Sunday, November 20, 2016

Highlighting Harvest Ridge Winery

Harvest Ridge: Wines & History on the Northeast

Photo c/o Harvest Ridge Winery
Unbeknownst to many, there are several wine regions in Northeastern U.S., including Long Island Wine Country, New York State Finger Lakes, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland that produce excellent wines.  Living on the Northeast, I always have a vested interest in learning more about such regions.  Therefore, it was delightful to learn more about Harvest Ridge Winery, in the Atlantic Wine region.
Photo from Harvest Ridge Winery
Harvest Ridge Winery is a family-run winery located in Delaware, in an ideal wine-growing region. The climate and soil of Delaware and the surrounding regions have been likened to that of Bordeaux. According to Harvest Ridge, "Our location here in Marydel provides us with advantageous growing conditions due to the fact that our vineyard is midway between the Atlantic Ocean to the East and the Chesapeake Bay to the west. The shallow warmer waters of the Chesapeake offer our grapes a longer warmer growing season which is ideal for red varietals such as Malbec.  The Atlantic cools our vineyards at night and keeps humidity low, which helps to prevent mold that might be negatively affect the grapes." Location, location, location!  Wait, there's more...

The winery's property encompasses the border of both Delaware and Maryland, hence, Marydel.  In fact, it is located on the historic Mason-Dixon Line.
Photo from World Atlas
Originally, the Mason–Dixon Line was a demarcation line between Pennsylvania and Maryland.  It also included the western border of Delaware, which was initially a colony of Pennsylvania.  The Mason-Dixon Line also functioned as a symbolic divider between the Northern and Southern states, or slave and non-slave states during the American Civil War. Harvest Ridge Winery, then, is in quite a historic location!  In fact, one of the original witness stones and crown markers (#47), is still on the property.


Stone #47
(Photo from Harvest Ridge Winery)
Due to it's historical significance, the number “47” from the original witness stone is a prominent feature on the Harvest Ridge Wine labels. Moreover, as Harvest Ridge is family owned and operated, the theme of “family” is also made manifest in their logo.  The logo depicts the Harvest Ridge tree, which represents the family roots, ties, or interconnectivity of the Nunan family.
Harvest Ridge Winery Logo
Harvest Ridge Winery was founded by Chuck Nunan in 2005, although he had been making wine since 1995.  The first vines, which were, Chardonnay, Viognier, Malbec, and Merlot, were planted in 2011 and they have continued to be a staple in the Vintage Atlantic Wine Region.


The Wining Hour's Harvest Ridge Tasting:

This enables  So the lower humidity levels help to keep our vineyard healthy and cooler nights also help to preserve the aromatic esters in our grapes ultimately resulting in much more fragrant wines."

2014 Harvest Ridge Winery Sparkling Vidal Blanc
Vidal blanc is a hybrid grape developed by Jean Louis Vidal.  As it is a very winter-hardy grape, it is used mostly in the U.S. for both dry and sweet wines and in Canada and Sweden to make ice wine. Harvest Ridge Winery's Sparkling Vidal Blanc is a bubbly, off-dry dessert wine with a nose of citrus fruits and pineapple, peach and green apple on the palate. This wine is refreshing and acidic with 12.2% ABV.

2014 Harvest Ridge Winery Pinot Gris
Pino Gris, which gets its name from its grayish-purple grapes, produces more neutral flavor profiles. This one, by Harvest Ridge Winery, spiced it up a bit.  This is another off-dry wine, but with vibrant fruitiness.  It has floral aromas of apple blossom and honeysuckle and a palate of Asian pair and nectarine.  The minerality, characteristic of this varietal is evident, as there are undertones of graphite. Harvest Ridge Pinot Gris is medium-bodied with 12.6% ABV.

2014 Harvest Ridge Winery Chambourcin
It was both interesting and exciting to taste this wine, as this varietal was a first for us.  Chambourcin is another hybrid grape, French and American, developed by Joannes Seibel (Seyve) in the Loire Valley. Chambourcin is a very productive grape and known for its resistance to fungal disease, which is why it is often found in North America, Canada and Australia.  Harvest Ridge Winery's Chambourcin is very aromatic, with cherry, raspberry, cedar and leather.  Big, dark red and black jammy fruit on the palate, along with violet, cedar and tobacco leaf. This Chambourcin is aged 16 months in New American Oak barrels and has 12.8% ABV.  This wine is structured, with low acidity, soft tannins and a lingering finish. Harvest Ridge says their Chambourcin is a "medium bodied, lightly oaked, dry red wine made in a Chianti style." Others regard Chambourcin as a popular alternative to Bordeaux.  Either way, you can't go wrong. As it will pair well with many things, pairing with chocolate would be a good move.  


2014 Harvest Ridge Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
Ahh, who doesn't love a Cabernet Sauvignon? This Harvest Ridge Cab is rich and bold with a nose of blackberry, smoky black current, and baking spices.  The palate is lush with black currants, figs, prunes and chocolate. Full-bodied, 13.4% ABV with firm tannins and smooth finish.


If you find yourself in the Northeast, near Maryland or Delaware, be sure to check out Harvest Ridge Winery to taste their wines and explore this historic location.

What are your favorite wineries or winemakers in the Northeast?

Read about Rosé in another Northeastern wine region: 7 Rosés from Long Island Wine Country.

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