When I introduced myself to Linda Rice of Mountain View Vineyard in Neola, I looked forward to tasting what this little Pennsylvania winery had to offer—even though my “Inner Wine Geek” cautioned me not to expect anything to compete with the bottles in my home wine rack. I soon became swept up by the passion Linda and her husband Randy have for their family vineyard and winery. And the lessons of the Judgment of Paris surfaced in my mind.
In 1976, a historical tasting in Paris revolutionized the wine world as we now know it. George Tabor, working for Time magazine, was the lone reporter to cover the event, a blind tasting in which little-regarded California wines shattered connoisseur conceptions by beating out the premier wines of France. Mountain View Vineyard is the new David, working tirelessly on its local scale to carve out Pennsylvania’s place in the Goliath of the wine industry.
My plan was to introduce Bliss, a Vidal Blanc, to my wine-tasting students during my weekly Wine Chick-Chat TM. I teach them to appreciate the unique aroma and taste of the terroir (soil and climate) producing that wine. Every bottled wine has a story behind the label, and Mountain View’s quirky labels reflect Linda and Randy’s quest to create a winery with “deep local history.” That history is part of Pennsylvania.
Wine production in the Northeast dates back to the 1600s. Settlers grew grapes indigenous to the region. However, the initial harvests were unpalatable. So, they imported vines from France. Unfortunately, these vines were also unsuitable for the local terroir. In 1693, William Penn started planting French hybrids, and so the story continues—right up to Neola Road.
After nearly a decade of work, Randy now nurtures over 1,700 sustainable grape vines on four acres. He continually strives to keep the stewardship of the land. He tends the vineyard by hand, uses no pesticides,
and handpicks the grapes. The couple uses a combination of solar and geothermal energy to conduct the fermentation process.
In addition to seven other varieties, the wine list includes choices from Bliss, a dry white, to Mountain Goat Red, a sweet wine of Concord grapes. Linda pairs each wine perfectly with local cheeses, roasted red pepper humus, and (my favorite) an organic dark chocolate. The shop also provides a wide range of wine-themed goodies as well as the foods used in the pairings.
Support your local winery and become a part of history.
Mountain View Vineyard is located at 1220 Neola Road in Stroudsburg, PA. For more information, call 570.619.0053 or visit their website www.mountainviewvineyard.com
Written by Leslie the Wine Chick
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