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The Vineyard at Hershey
Kathy Sullivan

Vineyard at HersheySummary: Enjoy a visit to The Vineyard at Hershey where visitors can taste wines in an old farmhouse built more than 100 years ago. A new winery and event facility is under construction nearby. However, plans are being made to continue to use the onsite historic house.

The Vineyard at Hershey is located in the bucolic countryside of Hershey, Pennsylvania. Jason Riemer, Esquire is the passionate President of The Vineyard at Hershey. Jason believes that education should be part of the experience at wineries. His other partners are Doug Gellatly and Michael Wilson. Paul Vezzetti is the winemaker.

At the winery we met Paul who also enjoys construction work, besides his full time employment as a video broadcasting. Paul spends much time at the winery producing palate pleasing wines as well as helping with the construction off the new winery and tasting room.


A focus of the winery is the vineyards. Currently one acre of vines are planted near the near the new winery facility. The test vineyard includes Chardonnay, Riesling, Traminnette, a Muscat hybrid, Cabernet Franc and GR-7 a Cornell Hybrid. Although there are variations from spot to spot within the vineyard, the different grape varieties are doing about the same. Currently grapes are also sourced from Pennsylvania with some from surrounding areas and others from North East, Pennsylvania. Vineyard acreage will increase as the owners and Paul discover the best varieties to grow in this location

Paul came into the wine industry after growing up around wine. His father and grandfather both made wine. In college he learned about wine as well as being self educated about winemaking. He believes that one "should be able to taste the grape."

Vineyard at HersheyThe winery opened in a temporary building in February 2012, in a farm house that is more than one hundred years old. In addition to the tasting room with a tasting counter, several rooms are available for intimate wine setting wine tastings.

In the autumn of 2012, a new facility is being built. The outside shell of the large winery should be completed by November 2012 and the completion of the interior for harvest 2013. The new winery facility will include a tasting room, winery, event room, deck and patio. The deck, already completed, overlooks the test vineyard.


Vineyard at HersheyWine Tastings at The Vineyard at Hershey

While visitors are welcome to the winery during the opening hours, wine enthusiasts will find that the winery offers a VIP Experience available by registering in advance. This special tasting gives participants a look at the winemaking process while enjoying tasting the wines created by Paul. Participants will have a tour of the vineyard or winery and have a sample of all the current wine releases. Pairings of artisan cheeses and crackers are included. With the exception of Saturdays and Sundays, during the holiday season, the VIP Experience is available throughout the year. The VIP tasting Experience takes place in one of the farm house rooms.

The Holiday Experience includes a tour of the winery, as well as a chocolate and cheese wine pairing. Mulled wine will be available. Anyone planning to attend should pre-register in advance.

Red Wines

Firefly was a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. With a ruby color the aroma was of black fruit. The taste offered black fruit notes with a hint of oak in the form of licorice. Pairing suggestions included red meats. Merlot had a dark ruby color with an aroma and taste of black berries and black cherries. There was an oak influence that included caramel and tannins were noticeable on the finish. Twisted Kiss was a blend of Vidal and Chambourcin. The wine tends to start sweet and dries towards the finish. The taste had hints of peach and cherry.

Vineyard at HersheyWhite Wines

The Unoaked Chardonnay was a light straw color. The wine offered notes of apple and citrus. The finish had a hint of citrus. The Oaked Chardonnay, a light yellow color, offered an aroma of apple and caramel. The taste had an aroma of apple and caramel with a hint of citrus. The crisp fruity finish yielded to buttered caramel.

Vineyard at HersheyThe Blackberry Portrait, a dessert wine, was 16.7 percent alcohol. The wine was delicious with blackberry fruit throughout and no alcohol burn.

Whether you live in the southern Susquehanna River region or revisiting the area you will want discover the wines at The Vineyard at Hershey.

The Vineyard at Hershey
598 Schoolhouse Rd
Middletown, Pennsylvania 17057

GPS: N40º 11.757’ W76º 40.530’

Article written October 2012





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