After 7 wonderful years gracing the Main street of Bloomsburg, WE ARE MOVING! Change can be a good thing, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that happens to be the case here. With the sale of our building in Bloomsburg, ongoing issues with parking on the main street & the passing of legislation allowing sales of wine by the glass at satellite locations, we have decided to move our Bloomsburg store to the quaint Borough of Riverside (across the river from Danville on Route 54). The move will occur sometime on MONDAY April 28th of 2014. The last day for wine purchases will be on Sunday, April 27th, so please feel free to stop by and stock up!
We received approval from the PA Liquor Control Board to set up shop in the old "Train Station (formerly the site of the gift boutique, The English Garden")." This beautiful & historic building is full of character, space & PARKING! Yay! We plan to have an open tasting area and seating (upstairs and downstairs) for wine by the glass so our loyal patrons can unwind after a long day in the office.
We realize this move will be inconvenient for many of our loyal customers who call Bloomsburg and parts east home, but we do hope you will still come visit us. The "Train Station" is not far from Route 80 (Take the Danville Exit and follow Route 54 to Riverside). On the other side of the coin, we do hope it will make life easier for our patrons closer to the Danville area.
Again, we will be making the move on MONDAY, APRIL 28th.....so please stay tuned as to the date of our Grand Opening, which will most likely happen in June! We do hope you will love our new location just as you loved our Bloomsburg store. We value you all....and cannot thank you enough for your ongoing support and patronage through 14 years of business.
The new address is: 1 D & H Avenue, Danville, PA 17821 (Technically the store is in Riverside, but our address is Danville).
SUSQUEHANNA WINE TRAIL MONTH
DAILY ITEM MONHTLY COLUMN – MARCH 2013
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER VALLEY VISITORS BUREAU
Hello neighbors! March is upon us, with winter weather [fingers crossed] soon to be a thing of the past and warmer weather upon us. March is a transition month, balancing winter and spring. It is also the month – for all you basketball fans – of “March Madness”. I must admit I believe in balance – the Yin and Yang philosophy. My answer to the balance of March Madness is this month’s, month-long, must see event: The Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail’s “Ticket to Good Taste and Adventure”.
The Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail [SHWT] was first brainstormed back in 2001 and consisted of five wineries – Benigna’s Creek Winery, Brookmere Winery, Hunters Valley Winery, Stony Acres Winery [now closed] and Shade Mountain Winery. New ideas, concepts, events and organizations don’t just happen overnight. The group spent two years meeting to create by-laws and plan their first event. The Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail officially opened as a wine trail in 2003. That same year, Mt. Nittany Winery joined the trail. In 2006 Spyglass Ridge Winery joined the trail. Between 2007 and 2011, Red Shale Ridge and Seven Mountain Wine Cellars joined the group. 2012 saw the inclusion of Buddy Boy Winery and Armstrong Valley Winery. Fero Winery and Happy Valley Winery joined the trail in 2013. The Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail promotes the wineries of the Susquehanna Heartland; foster agritourism, and to educate and stimulate interest in the SHWT wines. The SHWT’s Ticket to Good Taste and Adventure will do exactly that!
Tickets are $20.00 each and can be purchased by calling or visiting any of the participating wineries. Ticket holders can visit any winery on any day during March where they will present their ticket to be stamped by winery staff. Visit all 12 wineries and receive 12 stamps and your ticket will be entered into a drawing for prize giveaways that include overnight stays at bed and breakfasts and meals at restaurants throughout the wine trail. However, every ticket holder gets a prize as they will receive a wine glass with the winery logo on it at the participating wineries they visit! Wine ticket holders are allowed to partake in the food and entertainment free of charge.
Weekends in March will be the most exciting part of the month-long celebration. Each winery will offer a variety of food and entertainment for all to enjoy. Taste buds will enjoy such delectable as cheeses and soups, chocolate fountains, chilis, dips, chips and chutneys, meatballs, hamballs, sausages, stews, and desserts. Most, if not all, of the food and their recipes include and showcase wines made by your host.
Varieties of wine, weekend themes and entertainment are aplenty during the month. Enthusiasts will enjoy and taste varietal wines, sweet and dry reds and whites, naturally sweetened fruit wines, plus unique and distinct wines such as mint wines, sherries, and ports. Weekend themes include Mediterranean, St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, Italian, German, Irish and PA Preferred [showcasing foods from our region]. Entertainment includes everything from jazz, Celtic, guitar, flute, Bluegrass, blues, harmonica, country, Irish and eclectic rock.
The Vintners of the Susquehanna Heartland WineTrail in the Susquehanna River Valley say it best:
“March is a month for us to enjoy seeing our customers having fun interacting with each other, the wine and the music.” - Darlene Kvaternik--Hunter’s Valley Winery
“The Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail is a great way for us to showcase the wines of Central PA and our region has to offer. The trail has grown tremendously and we are pleased that so many people continue to enjoy this event year after year.” - Carolyn Zimmerman--Shade Mountain Winery
“We look forward to meeting all of the Pennsylvania wine lovers. This is a great time to discover something new and exciting in your neighborhood.” - Chuck Zalinski--Fero Winery
“It’s a time to get new faces and old friends back into the winery drinking wines, pairing foods and listening to top notch music. Very few regions offer not only the variety but the quality of wines that you’ll be able to taste for yourself.” - Dana Walter--Spyglass Ridge Winery
Whether your March Madness may be related to basketball or the desire to escape cabin fever and the winter blues, grab a ticket – and friends – and enjoy the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail’s “Ticket to Good Taste and Adventure. You will be amazed at the fun, flavors and feasts that March has to offer!
- For a complete listing of participating wineries and more information on the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail, visit www.PAWineTrail.com.
- All 12 wineries along the SHWT have won a myriad of awards that include the prestigious Pennsylvania Governors Cup and Keystone Cup, plus at a variety of awards at competitions throughout PA, the Mid-Atlantic and the Finger Lakes.
- The SHWT offers a scavenger hunt for any ticket-holder willing to participate. Each winery offers two questions to be answered correctly. The participants with the most amount correctly answered questions are entered to wine a cooler full of wine!
- Weekends are the best time to enjoy the March event as they feature food and entertainment.
- Parking is different for each winery. Limos and limo buses are welcome. Larger bus groups should contact each winery individually.
- Jennifer Eckinger, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Winery Association, “Travelling the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail, you get a chance to take in the beautiful scenery of Central Pennsylvania as you travel to and from the distinctly unique wineries of the region. With more than fifty varieties of wine crafted by the wineries you will surely be able to find a few of your new favorite wines.“
FIND SHADE MTN WINES IN PLCB STORES!
We have some exciting news to share concerning the "accessibility" of our wines! We now have several of our wines in a small selection of the state-run liquor stores. So hopefully we are making life will be easier for you all!
The following 4 state liquor stores will be carrying our MINT, LEMBERGER and PREHISTORIC PEACH wines:
1.) Lewisburg State Liquor Store on Market Street (334 Market St Lewisburg, PA 17837)
2.) State Liquor Store at the Point Shopping Center on Union Deposit Rd in Harrisburg (4227 Union Deposit Rd Harrisburg, PA 17111)
3.) Lykens State Liquor Store on Market Street (529 Market St, Lykens, PA 17048)
4.) State Liquor Store at the Loyalsock Plaza Shopping Center in Williamsport (1903 E 3rd St Williamsport, PA 17701)
Stop by any of these FOUR stores to pick up any of these THREE wines!!!
We are thankful that spring is finally here in central Pennsylvania. It has been a long and ardous winter....filled with chilly temps & snow! With the advent of April, we have seen temperatures increase, thus the awakening of our vines. We are finishing up our months of pruning just in time! There is just some small areas of the vineyard that require a bit more of the snipping, but for the large part, we are DONE! See some recent photos of the vines as pruning comes to a close. Peter enjoyed running down the rows, but he had to be careful as the "sticks" had not been cleared from the ground. It's easy to trip especially in those bulky, spidey boots!!
Given the demand for more red wines (we can thank those grape skins for wonderful health benefits!), we are adding on to our current, 65-acre vineyard. There are plans to plant more Sangiovese & a new varietal that has done well in the mid-west US. So there is possibility of some new wines in the pipeline!! Check out the photo of "Pappy" and his grandchildren exploring the new vineyard land (termed by the kids a the "jungle").
SECRETARY OF AG VISITS SHADE MOUNTAIN WINERY!
People in Agriculture
Second Generation Returns to Snyder County’s Shade Mountain Winery and Vineyards
Growing an idea: Karl Zimmerman’s “last best great idea” has turned out to be a pretty good one, judging by the success of his family’s Shade Mountain Winery and Vineyards near Middleburg, Snyder County.
Twenty years ago, Karl and his wife Carolyn took a risk and started planting grapes on their 65-acre farm where they had previously raised beef cattle and hogs, and grew soybeans, corn and Christmas trees.
“We were searching for a sideline or niche agriculture business that didn’t require too much acreage,” Karl said. “We heard a saying that ‘the poorer the land, the better the grapes you can grow,’ so we decided we were in the right place to give it a try.”
The Zimmermans planted grapevines on their acreage, and originally sold all their grapes to other winemakers. Ten years into their venture, they converted their 19th century bank barn into a winery where they now make 30,000 gallons of wine in 30 different varieties each year from the 40 different grape varieties grown.
Bringing in the next generation: Karl and Carolyn have four children, all college graduates, who have joined the family business. Daughters Amy and Jennifer moved away from Snyder County after graduating but have returned to work side-by-side with their parents and two brothers, Bill and Ben. Amy’s husband Brian Scorsone and their children Carly and Peter, Bill’s wife Kara and Ben’s fiancée Wendy are often on hand to help with the business.
The business supports 10 full-time employees, including the family and several part-time and seasonal workers. Carolyn heads the shop and the wine tastings along with Amy and Jennifer, who can also be found among the vines picking grapes during the harvest season. They also host weddings and parties in the five-year old addition to the barn, operate three satellite stores, host a fall festival complete with grape stomping, and exhibit other festivals. The men spend most of their time in the fields and in the winery concocting the recipes.
“My parents are very resourceful people and very self-sustaining,” said Jennifer. “My dad has an uncanny gift of being able to read situations and then tinker with an idea until he figures out the most efficient way to make something work.”
Establishing the brand: Shade Mountain’s three satellite stores are in Bloomsburg, Northumberland and Millheim. The winery’s far-away fans can also order online for mailed delivery. The information is available on its website, www.shademountainwinery.com, and on its Facebook page.
Shade Mountain wines are award-winning, earning several medals at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. The Zimmermans’ most recent victory was a gold medal at the 2011 show for their Sangiovese wine. They are also a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s PA Preferred program, the branding program that identifies products grown or produced in the state.
Pennsylvania is home to 140 licensed wineries with 230 wine grape growers, ranking the state fourth in production with more than 62,000 tons of grapes. The industry as a whole contributes $2.35 billion to the state economy, and creates more than 10,500 jobs and has become a major agritourism attraction with nearly 900,000 visitors to wineries each year.
Governor Tom Corbett proclaimed October as Wine Month in Pennsylvania as this is the grape harvest and wine production season. The legislature also recently declared Oct. 15 as Pennsylvania Wine Day to recognize the importance of the industry to the commonwealth.
Agriculture Secretary George Greig visited Shade Mountain this month to celebrate the industry and the Zimmermans who are strong advocates for the industry at the state level. Karl serves as president for the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program and Jennifer is a member of the board of the Pennsylvania Winery Association.
“The fates pushed and pulled us in this direction,” said Karl of his family’s decision to change and grow their business.
The direction has not only been good for the Zimmerman family, but for those who enjoy their fine wine while experiencing agriculture firsthand, and for the industry as a whole. It has helped the next generation foster a love for agriculture that will keep Pennsylvania growing – not bad for Karl’s last best great idea.
Editor’s note: To view photos of the Shade Mountain Winery and Vineyards, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on “Media” and “Photo Gallery.”
IN THE MIDST OF HARVEST SEASON!
Here are a few shots from Harvest Season 2012. We acquired a harvester this year and have been putting it to use. It is quite the machine and has drastically increased the amount of grapes we can pull in daily. We still do a fair amount of manual picking....the 3rd generation has been helping out monsterously! Pappy has had to plant some extra rows of vines to counteract the sheer number of grapes being consumed by Carly & Petey!
Thus far, we have brought in our white grapes (Cayuga, Pinto Grigio, Chardonnay, Viognier, Niagara, Riesling etc.). We are in the process of bringing in our reds, as they typically require a longer ripening period in order to reach their full sugar potential! The "grape" trend this year seems to be that of good quality, but not an excess of quantity. So we are keeping our fingers crossed that Mother Nature works with us these remaining weeks by keeping her demenor, bright sunny and dry!
As in years past, we have table grapes available for purchase. These are our Steuben grapes....and let me tell you, they make a fantastic juice and/or jam! For those of you who may not have time to "play" the the Steuben grapes, we will have Steuben juice available in mid-October. So look for that shortly!
As a way to celebrate harvest season, we will be hosting our Annual Harvest Festival on Saturday & Sunday, October 13th & 14th. It promises to be a "grape" time, as we have a pig roast, grape stompings and a band scheduled on Saturday. On Sunday, we have tours and carriage rides through the vines. So keep that weekend open and come celebrate with us!