Our Vine Roots
"We certainly did not set out to be in the wedding business but it seems we're pretty good at it."
The decision to plant a vineyard is one that should not be taken lightly because the romance of the idea can easily outweigh the reality.
One day, the idea that had been fermenting in our minds for so long became a virus and we both had it. Let’s find a piece of property and just do it. Let’s grow grapes. It sounded like a great idea and a brand new chapter in our lives was born.
We began on a property in my family by planting 1750 vines. Enlisting family members to help plant it seemed like we had it together. It would not be the last time disaster was right around the corner.
In April of 2001 the first vines were planted and trellis construction began. Many vines were planted with an auger, many were planted by hand. This initial planting took about 3 weeks. Many of the posts were pounded in by hand as we still hadn’t acquired all the equipment we would need for an operation such as this. It was difficult work and this was just a fraction of what would be needed.
Heavy rains and a late start took their toll. Planting wasn’t completed until near the end of May. That first year we didn’t use grow tubes and the deer enjoyed almost every vine in the ground. We had an incredibly hard winter that year and next year we found ourselves re-planting vines that had been decimated by poor timing, bad weather and hungry deer. The only thing we had to show for our efforts were well fed deer. Little did we know just how much we would be feeding the deer in the years to follow.
A Fresh Start
The next year, our son found a 15 acre property in the mountains which had a great house on it and a lovely South-facing, gently rolling hill, perfect for a vineyard. We bought it and planted the Spring of 2006. We had learned our lesson about tubing the new vines at the first vineyard, so this year we tubed everything! We were so proud of ourselves. Things had gone much easier, it seemed. Then one day, there they were - millions of Japanese beetles, hiding in those tubes that we were sure were protecting our new vines. Disaster strikes again. Within a few days, so many of the vines were decimated that we almost felt it was a sign we shouldn’t continue.
But we did continue! Those first couple of years were good because they prepared us to not be surprised by anything. Now we expect the worst, so usually we’re pleasantly surprised when something less horrific happens.
MEANT TO BE
One day, on our way to starting a winery, something seemingly insignificant happened. Our friends, Carlos & Vivian decided to get married and asked if they could do it at Monterre before we turned it into a winery. We said, “Sure… why not”. As a result of that one event, we had requests for more & more weddings. In a very short period of time, we were in the Wedding Business. And we’ve been doing it full-time ever since. Apparently, we’re pretty good at it, since we are producing beautiful weddings and happy clients every weekend of our season.
Life takes many turns and we don’t see most of them coming. We didn’t see this coming either, but we embraced it and now offer one of the most unique venues in the Lehigh Valley.
Consider joining us for one of our harvest parties, getting married in the vineyard or having your next corporate or family event in our beautiful reception hall. We’re confident it will be an experience you’ll remember.
In the meantime, remember to drink good wine!