Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, a region renowned for its scenic landscapes and burgeoning wine culture, harbors a true gem – Vynecrest Vineyard and Winery. This family-owned establishment, rooted in history and passion, beckons wine enthusiasts and travelers alike to embark on a journey through its sprawling vineyards, rich traditions, and a commitment to crafting exceptional wines. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the captivating story of Vynecrest, explore its vineyards, savor the diverse wine portfolio, experience the welcoming ambiance of the Vyneskeller, and discover the wealth of activities and events that make Vynecrest a must-visit destination.
In spring 1974, John and Jan Landis began their journey to become Pennsylvania winemaking pioneers. The couple planted 50 grape vines on a hilltop on a five-acre farm in Breinigsville, starting Lehigh County’s oldest vineyard. Vynecrest accomplished much in 1989 when it became a licensed winery from a small vineyard. In the lower level of the barn, the Tasting Room, now the Vyneskeller, opened with six estate-bottled wines.
In later years, the winery expanded its acreage and offerings. More vineyard blocks were started in 1994 with the purchase of 28 acres. In 1998, Vynecrest became a charter member of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail, boosting its regional wine status. A 1999 partnership with ArtsQuest in Bethlehem brought Vynecrest’s German Gluhwein Spiced Winter Red to Christkindlmarkt, a seasonal favorite.
As the Landis family invested in their passion, 2002 was crucial. Vynecrest became an LLC when Sam, the Landis’s youngest son, joined. The following year, they finished a modern winemaking facility, demonstrating their commitment to quality and innovation. The family bought 75 more acres in 2007 to increase their sustainability efforts. Grape vines were planted on a prime southern slope down to Schantz Road after this expansion.
The 2008 harvest brought Malachi Duffy, the fourth partner and lead winemaker, to Vynecrest. With their improved expertise, Vynecrest produces 22,000 gallons of wine annually, 85% of which comes from their Lehigh Valley AVA vineyard. The winery produces 9,000 cases a year, demonstrating its commitment to fine wine.
Exploring the Vineyards:
Vynecrest’s vineyards stand as a living testament to the winery’s dedication to crafting exceptional wines. The 22 acres of meticulously tended vines, a blend of classic European grapes such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, and locally adapted hybrids, create a diverse tapestry of flavors. The strategic positioning of the vineyards on a prime southern slope ensures optimal sun exposure, contributing to the unique terroir of Vynecrest wines.
As the oldest existing vineyard in Lehigh County, Vynecrest takes pride in its role as a guardian of winemaking tradition in the region. The vineyards, with their panoramic views and carefully selected grape varietals, embody the essence of Pennsylvania’s viticultural heritage. Visitors are invited to stroll through the vineyards, gaining insight into the meticulous cultivation practices that contribute to the winery’s success.
The Tasting Room, which has grown to accommodate more wine lovers, is Vynecrest’s heart. The Tasting Room moved upstairs from the barn’s lower level in 1998. This space’s transformation reflects Vynecrest’s rise from humble beginnings to Lehigh Valley wine powerhouse.
The Tasting Room, now known as the Vyneskeller, welcomes guests on a sensory journey through the winery’s diverse portfolio. Staff passionate about their craft lead visitors through over twenty wine tastings. Wines from the estate’s diverse grape varietals range from crisp whites to bold reds. The Vynecrest commitment to quality goes beyond wine.
The Tasting Room is designed to educate and taste. Guests learn about winemaking, each wine’s characteristics, and Lehigh Valley terroir. Visitors stay longer in the warm, welcoming atmosphere, building community among wine lovers.
A living museum of over thirty years of winemaking, the Vyneskeller is more than a tasting room. This unique, rustic-modern venue captures Vynecrest’s journey. The walls tell the story of each vintage, creating an immersive experience for wine drinkers.
Jazz, History, and Outdoor Delights:
Beyond the Tasting Room, Vynecrest offers many experiences that make the visit a celebration of wine, history, and nature. Local musicians play live music every Saturday and Sunday at the winery, enhancing the tasting experience. The unique baby grand player piano adds to the atmosphere and makes it easy to relax. Vynecrest’s last Sunday jazz performances are a highlight for jazz fans. Smooth jazz, vineyards, and great wines create a sophisticated and relaxing atmosphere.
The seasonally open covered patio offers tranquility and vineyard views. It’s the perfect place to sip wine and admire the scenery. The outdoor spaces at Vynecrest allow visitors to enjoy wine and nature on a sunny afternoon or a crisp fall day.
The preservation of family legacy is unique to Vynecrest. Tom’s Vyneskeller, named after John’s brother and Sam’s uncle Tom Landis, honors a longtime winery supporter. Tom was crucial to representing Vynecrest at festivals and awards ceremonies. The 2005-renovated cellar room reminds Vynecrest of its familial roots.
Embark on a sensory journey at Vynecrest Vineyard and Winery, where a diverse array of offerings awaits wine enthusiasts and casual visitors alike. Dive into their specials, featuring the crisp Traminette, refreshing Sangria, and delightful Wine Slushies – a perfect frozen treat. Indulge in the Cherry Divyne and Chocolate gift bags for a harmonious pairing of cherry-infused delights and decadent chocolates, or take the frozen joy home with Slushie Kits. The Porto Vino Canvas Tote and To-Go Wine Glasses offer stylish and convenient ways to carry your favorite bottles.
Explore an extensive selection of white wines, including the classic Pinot Grigio, elegant Dry Riesling, and the local excellence of Traminette. The Vynecrest White and the rebranded Niagara Old Glory (formerly Vignoles) capture the essence of the vineyard in versatile white blends. Red wine enthusiasts can savor the unique Lemberger, classic Chambourcin, the well-crafted Dry Rose, and the harmonious First Blush.
For those seeking something special, the Cherry Divyne and Blueberry specialty wines provide a rich and flavorful experience. Complement your wine tasting with a curated selection of food, including Dietz and Watson Original Havarti Dill Cheese, Jake and Amos Salsa Mango, Dietz and Watson Legacy Sliced Genoa Salami, Bologna, Vyncrest Wine Slush Mix, Pretzel Munch, and Popcorn.
And don’t forget to express your love for wine with Vynecrest-branded clothing, featuring the “Recycle Grapes, Drink Wine” hat/visor and cozy sweatshirts. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a casual explorer, Vynecrest offers a comprehensive experience, blending exceptional wines with delightful accompaniments in a picturesque setting.
Plan Your Visit:
For those eager to embark on a Vynecrest experience, planning a visit is a straightforward endeavor. The winery, located at 172 Arrowhead Lane, Breinigsville, PA 18031, welcomes visitors seven days a week from 11 am to 5 pm. The strategic location of Vynecrest within the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail makes it an accessible and ideal destination for a day trip or as part of a broader exploration of Pennsylvania’s wine country.
To ensure a seamless visit, the winery provides contact information for inquiries or reservations. Guests can reach out via phone at 610-398-7525 or connect through email at [email protected]. Additionally, fax inquiries can be sent to 610-398-7530.
- Jan 1 – Jan 5: Closed
- Open 7 days a week, 11 am – 5 pm
- No outside food or alcohol permitted.
- The winery does not host private events, including bridal parties and weddings.
- No substitutes or outside food permitted at the winery.
Vynecrest Vineyard and Winery emerge not merely as a winemaking establishment but as a testament to the enduring spirit of a family deeply rooted in their craft. The journey from planting the first 50 vines in 1974 to becoming a leading winery in the Lehigh Valley encapsulates a commitment to tradition, innovation, and the creation of a space where the love for wine converges with the beauty of the vineyards.
Vynecrest beckons travelers to immerse themselves in a world where history, nature, and exceptional wines harmoniously come together. As you plan your visit, anticipate an enriching experience that goes beyond the pour, capturing the essence of Pennsylvania’s premier wine destination. Uncover the charm, savor the flavors, and let Vynecrest Vineyard and Winery become a cherished chapter in your wine travel adventures.