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Cassel Vineyards of Hershey
by
Kathy Sullivan

Cassel Vineyards of HersheySummary: Cassel Vineyards of Hershey is a boutique family owned winery and vineyard owned by the Cassel family. This is a small production, boutique winery; when the production sells out they close down for the year. Wine enthusiasts planning to purchase wines for the holidays should visit the winery early. Rest assured they will be back with next year’s vintage.

The 5th generation Cassel family owns Cassel Vineyards of Hershey. Craig and Chris and their wives, Becky and Jody planted the vineyards and opened the winery. All four are public school teachers who spend any extra time after school and all day on weekends working in the vineyards and the winery. While the work is hard, it is evident they are pleased with their accomplishments including establishing a vineyard on family property and producing their own wines.

Cassel Vineyards of HersheyFarm and Vineyards

The 135-acre farm property has been in the Cassel family since 1903. Craig and Chris wanted to keep the family farm in the family. Starting a vineyard and opening a winery on a portion of the farm property was a logical way to go as Craig and Chris had made wine in the basement for 18 years. The two families noted that their children work in the vineyards. The Cassels are hopeful that in the future the family farm will stay in the family.

Today the vineyards consist of six acres that include Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Vidal, Concord and Chambourcin. The sustainably farmed vineyards are located behind the winery and tasting room. They source some grape juice from a nearby vineyard.

The Cassels like to note that their wines are "Fresh from the field to the bottle." Current production is 3,000 to 4,000 cases.

Cassel Vineyards of HersheyTasting Room

The tasting room opened June 2, 2012. The tasting room is located to the left of the winery separated by a wall. Two windows provide views of the winery. The tasting room is finished with pinewood on the walls, ceiling and tasting counter. The wonderful scent of freshly milled wood still permeates the tasting room.

Over the entrance door is a large ornamental wreath that was a gift to the family. The wreath is a combination of bittersweet branches with grapevines wrapped around it. The wreath is a lovely piece of art.

Cassel Vineyards of HersheyWines

Greg Etnoyer is a friend and winemaker at Cassel Vineyards. Chambourcin 2010 was a dark red with an aroma of dark fruit notes. The taste was of dark fruit with hints of oak. Finish Line Red 2011 was a blend of Marechal Foch, Chancellor, Cabernet Franc and Corot Noir. The color was a dark purple and the wine was slightly sweet with dark fruit notes reminding one of a fruit salad.

Blush was a semisweet wine produced from the Steuben grape variety. The color reminded one of a peach color. The taste was semisweet and the wine finish lingered with sweetness and fruit notes. Vidal Blanc 2011 Dry offered a light fruit aroma and taste. The finish was dry and the fruit nuances lingered. Cassel Vineyards also produces a Vidal Blanc 2011 Semi-Sweet wine.

Cassel Vineyards of HersheyWhen visiting the Hershey area of Pennsylvania be sure to stop by Cassel Vineyards of Hershey and expect a warm welcome. Look for the sculptured wreath above the door.

Cassel Vineyards of Hershey

80 Shetland Drive

Hummelstown, Pennsylvania 17036


GPS: N40º 18.875’ W76º 41.347’

Article written October 2012


 

          

 
 

 


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