Back in October, Brenda and I were driving through the Lehigh Valley on our way to an auto race in Connecticut and had the opportunity to visit the Vynecrest Vineyards and Winery in Breinigsville, PA. Unfortunately we didn’t have our camera with us so we don’t have any original pictures to share with you.
John and Jan Landis purchased a small farm in Breinigsville in 1972 and planted their first 50 grape vines in 1974. Since then the farm has grown to 80 acres and they now grow 17 acres of grapes that vary from vinifera varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Riesling to hybrids such as Seyval Blanc, Vidal and Vignoles to modern varieties such as Cayuga and Traminette. Winemaker Dr. John Landis is able to use this variety of grapes to blend some unique wines to go with some of the traditional ones he makes.
The winery itself opened in 1989. Prior to then, John and Jan sold their grapes to other Pennsylvania wineries. In 1998, the tasting room was moved to its current location on the main floor from the basement of the former barn that serves as home to the winery. The lower level was remodeled and opened as Tom’s Vyneskeller which is available for private wine tastings, wine appreciation classes and is also open on weekends as a wine bar.
In the tasting room, I especially enjoyed the Shiraz. You don’t see much of this dry Australian inspired dry red in Pennsylvania so it was a real treat. I also enjoyed the Lemberger (Vynecrest’s signature wine) which is a very dry, full bodied red with very strong tannins. Brenda really liked the Niagara (what else is new?) and the Late Harvest Vignoles. I wish we had been there a few weeks later so we could have tried the Nouveau Beaujolais which was released for the first time on November 17th. I’ve never had a Pennsylvania Beaujolais so I’m going to have to get back there for next year’s release.
I found a couple of videos about Vynecrest on You Tube so I’m going to share them with you here. The first one was recorded by Sam Landis (John and Jan’s son) on November 2nd and talks about the history of the winery.
The second video celebrating Nouveau Beaujolais Weekend was recorded on the third weekend in November and narrated by John Landis.
Vynecrest Vineyards and Winery is a member of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail. In fact, Jan Landis served four years as president of the Wine Trail. Vynecrest also hosts several special events during the course of the year. The next one, Super Bowl Saturday, scheduled for January 31st will feature chili samplings, recipes, prizes and, of course, wine tasting. The winery is open on Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 to 5:00.
When you visit Vynecrest, don’t forget your wine carrier so you can bring home several bottles of the delicious wine you’re going to taste. If you need a wine carrier please visit Picnic Baskets and More where we have a great selection of wine carriers and wine totes at a variety of prices.
Vynecrest Vineyards and Winery is conveniently located just off exit 49A of Interstate Route 78. For some reason I can’t get a Google Map to import into this post so I’ve taken the map off of Vynecrest’s web site.