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2012 Allegro Bridge

What I remember about 2012 was that it was the first time we had to deal with multiple frost scares in the same year.  We had an astoundingly early budbreak, and if I remember correctly, we had three nights where the temperatures dipped below freezing here in the Brogue. I know I had discovered a new material to spray our vines with called KDL from Agro-K.  It was a mixture of potassium (K) and dextro-lac (sugar) that I sprayed on our vines the day before a frost event.  It seemed to have worked just like putting salt on icy winter roads.  The green leaves took up the mixture and it lowered the freezing point of the moisture in the cells, thus allowing them to escape unharmed. With such an early start, it meant our growing season was extended significantly.  Here in Pennsylvania, that's a double-edged sword.  Yes, it allows us more days to ripen our fruit, but at the same time it means more days that we have to ward off the evil rots and mildews that try to ruin it.  It was a long
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2019 Cadenza Vineyards Albarino

 Albarino was an interesting choice to put in a Bordeaux vineyard.  I've been pretty clear from the beginning--mostly because of John Crouch--wrong or right--that this little place in the Brogue was meant for Bordeaux varieties.   I've removed Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Riesling (all with ancestral homes further north than Bordeaux), Nebbiolo, Seyval Blanc, Traminette from our current plantings.  None seemed to do the site justice.  In their places, we now have Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.  (And, Viognier, but that's for another post.)  (And, yes, we have Chardonnay....everybody has Chardonnay.....) Why Albarino?  I remember talking with Ed Boyce at Black Ankle Vineyards in Maryland when I was considering planting the variety.  They had added Albarino and Gruner Veltliner to their French plantings, and there had to be a reason for it.  I mentioned to him the other whites I was planting that year:  Sauvignon Blanc: likes to rot Semillo

Cadenza Vineyards Bottles in the Tasting Room

 One of my favorite sayings comes in the form of a Chinese blessing: "May you live in interesting times."  Some people might--with a perspective of the past year--consider this more of a curse, and I think we could have a peaceable discussion about the merits of both ways of interpreting the saying. In either case, things are strange, and we've all had to adapt in one way or another.  One of the changes I've reluctantly agreed to is to shine a little more light on our Cadenza Vineyards label.  Since the release of the first vintages back in 2018, I've kept a pretty tight control of these wines.  We didn't have that many to begin with, and subsequently we did not open the Cadenza wine club up to more than about 100 memberships. This was a very prudent thing to have done, since our 2017 was pretty small and the 2018 was virtually non-existent (only two white wines and no red wines made the cut to be called Cadenza.)  In 2019 we had another small harvest, but we

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

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. East Side of the former Naylor Wine Cellars 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 th

'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

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 over