Monday, December 1, 2008

Glades Pike Winery

While driving from Somerset to Seven Springs Mountain Resort we've always passed Glades Pike Winery on Route 31, but have never stopped in. Until this past weekend. We won't pass the winery without stopping in again. Glades Pike has been open for almost 15 years and makes unique wines that are very characteristic for Pennsylvania wineries.

We started with the 2008 Norton made from grapes grown at famed Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg Virginia. The wine was one of the best young Norton wines we've tasted. It wasn't acidic or overly jammy - like many Nortons that haven't had a chance to age in the bottle. Instead it is very smooth with a cherry flavors and an honest chocolate finish. We also discovered an interesting note on Pennsylvania labeling laws while examining the bottle. Even though the grapes for this wine were sourced from Virginia, Glades Pike can label it Pennsylvania wine since more than 85% of the grapes came from within a 380 mile radius from the winery. Interesting.

Since Glades Pike offers nearly twenty wines, we skipped the vinifera reds (Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon) and chose instead two hybrid reds: the Baco Noir and DeChaunac. Might as well try something different. Both of these wines are very smooth with low tannins. We preferred the Baco Noir, with its fuller flavor and where the tasting notes were completely accurate. We tasted each fruit listed: the black cherry, raspberry and red currant. In order to satisfy the market, the winery produces a few semi-sweet and sweet red wines. The Glades Pike Red is a semi-sweet blend of the Baco Noir and Concord. The Concord contributes the strong grapey aroma whereas the Baco Noir provides the full bodied flavor. Probably without attempting, they've created a nice eastern European styled wine. For those with even a sweeter tooth there is a varietal Concord. And the best selling wine is a sweet blush - the Bicentennial Blush - made from Concord, Niagara, Cayuga and Vidal.

Turning to whites, Glades Pike produces a dry Chardonnay and dry Seyval Blanc but we preferred their off dry Riesling and Vidal Blanc. Both have nice acidity that provides a refreshing finish. The Vidal is more citrus while the Riesling possesses the standard flavor associated with the grape. Another off-dry option is the Mountain Mead, made from local honey. We liked this style - not too sweet and can envision blending with Apple wine to produce our own cyser. The winery also produces a varietal wine from one of our favorite labrusca grapes - Diamond. Theirs is made sweet and contains a hint of the labrusca foxiness - but more citrus. There's another sweet labrusca - Niagara - which reminds us of the white grape juice our son guzzled years ago.

Finally, Glades Pike wouldn't be a Pennsylvania winery without an assortment of fruit wines. Spiced Apple seems to be a state favorite, but the Black & Blue is ours. Just Blackberries and Blueberries. On occasion the winery produces a Raspberry wine, but currentlythey offer a Montmorency Cherry - served with chocolate.

For those traveling to ski from the West or who don't want to drive the 15 minutes from the resort, Glades Pike opened a tasting room a hundred yards from the Seven Springs entrance. This could be a perfect break from the slopes or when the kids are participating in Tiny Tots. We enjoyed the Norton, Baco Noir, and Vidal after skiing. With twenty wines to choose, we are sure there's something for everyone.

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