Weathered Vineyards Review
Address: 7670 Carpet Road New Tripoli,Pennsylvania 18066.
Phone Number: 610-984-2867
Tasting Hours: Thurs-Mon 11:00-6:00 (Summer and Fall), Fri-Mon 11:00-5:00 (Winter)
Region: Lehigh Valley AVA, Pennsylvania
Reviewer: Kat Collins
Review Date: 11/1/2016
Reviewer: Kat Collins
When Weathered Vineyards first opened in 2014, I paid them a visit to welcome them to the area and taste a few of their first wines. They were pleasant, easy wines, but lacking age or depth, normal for a very young winery. Not bad, but nothing stood out. Two years later, I decided to pop in for another visit to see how they were faring in the rolling farmland of New Tripoli, PA. This time, the wines spoke for themselves.
Rich Woolley, a Meteorologist and Environmental Engineer, has a love of weather and wine hence the name Weathered Vineyards. Dana, Richs wife, is a nurse by day and the marketing and quality department by night for Weathered Vineyards. The Woolley’s vineyard, winery and tasting room at 7670 Carpet Road lies on 13 acres, which also include the couple’s home. The winery itself is an unassuming, small, pole barn sitting atop a hill. While the tasting room is modest in size and style (it is the front quarter of the barn with the rest of the space dedicated to winemaking), the warmth of the space and staff is inviting to everyone who stops by the winery. The views outside the tasting room are stunning with undulating hills and the Blue Mountains in the distance. There are Adirondack style chairs placed here and there around the vineyards inviting one to relax with a glass of wine while taking advantage of the view.
Considering the Woolleys have lived in some of the most premier viticultural areas, why would they choose to put down roots in a small rural town in Eastern Pennsylvania Rich and Dana believe that great wine can only come from exceptional grapes harvested at the peak of ripeness, but remarkable grapes can only come from remarkable terroir, the French word defined as the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including the factors such as soil, topography, and climate. Much to their pleasant surprise, New Tripolis terroir is similar to parts of Bordeaux, France. So the decision was made to plant roots, so to speak, in Pennsylvania.
While initially starting out with grapes from another local vineyard to produce their wine, Weathered Vineyards has reached a point where they can start producing wines made from their own grapes. The improvement in their wines in just two years is notable. Of their white wines, I was taken with their Cirrus, a unique blend of Cayuga and Riesling. With only .25% residual sugar, it is a luscious white wine with juicy notes of peach and lemon curd and bright acidity. The other white wine I loved was the Traminette, a semi-sweet wine abounding with creamy floral and Granny Smith apple notes.
The wine that impressed me the most was the 2014 Cabernet Franc. Apparently, I wasnt alone in this as they were down to their last eight bottles (seven after I bought one to go home)! Soft dark berries including blackberry, black cherry, and hints of plum tumbled forth on my tongue while spice and subtle tannins lingered on the finish; a stunning wine that will only get better with age. Sadly, this vintage is no longer available, but the 2015 Cabernet Franc is currently aging in barrels. If the 2014 is any indication, I cant wait for the 2015 to be released.
Go and say hello to Rich and Dana at Weathered Vineyards. Take a seat, sip a glass of wine, drink in the stunning views, and you might even get the chance to discuss the weather with Rich, his favorite topic besides wine. The wine and the company are worth it.