for next year’s edition of Wine on the Lake!

Cheers!

 

Well we finally did it! We finally made it over the Middleburg, PA to visit Shade Mountain Vineyards and Winery. You may recall I posted a short blog on New Year’s Day about Shade Mountain. One of my kids, Tiff who is serving in Iraq right now, visited Shade Mountain on New Year’s Eve during the day. She brought home some wonderful bottles of wine. Recently, John and I  got to go for a visit of our own. We happened to drop by while the Susquehanna Wine Trail March Madness was going on. The winery was offering food and had a live band. Wow it was fun! Not only does Shade Mountain have some fantastic wine but they also have this really neat gift shop. They have t-shirts and paintings, photography, goblets, numerous painted wine glasses, etc. I could go on but suffice it to say that this gift shop was about as complete as they come. If there is something that has to do with wine – they have it!

Now lets move on to the wine. Shade Mountain has 40 different varieties of wine from dry to fruity. Now here is the cool part, all of the wine is made from grapes grown on the 70 acres of the Shade Mountain Vineyard. the Zimmerman family own and operate the vineyard and winery and they really enjoy their jobs. Both mom and dad Zimmerman (Carolyn and Karl)  work the business and all four of their kids are there to lend a hand daily. This really is a family affair.

I forgot we were talking about wines. Shade Mountain sells a Piniot Grigio that does not taste like a dry wine, it pulls a little sweet ( I liked it) and they have a red wine that is called Proprietors Red that I kind of like to refer to as training wheels for dry wine. As I’ve mentioned about a million times, I like sweet wine. But even though the Proprietors Red is a dry wine, it was GREAT! Shade Mountain also sells a wine that I have never seen in any of my numerous winery visits. They sell a mint Wine – yes I said Mint. It comes with a recipe for Mojito’s. Now tell me how good does that sound!! I L O V E mojito’s!!!! Oh and you’ve gotta love this name – Bad Moose Mead! As we all know, Mead is a honey wine, it’s smooth and yummy and   has a picture of a moose on it!!! Funny Stuff!

On to the fruit wines – I fancy myself a bit of a fruit wine fan. Like the grape wines at Shade Mountain, all of the fruit wines are made from fruit grown by local farmers. I really liked their blackberry and blueberry. The strawberry was YUMMY, and they have an elderberry wine that I have only ever had homemade by the neighbors. Honestly, you really need to try the elderberry wine. wow what a beautiful color, a great nose and oh yeah it tastes good too!!

Something else we did at Shade Mountain was our first attempt at the video blog idea. It will be up VERY soon, just a few more finishing touches and it’ll be ready.

You really need to visit this winery. It’s located in Middleburg, PA on Route 104. They are open seven days a week and their web site is: www.shademountainwinery.com – check this place out you really won’t be sorry. Cheers!!!

Glades Pike Winery

Wow it’s been a long winter. As hard as we’ve tried we haven’t been able to find an available minute to do our favorite past-time…chasing wine! This past Saturday, we changed that trend and hopped in the car and went to Somerset County to visit the Glades Pike Winery right on Route 31 just a few miles outside of Somerset Borough.

This is my second time at this beautiful setting, only a few minutes from Seven Springs Ski Resort, but it was John’s first time (Yep, he was a Glades Pike Virgin!)

I love the wine at this place. One of my favorites was the Black and Blue – guess what this wine is made from? Two of my favorite berries – Black and Blue…get it? Well that wasn’t my only favorite, in fact I had so many favorites it was hard to go out of there with only six bottles, but I did it 🙂 

I also bought a few bottles of Glades PIke Red. Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows I’m a red fan! This signature red is full and robust, not too sweet but definitely not dry. It’s my perfect blend!

Oh and I almost forgot the Raspberry! OH YUM! Not much else to say!

Glades Pike also has a really unique wine that you don’t find many places. They sell Honey Mead! Yes it’s made entirely of honey and is a VERY old recipe. Check it out, it’s an extraordinarily different taste. Try it, you’ll like it!

I know I sometimes forget about the dry wine lovers in the group – I’m so sorry. For you, Glades Pike has an amazing wine called Norton that is made from a Norton Grape that has a finish that reminds a drinker of plums and cherries – super interesting.

How about a Cabernet Franc or an interesting wine called a Seyval Blanc that tastes a bit like a pineapple,  melon and grapefruit mixture. Seriously interesting and seriously good!

There is something for every taste at Glades Pike Winery so the next time you make it down to Somerset County, you really need to stop by the Glades Pike Winery you won’t be sorry. 

I am so impressed!!! Seven Mountains Wine Cellars, located on Route 322 between State College and Lewistown has been awarded not one but two Governors Cups for best wine of 2011 for their Vidal Ice Wine and for their Cranberry Fruit Wine. This is unprecedented because no other winery has ever been awarded BOTH Governors Cups. Seven Mountains Wine Cellars have been in business only since 2009. You may remember me cheering about some of their wine, I LOVE their “Tickled Pink” it tastes just like Cotton Candy! We are very happy for these folks who took a chance and made a success!!! Way to go Seven Mountains!!!!

Winners of two Governors Cups at PA Farm Show