By AML Publisher
Photos courtesy of Candice DeTore
Lance and Valerie Castle did not realize just how fortuitous of a purchase they had made. The couple bought a charming Kimberton home over a decade ago—a sprawling country property shaded by dozens of Black Walnut trees. Soon the Castles, a business model fermenting in their minds, found themselves destemming, by hand, 500 pounds of local Hopewell Vineyards grapes. “We started making wine at home and it was in the fall, so these black walnuts were falling thirty to forty feet from the tree. We always joked that someone was going to get knocked out from the walnuts. Our friends and family started asking for ‘that black walnut wine’ so the name stuck. We were producing 300 gallons of wine and decided it was time to make this a full time business. And the rest, as they say, is history” explained Lance.
Black Walnut Winery opened in July 2009 at a thoroughly renovated, and fabulously charming, 200-year-old Chester County bank barn on Lincoln Highway in Sadsburyille. Over the past year, the winery has received industry accolades-a bronze medal at the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show for their Chardonnay 2007 and another bronze win at the 2010 Pennsylvania Wine Competition for their Merlot 2007. “Every winery has their own style of how they want to produce their wine. I tend to focus on making dry wines because that is my personal preference, but I understand we need to have a variety. We produce a handful of wines that are off-dry and some that are a little sweet, but the majority of our wines here are favorably dry,” explained Lance.
Today Lance, along with wife Val, and business partners Jack and Karen Kuhn have expanded to a brand new Phoenixville tasting room where both wine novices and connoisseurs can sample one of their seventeen varieties. On Friday, October 15th the Castles and Kuhns will celebrate their success with an extravagant grand opening open to the public. The walnut, as they have learned, does not fall far from the tree.
Black Walnut Winery’s Phoenixville Tasting Room
When: Friday, October 15th 5pm-10pm
Where: 260 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA
Details: Join Black Walnut Winery and the rest of Phoenixville in celebrating the grand opening of their Bridge Street Tasting Room—complete with red carpet entry, free wine tastings paired with some of the best local artisan chocolates and cheeses, live music, discounted wine bottles and other great giveaways throughout the evening. Situated at a beautifully-renovated property on the corner of Bridge and Gay streets in the heart of downtown Phoenixville, guests will be treated to a wide-array of festivities planned during the Grand Opening.
Free tastings and amazing food pairings are the order of the evening. Wine-lovers are encouraged to arrive at the top of the hour, noting a 50-person maximum to each hour’s tasting.
General Wine Tasting of Black Walnut’s wide array of wines.
Wine and Cheese Tasting with Local Artisan Goat Cheeses.
Wine and Chocolate Tasting
Fall Harvest Tasting with Hot Apple Wine, Brick Oven Breads, Strawberry Fields’ oat bars and ginger snaps.
Wine and International Cheese Tasting with Brick Oven artisan cheeses.
Every hour, one lucky guest will win a gift certificate for a private wine, cheese and chocolate tasting to the Sadsburyville winery, and another guest will head home with a free bottle of Black Walnut Wine. Participants will also find discounts on bottles of wine including: buy 6 bottles get 1 bottle free and buy 4 bottles get 2 free tasting cards. The evening’s grand prize giveaway will feature a private Wine Tasting and Catered Dinner for four.
Black Walnut Winery’s Tasting Room is located at 260 Bridge Street of Phoenixville. The regular hours of operation are: Wednesdays and Thursdays 4pm – 9pm, Fridays 4pm – 10pm, Saturdays 11am – 10pm, and Sundays 1pm – 8pm. For more information, visit www.blackwalnutwinery.com.