Folino Estate Vineyard and Winery Review
Address: 340 Old U.S. 22 Kutztown,Pennsylvania 19530.
Phone Number: 484-452-3633
Tasting Hours: Wed-Sun: 11:00-8:00
Region: Lehigh Valley AVA, Pennsylvania
Reviewer: Kat Collins
Review Date: 11/3/2016
Reviewer: Kat Collins
The first thing you notice when driving to Folino Estate Vineyard & Winery is that its big, and thats a good thing. While there are many wineries popping up all over Pennsylvania, most of them are small mom and pop operations. Folino is the exact opposite. It is Italian grandeur poised atop a sloping hill surrounded by grape vines. Not something you would expect in Amish-oriented Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
Walking into the facility is like walking in a piazza in Italy, complete with café chairs and tables, fountains, and soaring ceilings to give the foyer a relaxed, open-air feel. Ive been to Italy, and Folino captures the spirit gracefully. Folino bills itself as a Vineyard & Winery, but in my opinion, it is more an Italian restaurant and event space, with the winery as a complimentary thought. It is a considerably thought out plan by the owners of Folino to market it as a one-stop shop, especially as a wedding destination.
Sitting on 54 acres of farmland that Marco and Stefano Folinos father purchased about 15 years ago, the land was originally going to be used by Folino Homes, Inc. to build houses. Because of some red tape, husband and wife Marco and Andrea Folino decided to change plans and build a winery, restaurant, and banquet facility in 2015.
The tasting room is off to the side of the main foyer, where patrons enter through grapevine-motif iron gates. You can sample six wines for $5.00, and the $5.00 is waived with the purchase of two bottles of wine. Most of Folino’s grapes are currently imported from California and Berks County as their grape vines are still too young to produce wine. The Folinos are planning to release estate wines starting in 2017. In my opinion, most of the red wines lack depth and age and could use some significant work. Their white wines are better, but not stellar. One can only hope that the wines will improve with time as the Folinos gain more winemaking experience. Im considerably interested to see how their estate wines turn out next year.
The staff is friendly, but young. Theyre very helpful but lacking in the wine knowledge department. Its improved since my first visit when they first opened, but the wine and the knowledge both have a long way to go to make a lasting impression.
As for the restaurant, you will not be disappointed! I have eaten there a few times now, and each time the food has been delicious and reminiscent of my time in Italy. Interestingly, at the restaurant, they serve other wines and beer that are not made by the winery. This could be because they dont have many of their own wines, yet, and need to have a diversified menu to appeal to customers.
I must admit, its hard to review a supposed vineyard and winery when the restaurant and event space overshadow it. The Folinos have over 40 years of experience in the restaurant industry, so I suppose its not that surprising that the restaurant and even space should do so well. They know what theyre doing as evidenced by the deluge of weddings booked at Folino Estate.
If youre looking for something different in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, Folino Estate Vineyard & Winery is worth visiting. Give the wines a try, but make sure to book a reservation at the restaurant and enjoy the ambiance of dining in Italy.