I started off in the tasting room by asking Bill Kvaternik what his signature wines were. The Susquehanna Sunrise is a semi-sweet blush that features the rare Dutchess grape. This grape is named after Dutchess County, NY where it debuted. Unfortunately, New York has mainly abandoned the Dutchess and today it’s grown only in a few places. Susquehanna Sunrise also features the Cayuga, Niagara and Chancellor varieties. Brenda liked this wine so much that we brought home a bottle. The second signature wine is the Susquehanna Crossing which is a semi-sweet chillable red that features De Chaunac, Cayuga and Niagara grapes. Both Darlene and Bill said that their favorite Hunters Valley wine is the Cabernet Franc. Personally, I liked the Chambourcin best of all. I really enjoyed its dry flavor and smooth finish.
Hunters Valley also features a very interesting Cranberry wine. This flavored wine is sweet with just a hint of the tart flavor that comes from cranberries. I would highly recommend this wine to the 90% of you who prefer sweet wines. I had a hard time finding any alcohol taste in it at all although Darlene was quick to comment, “oh, there’s plenty of alcohol in it”. Hunters Valley also includes Blueberry and Strawberry in its collection of fruit wines.
Since Brenda likes sweet white wines and I like dry red wines, it’s only on a rare occasion that we both agree on a wine we like. This rare occasion happened at Hunters Valley with the Vidal Blanc. Brenda found it sweet enough for her taste and although it was somewhat sweet, I enjoyed its crisp fresh flavor. In fact we brought home a 1.5 liter bottle.
Hunters Valley Winery plays host to two open house and craft fair events per year. They take place on the first full weekend of June and either the third or fourth weekend in October. The Kvaterniks invite vendors to set up tents on the lawn and make and sell their crafts. Guests are invited to spread out and enjoy the crafts and the panoramic views the grounds offer. In addition, the winery has a gazebo for those who like to bring a picnic lunch and hang out at the winery. The gazebo offers a great view of the valley below, the Susquehanna River and town of Millersburg in the distance. Darlene and Bill do ask that if you have a large group, please call ahead at 717-442-7211 so they can be prepared for your arrival.
The winery is open on Wednesday – Friday from 11:00 to 5:00, Saturday from 11:00 to 7:00 and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00. I strongly suggest that you pack your picnic backpack and plan a day at the Hunters Valley Winery in Liverpool, PA. Hunters Valley Winery is a member of the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail and participates in its Good Taste and Adventure event each March.