Lakeview Wine Cellars is located in the town of North East, PA, even though the community is actually in the far northwestern corner of the Keystone State. The name refers to its position within Erie County.
Best estimates there are anywhere from 150-200 grape growers within 15 miles of his winery. A lot are growing Concord grapes, while some grow Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner and Riesling. Best says there are three major growers in his area who sell their juice to winemakers.
|Becky and Sam Best|
"Noiret is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon," says Best, "with the same type of color and tannins but a little higher in acid. It has a peppery taste and is not as fussy as, say, Pinot Noir." The one-acre plot could take five years to start producing, and Best is looking forward to planting more varieties, too.
Lakeview's Shipwreck Series of wines tips the captain's hat to the seafarers of Lake Erie. Best claims there are more shipwrecks on Lake Erie than in the Bermuda Triangle. He says that's due, in part, to an average depth in the Great Lake of only 58 feet. It's the climatic effect of that relatively shallow water that keeps things temperate in the fall and spring.
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