A Bit of History from Cassel Vineyards

      I hear the question from our friends, guests and customers all the time, What made you want to to open a winery?  I tell them the truth, my Father said the next generation would need to find a way to support the farm and pay the taxes.  We planted some grapes because we didn't want to continue baling hay and shoveling manure.  Our sister is continuing to raise and race the horses with her family.  

   Another inevitable question, why grapes and wine?  And my mind always goes back to my gold medal award in the 2006 PA Farm Show.  It was 2 years before we planted our first vines and Chris and Greg were making some very good grape wines and I was making my peach meade.  That year the judges really liked our wines at the Lebanon Fair and the PA Farm Show so we were feeling pretty confident.  Little did we know that fair judges and actual wine judges are looking for two different things.

    After 10 years we are starting to get it all figured out.  In other words, the fair judges liked wine that tasted good and drank what the people like.  Wine judges need wine to look, smell and taste refined.  Those are two very different things.  Based on this years results, we seem to have it figured out.  6 wines and 5 medals shows we've come a long way!

dave vander VeldenComment