Letting Go Can Be Bittersweet

As a graduate of Windows Wine School it was a privilege to have taken instruction under the world’s premier wine educator Kevin Zraly. And now that Windows Wine School is coming to a close its bittersweet to share Dorothy Gaiter’s article with you: Kevin Zraly Says He Has To ‘Let Go’ Of Windows   All good things must come to a close in 2016 but the good news is, when one door closes another opens. We look for more goodness from the Master in the years to come.


Does Alternative Lending For Your Pennsylvania Wine Or Hospitalty Business Sound Enticing?

We can all probably agree that building your new winery or hospitality business takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and boatload of money. Whereas the baby boomer generation typically relied on traditional forms of financing such as bank loans, savings accounts, small business administration loans and daddy, today’s millennial entrepreneurs are turning to non-traditional forms of financing and lending sources. seed$images

Millennial hospitality and wine business entrepreneurs who have struggled to find access to capital are relying now on more organic ways to fund their wine and hospitality businesses. One such way is by pursuing alternative crowd-funding financing. Crowd-funding, also known as peer-to peer lending, is a popular and growing alternative method of raising money.

Unlike an angel investment in which one person typically takes a larger stake in a small business, crowd-funding attracts a crowd of people, each of who take a small stake in a business by contributing towards an online funding target. Its main benefit is the creation of a strong network of support for your business. Your investors often become your evangelists for your brand.

On such crowd funding source is Kickstarter ( Typically there is no cost to launch a crowd-funding campaign. If you business is successful in its funding, Kickstarter takes a small fee plus payment processing. If your campaign fails, there are no fees.

Crowd-funding can provide a fantastic opportunity but it should not be taken lightly. You may wish to contact your lawyer or CPA for professional assistance. For more help and information on this alternative financing source, you should also consult the Small Business Administration’s (www.SBA.GOV) online course on Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.

Now go out there and “show me the money.”

Pennsylvania Wine Bloggers: Who’s Got The Juice In 2014?

The public voting is complete for the 2014 Wine Blog Awards. The public has spoken and these lucky winners are the folks who’ve got the juice! A special shout out to Philly’s own Wine School of Pennsylvania. You do Pennsylvania proud.

Best Blog Post of the Year

Lauren Mowery’s Turkish Wines: Vinkara Winery Working to Preserve Indigenous Varieties with Delicious Results, from the blog, Chasing the Vine.

Best Original Photography or Video on a Wine Blog

Jordan Winery’s blog, The Journey of Jordan Winery, organized by Lisa Mattson.

Best Industry/Business Wine Blog:

Tom Wark’s Fermentation: The Daily Wine blog

Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog:

Wine School of Philadelphia

Best Single Subject Wine Blog:

Washington Wine Report

Best Winery Blog:

The Lynmar Life

Best Writing On a Wine Blog:

HoseMaster of Wine

Best New Wine Blog:

Girl and the Grape

Best Overall Wine Blog:

Jamie Goode’s Wine Blog

Are Pennsylvania Wine Buyers Discerning Worthless Wine?

U.S. wine drinkers are the biggest wine consumers in the world. Perhaps that’s good news for the American wine consumer. Because it didn’t take long for some very discerning wine drinkers to realize they were drinking counterfeit wine. In other words, fake wine bottles with fake wine labels were being shipped overseas for consumption, with the expectation it be sold at higher prices. Thanks to some discerning palettes, the worthless wine was readily identifiable. Are you drinking worthless wine? Watch below:

Naming The Grape And Other Emerging New Wine Grape Varieties

The public is being solicited to assist scientists at Cornell University come up with namesbaby grapes for two new wine grape varieties that will be released as a part of their 2013 breeding program. As part of contest and social media campaign, name submissions will be accepted until Aug. 6. For more information read here: The name game: Contests seeks names for two new grapes.

Calling All Pennsylvania Winemaker’s With No Dirt

Do you happen to be a Pennsylvania Winemaker with no vineyard? No UrbanWineryProblem. Perhaps your real calling is that you’re a city dwelling vintner. Besides, the grapes only care about where they are grown and not where they are crushed. With that in mind, have you considered that maybe there is an Urban Winery in your future? If so, your time is now. Advances in both technology and transport are on your side. Today, there is a growing recognition that you really don’t have to have the dirt to start your own Urban Winery. Instead, your grapes can be grown in a remote location with you transporting them to your urban facility for crushing, fermenting, and aging.

Typically when we think of wineries, most of us think of expansive vineyards overlooking large gardens with a view. The Urban Winery is a growing yet different phenomenon. As the winemaker you can locate your winemaking production facility in an urban setting within a city rather than the traditional rural setting typically in close proximity to the nearby vineyard.

The upside of course is that you can attract all of today’s millennial’s who enjoy that frequented city dwelling lifestyle. This concept has all kinds of possibilities. Conceptually you’d be bringing the consumer intimately closer to the winemaking experience in a much more meaningful way, far beyond the wine bar experience. Your Urban Winery can be “the” gathering spot for the neighborhood locals who drop in to sip and take a few bottles of Pennsylvania wine home.

Urban wineries are rapidly cropping up across America. You could now find them in New York, California, Ohio, Maryland and Washington State to name a few.

So, if you’re ready to grab hold of those urban dwellers and are ready to provide them with an authentic winery experience– perhaps there is a Urban Winery in your future. Go for it Pennsylvania Winemakers!

Is Your Pennsylvania Wine Ready To Take Flight?

Does your Pennsylvania wine have a distinct taste and flavor that will come through if sipped at 30,000 feet? Is so, the airline industry may be the place for your wine to take flight. It appears that U.S. airlines have taken note that passengers keep coming back to their airline based on the wine and champagne served in the cabin. As such, Sommeliers are now working with the airlines to choose which wines will be served. Perhaps your Pennsylvania is ready to take flight. For more on this subject take a look at the video below:

Does The Pinnacle Of Professional Achievement In The Wine World Excite You?

winetasterimagesDoes The Pinnacle Of Professional Achievement In The Wine World Excite You? Do you have a serious interest in wine? If so, perhaps you are Pennsylvania’s future Master of Wine! A Master of Wine is someone who has demonstrated through rigorous examination, a knowledge or all aspects of wine and ability to communicate their wine knowledge clearly in order to bring wine communities together.

It is said the “hardest test of knowledge” in the wine world is the Master of Wine Exam. Administered by the Institute of Masters of Wine (IWM) the program has fewer than 300 graduates in total. With essays and blind tastings, very few test takers pass both requirements on the first try.

But don’t let difficulty keep you away from gaining the wine world’s most prestigious credential. Graduates are known to be in the wine world’s most exclusive club. After all, it is the pinnacle of professional achievement in the wine world. Okay I’ll admit, I’ve thought about it myself a time or two. What about you?

For more about the Masters of Wine, read Mike Steinberger’s take on the matter at The Master of Wine Exam