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The Quiet Sounds of Summer

Today is another day in April, much like the last few weeks have been.  We hope all of you have been staying safe as we adjust to the current ever-changing situation in our worlds.  What doesn't change is that the vines don't care what's going on in the world for us....they are just starting to come back to life.

Much has changed since we officially took over the former Naylor facility on February 20, 2020.  It's crazy to think that only a month after signing documents on one of the most significant projects I have undertaken in my life would be eerily quiet.  All the plans that we had set in place to start ramping up this spring have suddenly changed.

As the situation with the current lockdown and soon re-opening of our state continues, I am working hard to understand how Allegro will transition back to normal as well.  Both the "how" and the "when" are extremely difficult and important issues for us.  We're used to sharing glasses of wine and …
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A New Era for Allegro

Yesterday the news from last year actually became official:  Allegro Winery finalized the purchase of the former Naylor Wine Cellars property in Stewartstown.  I know that most people were probably under the impression that this happened almost a year ago, but these things take time.

Dick Naylor passed away on December 10, 2018, and a few weeks later the long-time family friend and accountant to the Naylor family, George Dotzel, called me to see if I had an interest in the property.  This led to numerous meetings with him and Janey Potter (Dick Naylor's daughter) regarding what the future of the property would be.  In the end, it was decided that Allegro Winery would purchase the assets and real estate while Naylor Wine Cellars would continue on at their Queensgate location until their existing inventory was sold.

Through it all, we have been making preparations for what the future of Allegro looks like and how we can best use the property.  First and foremost, it had become clear…

'Twas the Night Before Christmas (at the Mall)

About ten years ago, we had a kiosk set up at the mall in order to bring our wine to where people were (en masse.)  We were desperate.

Looking back on that experience is surreal.  Driving my truck through the hordes of shoppers  twice on Black Friday in order to deliver twenty-five cases of wine through the back doors of the shopping complex.  Crazy holiday music non-stop.  Frazzles customers who were thrilled to taste a little wine in their frenzy.  Amazingly tolerant staff working under stressful conditions.

All the while knowing that our very existence may come down to what the weather forecast was and if Christmas fell on a Friday or a Monday (the latter being far better, since it meant two insane shopping days over a weekend.)

We're eternally grateful for all who helped support our little shop back in those days, as well as all the staff who put in countless hours for us. 

Years ago, my wife Kris wrote a poem about Christmas time at the mall to try to capture the feeling and t…

The Blocks at Cadenza Vineyards

The term "block" has been used in vineyards for years.  It's usually used to denote any acreage of a given variety of grapes.  Doesn't matter if it's an acre or ten acres.  It's just a "block."

In the photo to the right, you can see Block One in the bottom right corner, and then Block Two above it (towards the setting sun).  Block Six is off the the left and is planted more densely with closer rows.

Not sure how the terminology came about.  John used to refer to the "Upper" and "Lower" Chardonnay.....The "Upper" is now "Block Two."  Block Five--before it was referred to as such--was about five varieties.  When I needed to refer to it as a set of rows of vines, I just counted blocks and it became "Block Five."  Pretty straight-forward.  And that started the numbering of the blocks here.

We now have seven blocks of vines here at what we are now terming the Cadenza Vineyards.  Here's an overview li…

Why We Changed Our Labels--Guest Post from Emery Pajer

**The following post is written by Emery Pajer, Label Designer Extraordinaire and All-Around Nice Guy.  He is a self-employed graphic artist who has been helping us at Allegro in the tasting rooms and all around since 2011.  If you need any design work, check out his stuff at and  (He knows his way around map illustrations and a wine bottle or two! 


 Hi everyone. By now, I’m sure you’ve all seen the new sweet and dry wine labels as they show up on your shelves. They are the result of a lot of research that Carl and I did over the past two years, and we thought it would be a good idea to share what we learned and give you some info to share with customers if they ask you about the new artwork.

We made several trips to wine shops in PA and MD with a couple of Allegro sweet and dry wine bottles in hand. We looked at wines in every category and price range. What we found was really pretty shocking. Turns out our s…

Cadenza Thoughts for 2019

This is the year I've been dreaming about.

I remember first coming to Allegro in 2001 and speaking with Mark Chien (the former Penn State Winegrape Educator) about the potential for fine wines at this site.  We talked technical soil/viticulture issues, but what stuck with me was that he prefaced it all with this statement: "You're sitting on a gold mine here."

And like all gold mines, it's taken years to extract the value from it.  Initially, we couldn't afford to plant more vines.  Nor rehabilitate the old ones.  Nor the trellis.  But in 2014 we realized that we could move forward with some new plantings.

In 2019, the first red wines from those plantings will be bottled.  (For those of you in our wine club who have come back into the cellar with me to talk about them have gotten a chance to taste them and know what I'm talking about.  They are special.

This past November we released the first wine under our new "Cadenza Vineyards" label: our 2…

The Passing of a York County Pioneer

My first memory of Dick Naylor was in 1999 when I came back from Wineries Unlimited in Lancaster on my way back to State College.  I had just picked up a 1000L variable capacity tank in the back of my Toyota truck and I had heard that Naylor Wine Cellars had a label printer that I was interested in seeing.
Dick passed away last week, and this past Monday I attended the funeral service to commemorate his life.
When I stepped in to Naylor Wine Cellars in Stewartstown that day, I was struggling to find my feet in this new industry I had entered.  I was greeted warmly by Dick and spent some time with his son-in-law winemaker Ted Potter talking about custom label printers.  It was an innocuous meeting, but spoke volumes about the new industry and life I found myself in.  To treat "competitors" like colleagues was a new experience to me.
Fast-forward a couple years, and my wife Kris and I are the new owners at Allegro Vineyards in Brogue, working hard to get on our fe…