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October | Rittenhouse + Wash West

October 07, 2018 12:00 PM until October 07, 2018 11:59 PM

This October, join us in celebrating PA Wine Month! Each Sunday, we'll pour a different PA wine for Sunday School at both Cafes, giving you a chance to learn about our top-notch local wineries at a friendly price. Featured wines will include...

Grüner Veltliner, “Stone Cellar,” Galen Glen, ’16
Andreas, PA

A few years back, a private tasting with local gem Galen Glen left our Wine Director, Michael “The Curator” McCaulley, swooning. Today, we’re excited to share the reason: their stunning Grüner Veltliner, a distinctive take on Austria’s star white. The family-run winery is planted on a centuries-old PA farm, tucked cozily into a U-shaped glacial carving in the hills between Allentown and Scranton. With grapes grown by her husband, Galen, winemaker Sarah Rhodes-Troxell forged a second career not entirely dissimilar from her first: a former chemist who packaged liquid drugs, she now deals in a different sort of liquid remedy, with resounding success. She was named “Best Woman Winemaker” by the 2014 International Women’s Wine Competition, and Galen Glen was named “Best Winery, PA” at the 2015 New York International. This wine single-handedly explains why. At once crisp and lush, it’s an evocative Grüner that marries passion fruit and white pepper for a compulsively drinkable treat that we think will have you swooning right along with The Curator. 

Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot “Meritage,” Karamoor Estate, ’14
Fort Washington, PA

No one was more excited than Michael “The Curator” McCaulley when we found this rich blend right in our own backyard. (“Meritage” refers to blended reds that emulate the greats of Bordeaux, where aging typically takes place in a small barrique and Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are among the more common grapes.) Karamoor Estate owners Nick and Athena Karabots are first-generation Greeks who purchased their farm in the early 1970s. Devoted to the property’s fertile history but inspired by a love of fine wine, in 2003, they replanted the estate with 27 acres of high-density vinifera vines. Working with their winemaker, Kevin Robinson, they developed a cult following for their supple, dynamic offerings: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan called their wines “impressively drinkable,” and today’s Meritage has more hardware than your corner store, including silver medals from both the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco International Wine Competitions, plus a gold from the PA Farm Show Wine Competition for good measure. Guess those judges liked the rich dark fruit and silky palate of this beautifully balanced bottle as much as The Curator does.

Viognier “Reserve,” Penns Woods Winery, ’16
Chadds Ford, PA

Not far from the sprawling gardens and abundant conservatory of Longwood Gardens is Penns Woods Winery, an ecological marvel in its own right. Winemaker Gino Razzi is a 40-year veteran of the wine business, and today, he works with his daughter, Carley Mack, to produce extraordinary Old World-style wines from PA-grown grapes. Born in Abruzzo, Italy, Gino served in the U.S. Marine Corps after emigrating to Delaware County, then attended college in California. Back home in PA, he found success as an importer, and in 1995, he began vinting his own wines. At first, he relied on grapes from elsewhere, but since 2002, he has worked with PA-grown fruit, purchasing the estate that he would rename Penns Woods in 2004, at which time the vines were already 25 years old. This Viognier is an exotic example of the famed French grape, 100% estate grown just 30 miles from Philly. With notes of tropical fruit, melon and white flowers, it’s a spritely bouquet that will have you wondering whether it's October or April.