Don’t miss this opportunity to sample award-winning Illinois wines while enjoying live entertainment and delicious local fare.
Free & Open to the Public. Wine Tasting is $15 per day for a souvenir wine glass, a wristband and 5 tasting tickets. An Advanced Two-Day Pass may be purchased for $25 which includes 1 souvenir wine glass and 20 tasting tickets (10 per day).Advanced Two-Day Passes are non-refundable. Additional tasting tickets are $1 each. Must be 21 with proper identification to taste wines.
The vines are bursting with life and energy once again. The fresh green shoots are popping out showing off the tiny leaves and fruit that will soon form.
Each year in early spring, vines go through a process that leads up to this excited occasion. As warm weather inches its way towards spring, the newly pruned vines start to “bleed”. Water is being soaked up by the roots and starts running through the vines’ veins once again. Right where we have made a cut in the vine to control its fruit load, this semi-sweet water drips out. As temperatures rise more during these April days, the buds on the vines start to swell. Then the break; BUD BREAK!
We have had bud break in past years as early as the second week in April.
That is exciting to see the early growth but warrants worry for late spring frost. In Massbach, 2017’s vintage has escaped any spring frost (knock on wood).
Come out and see the new growth for yourself!
And, Celebrate Each Day!
Happy Spring to everyone!!! Pruning is done and the weather is warm so we are smiles:)
FYI: We will be closed Easter Sunday so that we may enjoy the holiday with our families.
Elizabeth White will have a new label displayed soon. The art contest produced a figure that makes you appreciate and contemplate the past and appreciate our current blessings. The wine is the new 2016 vintage and a little lighter than the previous year. It’s refreshingly sweet and fruity.
Seyval: the new 2016 vintage has been bottled and is on the shelf. I’m very happy with this wine. I recommend it with the white meats you will be putting on the grill or just to sip on the porch to celebrate the day.
Hope to see you soon,
Join us Saturday, April 8th at 1pm to plant tasty herbs while sipping wine. Project images and cost to be added soon!
Pruning= cutting 90% of a grapevine’s growth from last year to develop a balance between quantity and quality.
It’s SPRING! We are outside full-time during the month of March sculpting this year’s vintage of fruit.
Watch –Peggy Pruning a Frontenac plant
If the vines are left on their own, each vine will look more like a bush with all of last year’s buds growing another shoot. As a farmer, this sounds okay. More growth=more yield. BUT, the quality of fruit would be terrible.
Here are a few of the issues if the vine was left unpruned –
- Smaller bunches
- Too much vegitation keeps the fruit from getting sunlight
- Too much vegitation keeps moisture from dew and rain lingering too long promoting fungal growth… yuck
- The many, many small bunchs will not ripen before the leaves fall
TAKE HOME – No Pruning=Exponential Mess=Poor Wine Quality
Because of our committment to high quality wine, we take great care to created a quality/quantity balance on each vine. Yes, each vine. More fruiting buds will be left on a vigorous plant than one that show less growht fromthe previous years.
Well, enough yacking. I’m going outside!!
Take care friends and come out soon to see the manicured vineyard.
Massbach Ridge Winery and Apple River Fort Foundation are proud to announce a contest to design a new label for Elizabeth, a white table wine. Award winning Massbach Ridge Winery originally released the Elizabeth wine in 2008 to commemorate the courage of the women who helped repel Black Hawk and his band during an attack on Apple River Fort in 1832. According to local legend, three Elizabeths were among the settlers, and one of them organized the women to mold bullets and reload weapons, actions essential to victory.
Elizabeth wine, with its new label, will be unveiled at Apple River Fort at a special event last spring. The artist will retain ownership of the original artwork, and receive a $100 honorarium and, if 21 years of age, three bottles of Elizabeth wine. Massbach Ridge Winery and Apple River Fort Foundation will have the right to use the artwork to produce wine labels and wine label posters, and to promote events.
When designing the image for the label, the following should be taken into consideration:
1. The image should not include any information about the wine. The winery’s graphic designer
will use the image to create the final label and add any necessary written information.
2. The image should have strong appeal to the wine shopper.
3. The wine is a soft, fruity wine made from Niagra grapes.
4. The image should evoke the era of the 1830’s in the Tri-State region. For pictures of clothing
and activities authentic to the period Visit the fort’s website http://appleriverfort.org.
5. The image should celebrate the strength and courage of pioneer women in the Tri-State region
in general, and in particular, the women who helped defend the fort against Black Hawk.
6. The image should not include Black Hawk, as he is honored with his portrait on the label of
Massbach Ridge Winery’s Black Hawk Red.
7. The image will be reduced to label-size – approximately 4 inches high and 3 inches wide.
There is no fee to enter, and the contest is open to all artists, 18 years or older, living or attending school in Jo Daviess, Stephenson or Carroll County, Illinois; Grant County, Wisconsin; or Dubuque County, Iowa. There is no limit to the number of submissions. Full color paintings, in any medium, and full color photographs will be accepted until March 31, 2017. All work will be juried from the actual art. The work must be delivered to and picked up from Apple River Fort. The front of the picture cannot have visible identification. The picture must have the name, address, and phone number of the applicant on the back. The picture must be accompanied by an application, which can be filled out when the picture is dropped off. The painting or photograph cannot have been used to promote any other product, and cannot be used in the future to promote any other product.
For more information, or for an application, please contact Kathleen Morgan at Kathleen@ewtravel.com or call Apple River Fort at (815)858-0228
Applications also available at Massbach Ridge Winery.
“Every Day is a Celebration!” In honor of Valentine’s Day, take time to enjoy a bottle of Massbach wine with your special someone… once or maybe twice.
In researching a quote about sharing wine with spouses/lovers, I found this from Australian poet/journalist, Ann Fairbairn. “There must be always wine and fellowship or we are truly lost.”
Although this quote may not be as provocative as what I was looking for, it simplifies the need to take the time with one another to talk, to share and to just be together. This is where wine comes in once again.
I last wrote about pairing food and wine. That magic pales in comparison to the magical pairing of a bottle of wine with your special love. So grab your special someone and celebrate Valentine Day at Massbach Ridge Winery or open a bottle at home.
Please let us know what Massbach wine you have chosen. Or better yet, tell us what Massbach wine “pairs” best with your special someone. Let’s have some fun with this!
Mine is a little fruity and sweet.
Enjoy a fun filled evening tasting a variety of specialty wines provided by Royal Liquor distributors. The Cheese Market will be featuring their gourmet cheeses, and Lessman Catering is showcasing their delicious and distinctive chocolate creations. New this year is a Wine-Pull. Just in time for valentine’s day, our silent auction is full of unique and creative gifts for your sweetie.
The first 100 guests will receive a complimentary wine glass at the event.
Traumen with meat loaf turns a common meal into a WOW.
Do you find yourself spend more time playing in the kitchen during the winter months? Trying new recipes? Putting a little more flare in your day to day meals? With being cooped up in the house more that I would like, I sure find myself having a little more fun preparing the evening’s menu.
Wine, of course, enters into play here. There are times I pick a recipe I want to try (or just grab something from the freezer) and then look to the “cellar” for a wine to match. Others times when I have time to prepare a special supper, #1 the wine is chosen, #2 then the dish.
So how to select a wine for dinner? Or in my case, select a dinner for a wine?
There is the long-standing rule of thumb that says “Red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat.”
From that educational foundation, you can build some structure with trial and error; drinking the wine you like with the food you like. Please take note of a few considerations. First – spice. For instance, garlic, (a staple in our kitchen) will pair better with our Seyval Blanc than our fruity St. Pepin. A light wine like our Blushing Pink will get lost with a hot spicy dish where Marechal Foch will enhance the flavor.
Secondly, the “weight” of the food should be consistent between the wine and food. Example: A hearty stew will taste better with deep reds like Massbach Reserve or Traumen as opposed to Massbach Stomp.
This being said, remember this subjective. Some of our customers love Massbach Stomp (a Concord wine) with spaghetti while others wouldn’t consider opening anything else than Massbach Reserve (our barrel-aged Frontenac).
In making a good pairing, you create a Gestalt effect. The combination of the wine/food is greater than (>) the two on their own. That’s the beauty!!!
Again, I encourage you to drink the wine you love with the food you love with the people you love. You can’t go wrong!
Have fun with this and please post your discoveries and let us know.
A glass to the old and A glass to the new!
We will be open at both tasting rooms New Year’s Day from 11 to 5pm. Please drink responsibly.