May Your Holiday Wishes Be Filled With Good Wine and Cheer!

Happy holidays and best wishes from the Law Offices of Judy M. Young, LLC. Its hard to believe its been almost eightchristmas-holiday-wallpaper years since the launch of Pennsylvania Winery and Hospitality Lawyer. Its been a real joy and a blessing to serve the needs of the Pennsylvania wine and hospitality community. As 2015 approaches, we look forward to serving your future legal needs. We hope your new year is filled with good health, happiness, and cheer.

This Is How We Get Our Wine Toast On In Pennsylvania!

If you’re the life of the party and the great “toaster”, you may be interested in joining white-wine-toastPennsylvania Wine Association’s toast competition. If you can write a toast of a 100 words or less, this is a party you surely will not want to miss.

Sixty-two wineries state wide are participating in the Great Pennsylvania Wine Toast. Pennsylvanian’s are setting out to achieve a Guinness World Record for the largest number of people raising a toast on August 14 at various wineries simultaneously. Do get your pen, paper and wine out and join The Great Pennsylvania Wine Toast celebration.

For more information on the competition and how to apply read here: Pennsylvania Wine Association

What Flags For Safety Does Your Wine Trail Association Wave?

A couple of months ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Liz Stamp, cmsimg_1218058036bustourowner of Lakewood Vineyards, located in the Finger Lake Region of New York. Liz shared how the wineries in her area had joined together to safely handle guests participating in bus and limousine wine tours. Their goal was to minimize inebriation and inappropriate conduct amongst the tour groups. The Association’s wineries established a Safe Group Wine Tours Program wherein sponsors of the local bus and limousine wine tours are handed a Yellow Card (warning) or Red Card (access denied for the day ) if the winery believes the tour group leader is transporting unruly guests that may have had too much to drink. A Code of Conduct for Group Wine Tasting was created, identifying behaviors that would cause winery staff to raise a flag and refuse service to individuals or groups. These identified behaviors include drunkenness, damage to winery property, theft, rude language, exposure, threatening or aggressive behavior.

The wineries distribute the cards to the tour sponsor and document by way of an incident report, detailed information on the group’s behavior. The winery owner then calls ahead to the next winery on the trail to notify the tasting room staff that the flagged group may be headed their way. This allows the next winery owner on the trail the opportunity to decide whether or not to serve the group.

The Wine Trail Association has found the program to be well received by the local tour group leaders, Too, they have discovered that the practice has been found to be effective in curtailing poor behavior.

With numerous weddings, bachelorette parties and other local events planned throughout the year, this program has been found to be a useful tool in encouraging safe and responsible alcohol consumption.

If your winery participates in a wine trail association, perhaps your association may also want to consider safe measures to protect its establishments and minimize liability as your guests proceed down the wine trail. For more information, on the Wine Trails of the Finger Lakes Region, visit

Bringing In The New Year With The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail Association

This week I had the pleasure of being invited by Dominic Strohlein, owner of Big Creek Winery to be the guest speaker to the membership of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley Wine lehigh valley wine trailTrail Association. It was a wonderful time starting the new year in their company as they hosted their first of many membership meetings held annually throughout the year.

We used our time together having a very healthy exchange discussing Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law. We discussed issues of premise liability and its impact on winery and vineyard owners. In Pennsylvania, the laws that govern servers of alcohol, if violated can result in very costly lawsuits. Thus, the manner in which each winery owner can best protect themselves in various environments including the tasting room, wine festivals, wine events, tour group events and commercial carriers can be very complex waters to navigate. Too, we considered how managing potential risks and hazards can be minimized with proper training and knowledge in order to avoid unlawful acts of alcohol service to “minors” or “any person visibly intoxicated”.

The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail Association is home to nine family owned vineyards and wineries located in eastern Pennsylvania. Designated an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2008, Lehigh Valley is Pennsylvania’s fasting growing wine region in the state.

The Lehigh Valley Winemakers include:

Amore Vineyards & Winery
Franklin Hills Vineyard
Sorrenti’s Cherry Valley Vineyards
Big Creek Vineyard and Winery
Galen Glen Vineyard and Winery
Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars, Ltd.
Pinnacle Ridge
Clover Hills Vineyards & Winery
Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery

I found the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail Association membership to be very proactive in their efforts to keep abreast of new trends and changes in the law so as to conduct their winery and vineyard operations as responsible licensees in their community.

Pennsylvania is home to 11 wine trails throughout the state. This year, as your wine trail association gathers to meet and exchange ideas, you too may want to start your year anew considering how best to protect your winery operations as responsible licensees in your community.

As you usher in your new year and embark upon your Pennsylvania wine country travels, perhaps you’ll head out to eastern Pennsylvania and check out the wineries on the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail. I’m certain you’ll have a wonderful wine experience.

Thank you again Lehigh Valley Wine Trail Association for the opportunity to meet and speak with you.

Happy New Year to you all!

Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Wine Trail: A Winery Lover’s Labor Day!

Labor Day weekend’s road trip found us on Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Wine Trail.  There are several wineries on the Brandywine Wine Trail.  Headed down the trail in the rolling hills of Chester County we had a truly special time at the “Summer Under the Stars Jazz Festival” at Chaddsford Winery.  We arrived just in time to catch the lively sounds of The Budesa Brothers jazz band. You could readily sense the warm camarderie of the Chaddsford Winery patrons as they happily tapped their feet, mingled about and experienced the wonderful tastings with catered cheeses, salads and meats.   Despite the fact that proprietors Eric and Lee Miller were on vacation, the event was left in capable hands with Winery Manager Gregory Kuhn at the helm.  An amicable guy, Gregory moved about with hospitality and winery staff in tow, all of whom under his leadership were moving about tending to the needs of the winery patrons.

The very charming tasting room was spacious, elegant and impressively filled with Chaddsford Winery’s award winning wines.  We were warmly greeted by alum Nicole Matregano (a graduate ofIMG_0103 Temple University’s Hospitality School) and festival worker Mary Croak. Nicole and Mary guided us to our wine selection, the Chaddsford’s 2008 Proprietors Reserve.  A very nice blend of Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc and Vignoles, the Proprietors Reserve paired wonderfully with our three cheese plate of pepper jack, white cheddar and blue cheese. A straw colored zesty citrus wine with hints of lemon, the Proprietors Reserve nicely complimented our cheese plate and thinly sliced roast beef.

Founded in 1982, and housed in a 17th Century Colonial Barn, the Chaddsford Winery sits in the midst of a very beautiful country setting full of distinct charm.   It is the oldest and largest of the wineries on the Brandywine Wine Trail.  On the 30 acre estate vineyard, Winemaker Eric Miller has produced award winning wines.  We took note of the fact that the winery is winner of eight gold medals and three silver medals in the 2009 PWA Pennsylvania Wine Competition.   Chaddsford Winery holds multiple awards in international wine competitions as well.

Winery lovers may find it a real treat this harvest season to experience the good food, good wine and good company should you make a stop at Chaddsford Winery on the Brandywine Wine Trail.

Who Said It Was Fun Uncorking Pennsylvania’s Wine Trails?

Was that you who asked was it fun to uncork a Pennsylvania Wine Trail?  The answer is “You Betcha!”  Pennsylvania is home to 11 wine trails.  Wine Trails typically include several wineries and vineyards located in close geographic proximity to each other.   The Bucks County Wine Trail includes eight wineries.  For our family weekend road trip we decided to “uncork” the Bucks County Wine Trail.   In our travels, we discovered New Hope Winery!

New Hope Winery located at 6123 Lower York Road (Rt. 202) in New Hope, PA.    Upon our arrival, we  were met by the warm smiles of husband and wife  owners Sandra Price and Jerry Sauls. If you’re looking for good mood, good company, and good wine, this is the place to be.

New Hope Winery’s setting is a 17th century barn that is home to a gift shop filled with exquisiteIMG_0091 gifts that any worthy shopaholic would find hard to exit. Gourmet baskets and hard to find wine related items set the mood. A digital photo frame on the tasting bar reveals the upstairs loft area with sequential photos of a wonderfully decorated event room tucked away and reserved for private wine tastings with candlelight flickers in a rustic setting. The winery also digitally advertises its 175 person ballroom for those special celebratory and corporate events.

Complimentary tastings at New Hope Winery are hosted by tasting room staff person, Glenn Barnard. Let me tell you, looks can be very deceiving. While Glenn appears at first glance to be a young novice, don’t let the Justin Timberlake look alike fool you.  It was clear right away that Glenn possessed both credibility and wisdom as his knowledge of New Hope Wineries’ wines was nothing short of “on point.” I stated to Glenn that I preferred my red’s full bodied and dry. Right away, Glenn steered me to the Proprieter’s Red. It was a deep, dry, oak aged red with a smooth silky finish. Not a madly “in your face” wine, but just the exact presence to let you know the wine would never be tagged as “whimpy”. I was thinking to myself that the Properieter’s Red and a nice rib-eye steak would be a very nice pairing.

For the white selection, Glenn recommended New Hope Winery’s Pinot Gris, a light dry white wine produced from the vinifera grape Pinot Gris. We found it to be crisp, clean and refreshing. It was a perfect choice for a mildly hot and sunny day. Both wines were excellent selections.  When I looked over my shoulder, Glenn’s colleague Denny was well into a serious discussion with my family conversing on the pro’s and con’s of screwtops versus corks.

In addition to the wonderful selection of wines housed away in convenient bins, you’re free to roam about and experience wholesome camaraderie with Sandra and Jerry. Sandra and Jerry made the trip all so worthwhile. What a treat it was to meet this delightful couple. My heart was warmed watching them bring a smile to our faces and sharing their gift of great Pennsylvania Wines.

The next time your family and friends are looking to experience a fun-filled Saturday afternoon adventure, you may want to uncork Pennsylvania’s Bucks County Wine Trail. There you’ll find  New Hope Winery on the trail.  Have some fun indeed!

Pennsylvania’s Bucks County Wine Trail: You Heard It Through The Grapevine!

IMG_0081Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth is host to over 100 hundred wineries, eight of which are on the Bucks County Wine Trail. This past weekend, my family members and I hit the road visiting Buckingham Valley Vineyards. It was a fun and delightful adventure for a laid back saturday afternoon.  Let me tell you…there are some things in life that should not be kept a secret.  This is one of them.

Buckingham Valley Vineyards.

Located at 1521 Route 413 in Buckingham, Pa, the winery counts itself among the largest of Pennsylvania’s 100 wineries.  What a warm reception we received upon arrival.  While pausing to take a photo in front of the winery entrance, owner Jerry Forest rode out on his tractor to see if we were damsels in distress in need of assistance.  I kindly introduced myself to Jerry and we exchanged pleasant niceties.

As we stood out in the vineyard, it was hard not to look in Jerry’s eyes and not see his passion and love for the vines.  While I was admiring the winery’s outdoor sculpture exhibit Jerry proceeded to tell me a little about his history.  Believe it or not, Jerry built the winery from a pipe dream in a dorm room back in the 50‘s.  I learned Jerry is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.  It doesn’t take long to see that Jerry indeed knows his business.   As we moved towards the tasting room, Jerry and I chatted about his forthcoming plans for this week’s harvest.  Jerry cautioned me that “things were going to get pretty noisy fast” around those parts as the loud machinery would soon be rolled in the upcoming week.

At the tasting room, we were warmly greeted by Buckingham Valley Vineyard’s tasting guides Mary Louise Zilli and Courtney Forsberg.  With warm smiles and welcoming hearts, Mary Louse and Courtney introduced us to the wide range of Buckingham’s varietals for consideration as a part of our tasting experience.   Upon inquiry about our possible selections, it was clear both these ladies were at the top their game.  They made us feel right at home while guiding us through our choices. The tasting room was a very comfortable space, both open and inviting.  It was filled with neat gift items including hats, t-shirts, and Buckingham Valley Vineyard memorabilia.  We found it very relaxing as we browsed through the items while enjoying our tasting experience on a lazy laid back Saturday afternoon.

We chose three wines to taste during the visit.  Our white wine selections included a  premium dry Pinot Gris, and a slightly sweet aromatic Riesling.  We also selected the oak aged dry Chambourcin, a full bodied red. You can taste Jerry’s 30 years of experience in the wines as we found them to be smooth, lively and very well balanced.  Others may have known that too, as the tasting room rapidly filled up with a bachelorette party of 15 women donning matching t-shirts (I will censor myself on what those shirts read) on behalf of a bride to be.   Kindly we extended our thanks, said our goodbye’s, and left Buckingham Valley Vineyards in the hands of the bride to be and other guests   As we look back on the day, we’re left with fond memories of Buckingham Valley Vineyards, a family centric business with Jerry and Kathy Forest at the helm, along with sons Joe, Kevin and Chris.

The next time your family and friends are looking to experience a fun-filled Saturday afternoon adventure,…take them to Buckingham Valley Vineyards on the Bucks County Pennsylvania Wine Trail. When your friends and family ask you where you discovered this wonderful winery, tell them…You heard it through the grapevine!