Tag Archives: Eagle Crest Vineyards

WinterFest at PollyWogg Holler

3 Feb

In spite of the brutal cold, WinterFest at PollyWoggHoller was heart-warming.

Having fun at WinterFest

Having fun at WinterFest

This past Sunday, nearly 300 people made the trek to PollyWogg Holler, an Eco-Retreat located in Allegheny County, to enjoy music from Shaky Stage.  Good cheer was in the air as guests danced and enjoyed the afternoon.  Patrons wore multiple layers of clothing, many in full snow suits or down coats. Bonfires burned in a snow covered meadow as the band played from a diverse sound book.

There was much to enjoy at “The Holler” this weekend. One active guest, Jonah DeMarco stayed busy during his entire visit, brushing snow from benches, making piles of snow and sliding down hills.  The warmth of the main lodge beckoned cold guests.  It was an unforgettable luxury to sit in chairs made by Bill Castle, eating fresh wood-fired pizza and sipping Cabernet Franc from Eagle Crest Vineyards with friends.

The extreme temperatures and snowy roads may have amplified the joy of fellowship at this annual event.  It took careful planning and a positive attitude to enjoy this gathering. Like many others, I too, am already looking forward to next year’s WinterFest at PollyWogg Holler!

Proud father, Andy Penner, with sons, Jonah and Jimmy DeMarco.

Proud father, Andy Penner, with sons, Jonah and Jimmy DeMarco.

Eagle Crest Vineyards, A Destination to Discover

5 Jun

A recent trip to Eagle Crest Vineyards was a bounty for the senses.  My GPS made the journey more difficult than necessary, taking me on winding gravel roads, rather than the direct main route.  Oftentimes, the indirect route is much more interesting than “the right way.”  It certainly made my arrival at the winery even more exciting.

Lisa was my gracious hostess.  We concentrated on the important business at hand, otherwise, the day may easily have slipped away in the picturesque setting high above Hemlock Lake.

Questions are the mainstay of conversations in tasting rooms throughout the region.  Climate, topography, travel information, tasting notes and history are all details requested of vineyard staff.  We covered all of those familiar topics and moved deeper into hydrofracking politics and possibilities in the area around the vineyard especially.

Eagle Crest recently had their largest event yet, a “Wine and Wood Fired Pizza Letter-Writing Party,” culminating in 350 hand written letters being sent to NY State authorities.  Their aim? “…to send a voluminous and clear message to the State to PROTECT and PRESERVE the Hemlock-Canadice Lake Watershed.”

As Eagle Crest draws awareness to the need to preserve the pristine lakes beside them, they also pay homage to their history, as one of the oldest vineyards in the Finger Lakes.  Originally founded by a Bishop, the Oh-Neda label began 140 years ago! To celebrate this anniversary, Eagle Crest Vineyards has recently released a Premiere Reserve Cabernet Franc, with the Oh-Neda label.

It all comes together at Eagle Crest.  Not far from the tasting room, The Nature Conservancy’s bright yellow-orange signs announce a nature preserve.  Perched above Hemlock Lake, 2 of New York’s oldest pairs of bald eagles nest.

Not only is this vineyard and winery a special place, but the owners are friendly and generous. Keep in mind the bottles of Semi- Dry Riesling and Premiere Reserve Cabernet Franc as our silent auction and opening reception draw near.

Eagle Crest Vineyards will be in Clayton, NY the evening of June 13th but the tasting room is usually open Monday -Friday 12-5 but it is always a good idea to check their event calendar.

June 22nd will be the first of 3 Grape Jamm events this summer.  Eagle Crest will host an open jam for musicians, offer featured guests, free wine tastings and bottle sales.  Area artists and craftspersons will be on hand with unique items for sale. “Thirst for Art” painting classes will also be available for a fee. Reserve your chance to paint on records in an outdoor classroom setting in the western Finger Lakes.