If you follow my blog, you know that wine and live music are two of my favorite things. When you combine the two (and throw in some dogs for good measure), I am one happy camper! If you love wine and live music, then Kreutz Creek Vineyards is the place for you!
Keep reading to find out more about the vineyard, their summer music concerts, and their wine.
When you think of wine and wine regions, Pennsylvania may not be a state that immediately comes to mind. However, it’s actually a very established wine region, with over 200 wineries located throughout the state. One of those wineries is Kreutz Creek Vineyards, which is located in West Grove, PA and is run by Jim and Carole Kirkpatrick. Jim is the winemaker and Carole runs the tasting room and the business side of things.
Jim’s passion for winemaking started in 1989, when Carole bought Jim a wine kit for his birthday. After getting pretty good at making the wine from kits, Jim and Carole decided to take the plunge and buy a property that had a few acres of land, where they planted some vines and began making wine from their own grapes. Their “hobby” kept growing and growing, and they eventually purchased their current property which contains their home, vineyards, tasting room, and outdoor facility.
Jim’s winemaking equipment is located in the tasting room area, so when you visit you can actually see the tanks and barrels containing the wine that is waiting to be bottled. Once the wine is ready, the whole bottling operation is done by hand, including getting the wine in the bottle, inserting the cork, and putting on the labels. In fact, my husband and I have had several opportunities to help with the bottling process.
The tasting room is open on Saturdays (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sundays (noon to 5 p.m.). When you visit the tasting room, you are welcome to bring your own food to enjoy during your tasting. There is seating both inside the tasting room, as well as outside on the patio.
Tip #1: If it’s not too busy in the tasting room, you just may get a chance to meet the vineyard dog – Corky. He’s still “in training”, but normally makes an appearance at the end of the day or during the summer evening concerts.
Tip #2: A great time to visit the vineyard is on Sunday afternoon. It’s typically not as busy, so you get more personalized attention during your tasting, and avoid big groups (bachelorette parties, etc) that tend to come out on Saturdays.
The vineyard is a beautiful place to visit. You can walk along the vines and see the grapes growing, or take a walk up the hill to the gazebo to catch the sunset. The vineyard is also available to host events including weddings.
In addition to wine tastings, Kreutz Creek Vineyards has a number of fun events throughout the year. During the colder months, they host movie nights. You can enjoy a movie while you are sipping on some wine and eating some snacks. If the weather cooperates, the movies are sometimes shown outdoors around the fire pit.
In the spring and fall, Kreutz Creek Vineyards often has live music on Saturday afternoons from 2-5 p.m. You can purchase a bottle of wine, sit out on the patio, and enjoy the music.
My favorite time of year at Kreutz Creek Vineyards is the summer months. On most Saturday evenings, the vineyard hosts a summer music concert by a local band. The concerts are dog and kid friendly. They have a food truck on site, or you can bring your own food. Kreutz Creek Vineyards wine, as well as local beers are available for purchase. They even make wine slushies, which are delicious!
Tip #3: If you arrive early for the concert, you can typically grab a spot under the “big tent”. There are picnic tables there that you can use as well. First come, first served.
Tip #4: Make sure to take a walk around the property when you attend a concert. As mentioned above, you can get a great view of the sunset from the top of the property at the gazebo. You can also typically see plenty of deer in the far fields.
The cost to attend a summer evening concert is $10 per person. There are four more concerts this summer during the month of August. You can find more information on Kreutz Creek Vineyard’s website at www.kreutzcreekvineyards.com.
I’ve been visiting Kreutz Creek Vineyards (and helping to do tastings there at special events) for quite a few years. However, it’s always good to try the wines every time you visit. Not only do the wines change from year to year, but sometimes they change from bottle to bottle. So, just because a particular wine was your favorite before, doesn’t mean it won’t become your favorite the next time you visit.
During my last visit this past Saturday, I tried all of the wines again. Kreutz Creek Vineyards currently have 10 wines available to taste. The wines range from dry to semi-dry to sweet. They have both white and red wines.
Pinot Grigio: The Pinot Grigio is aged in stainless steel. It is very light and crisp and has a lot of citrus flavors on it. This wine is very nice served slightly chilled.
Vidal Blanc: This wine is also aged in stainless steel. While it does have some citrus notes on it, they are not quite as pronounced as they are on the Pinot Grigio. This is a very nice light and clean wine.
Chardonnay: I am not normally a fan of Chardonnay, as I feel most winemakers leave it in the barrel too long and the oak overpowers the taste of the grape. However, Kreutz Creek Vineyard’s Chardonnay has just the right amount of oak on it. I get a lot of citrus on the wine, with some oak on the finish that isn’t overpowering.
Chambourcin: This vintage’s version of Chambourcin was done in a rosé style. It’s very dry, and like a true Chambourcin, is quite acidic. Because it is lighter, you can drink this Chambourcin chilled, which makes it a nice choice for summer.
Wickerton Red: The Wickerton Red is a blend of the Kordeaux and the Chambourcin. That means that you will taste the berry and oak of the Kordeaux, but also get the acidity from the Chambourcin. For people that aren’t into big heavy reds, this is a great option.
Cabernet Franc: This is my favorite of the reds. The oak on the wine is perfect, and I get a lot of vanilla both on the nose and the tongue. This is a heavier red that would pair well with a steak.
Kordeaux: The Kordeaux is Kreutz Creek Vineyard’s version of a Bordeaux blend. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet France, and Petit Verdot. There is lots of berry on this wine, as well as oak.
Steuben: If you aren’t a fan of dry wines, try the Steuben. It’s similar to a rosé, but has lots of strawberry flavors on it. While you might think they added strawberries to the wine, it’s just the taste of the Steuben grape. This wine should be chilled before you drink it. It’s also delicious when made into a slushy.
Niagara: This is your breakfast wine. Made with the same grapes that are used to make white grape juice, this is the adult version of the juice. As soon as you put your nose to your glass, you will smell the grapes. This wine is definitely on the sweeter side and should be served chilled. Mix the wine with ice and frozen tropical fruit, and it makes a great slushy.
Ruby K: This wine is Kreutz Creek Vineyard’s version of a port. This is a fortified wine that is made of a blend of several of their reds, combined with Pennsylvania spirits. The wine has a lot of cherry on it and is very sweet. It’s truly a dessert wine. Pair this wine with some dark chocolate.
Tip #5: When doing a wine tasting, be sure to taste the wines in the proper order. You always want to start with the dry whites, then move to the dry reds. Finish up with any semi-dry wines or dessert wines. The person giving you the tasting should be familiar with each of the wines they are serving, and can tell you what order to taste them in. If the tasting room has crackers available, you may want to eat a cracker or drink some water to cleanse your palate as you move from style to style.
Tip #6: It’s ok to not like a particular wine. Any good winemaker will understand and will not be offended if you “dump” wine that you don’t like. Wine is very subjective, and everyone’s palate and tastes are a little different.
Tip #7: A lot of people believe they should rinse their glass with water in between tasting each wine. When you rinse, you typically leave water in the bottom of the wine glass, which will water down the next pour. The proper way to transition from wine to wine, is to have the person doing your tasting pour a little bit of the next wine in your glass, swirl it around and dump it out. However, unless you are tasting a very expensive wine, there is no need to do this either.
Tip #8: Did you know that the names of certain varietals can only be used for wines that come from that region? For example, Champagne can only be used for wine produced from the Champagne region in France. The same is true of Bordeaux (only from the Bordeaux region in France) and Port (only from Portugal). That’s why Kreutz Creek Vineyard’s Kordeaux and Ruby K are done in the style of a Bordeaux and a Port, respectively, but cannot be called Bordeaux or Port.
So, if you live in the greater Philadelphia area, be sure to check out Kreutz Creek Vineyards. There are also several other vineyards in the area, so you can go out for a day of wine tasting. Check out my post on some of the other vineyards that are nearby.
Have questions about the wines at Kreutz Creek Vineyards? Need help planning your visit? Comment below or e-mail me at email@example.com.
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