Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery Review
Address: 172 Arrowhead Ln. Breinigsville,Pennsylvania 18031.
Phone Number: 610-398-7525
Tasting Hours: 11:00-5:00
Region: Lehigh Valley AVA, Pennsylvania
Reviewer: Kat Collins
Review Date: 3/6/2016
Reviewer: Kat Collins
Vynecrest Winery is located seven miles west of Allentown, Pennsylvania in the picturesque, rolling hills of Breinigsville. Its an unusual path to get to the winery as you drive through warehousing districts and housing communities, but once youre on the other side, it opens up into beautiful countryside, leaving the industrial busyness behind.
Vynecrest is the oldest existing vineyard in the Lehigh County. The family-owned winery is housed in a 19th Century Swiss bank barn in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley AVA. A bank barn is noted for its accessibility, at ground level, on two separate levels. Often built into the side of a hill, or bank, such as Vynecrest Winerys barn, both the upper and the lower floors can be accessed from ground level, one area at the top of the hill and the other at the bottom. In places, especially downstairs, the old heavy wooden beams and thick stone walls that are part of the original barn evoke the feeling of bygone eras. You can almost imagine the hard farming work, the baying of farm animals in the upper level, and the rasp of hay and corn being loaded into the barn.
The lower level, called the Vyneskellar, was the initial tasting room, but now it is used as a social place for live jazz and small bites to eat. The one wall is lined with windows and glass doors overlooking the serene farm fields, the perfect place to sit and relax with a glass of wine. When the weather is nicer, you can sit on the patio right outside the windows.
The regular wine tastings are offered in the more modern upstairs part of the barn. It still retains some of the old character of the barn, but you really have to look for it. Vynecrest offers a complimentary tasting but asks you to respect a limit of tasting six wines. If you are a group of eight or more, there is a $5.00 tasting fee and requires a reservation. We started with one young woman for our tasting, and she alternated with another woman behind the bar. It was quite busy on a Sunday so we understood, but we wished there were more continuity and knowledge behind the tasting. We prefer to do a tasting with someone who knows a significant amount about the wine and history rather than just pouring the wine. Despite the seeming lack of knowledge beyond the very basics (e.g. This is a Seyval Blanc Im pouring), the young women were very social, polite, and friendly.
We tried a variety of their wines but focused on their drier whites and reds. There were a few favorites that stood out from the rest. The 2014 Seyval Blanc was clean, crisp, and full of pear and tangerine notes with a hint of mineral on the long finish. Another favorite white was the off-dry Riesling with a delicate floral nose, bursting with notes of peaches, melon, and grapefruit and bright acidity. For a dry red, we loved the 2014 Lemberger, a flagship wine for Vynecrest. It was full-bodied with big, bold flavors of blackberry, black cherry, hints of tobacco and smoke, and a rich, tannic finish. We went home with all three of these wines!
Another wine that intrigued us was their Sparkling Traminette. It is made of 100% estate grown Traminette grapes. The flowery bouquet and spiciness of the Traminette grape pairs exceptionally well with bubbles and produces a rich complex, food-friendly wine that finishes with a touch of sweetness. It was deliciously creamy, loaded with tropical fruit notes, and significant spiciness similar to a Gewurztraminer. The spiciness was just a bit too much for us to take a bottle home, but those who love those type of notes will definitely want to try this wine.
Vynecrest Winery is a lovely place to visit when you want a bit of local history, a scenic country view, and delicious estate-grown wines.