American Wine Society

Lehigh Valley Chapter

Upcoming events

    • 4 Dec 2020
    • 6:00 PM (EST)
    • Online (register to receive the meeting link)

    Join your fellow Lehigh Valley Chapter Members for a

    VIRTUAL BYOB Holiday Party

    on Friday, December 4 at 6:00 PM

    The LVAWS Holiday in-person holiday party has been canceled due to COVID.  However, you can join other members and still have fun.  Let’s celebrate together by selecting a bottle to virtually share, all from the safety of your home.  What wine would you bring to share at a holiday party?

    An invitation will be emailed to members in mid-November.  This will be a DIFFERENT link than the "regular BYOB link".

    You do not need to have a Zoom account to participate, but you will be asked to download the free Zoom software. 

    NOTE:  To avoid "Zoom Bombing" by outsiders the meeting link will be emailed to you when you register for the event.  On Friday when you click the meeting link you will enter a "waiting room".  There may be a momentary delay before you join the meeting.  


    Leslie and Peter Staffeld

    Co-Chairs of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the American Wine Society

    • 19 Dec 2020
    • 5:00 PM (EST)
    • Online (register to receive the meeting link)
    December Lehigh Valley Chapter Tasting

    Washington State Syrah

    Saturday, December 19, 2020 5:00 PM

    Host: Geoff Harrington

    Virtual Event on ZOOM

    Washington State Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. America’s second-largest wine-making state is fast becoming recognized for wine made from this classic Rhone variety, which is expressive of terroir, with a breadth of styles grown in diverse locations.

    Our LVAWS December 19 tasting, hosted by Geoff Harrington, will offer a tasting tour of Syrah grown in five Washington viticultural areas: (1) Walla Walla Valley, (2) Red Mountain, (3) Wahluke Slope, (4) Horse Heaven Hills (all sub-AVAs encompassed by the broader Columbia Valley AVA) and a Washington State bottling that includes grapes from (5) Yakima Valley, also an AVA within Columbia Valley.

    Although it has varied microclimates, the entire Columbia Valley experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk in spring. The Cascade mountain range keeps the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

    Supply has not kept up with demand for Washington Syrah, so not all the wines available in the Lehigh Valley are featured in every store -- and the quantities are limited. I recommend you choose 3 wines from the list of 5 offered below.  We will discuss and taste all 5 wines on December 19 -- and you may buy all five if you care to seek them out.

    Everyone should readily locate our benchmark wine, Charles Smith Boom Boom Syrah 2017, which is available at 15 Lehigh Valley stores and Quakertown. Likewise, there’s good availability for North by Northwest Syrah 2013 (highly recommended) offered at 6 Lehigh Valley stores as well as at Quakertown. The other three wines are each available at 2 or 3 stores (see below).

    Buying both the Smith and North by Northwest wines, plus one of the three other selections will cost between $59.97 and $69.97. Buying all five will set you back $114.95. Enjoy the chase!

    1)      Charles Smith Boom Boom Syrah, Washington State, 2017 $17.99 #01501

    Vinted and bottled by Charles Smith Wines, which became a Constellation brand in 2017.  The grapes are most likely from the Columbia Valley with some of the wine purchased in bulk from other producers and blended by Charles Smith. One of his higher end Syrah’s was ranked #2 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2017. The tasting panel describes it as “fresh, smooth, and luscious with blackberry notes and tangy, balanced style.” The winery describes it as “one of the biggest and boldest Syrahs of all time.”

    Alcohol by Volume 14.5%

    Available at: Cedar Crest (32), White Hall (17) Krock’s Road (14), Center Valley (11), Bethlehem (15), Emmaus (23), and Quakertown (20).

    2)      North by Northwest Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, 2013 $21.99 #83236

    Produced and Bottled by the King Family from grapes sourced from a small group of growers from throughout the Walla Walla AVA in the Columbia River Valley. Cold soaked for extraction, then punched down, and pumped over. For optimum flavor and body, the grapes underwent delestage, and saw an extended maceration. This wine saw 21 months in 31% new French oak barrels. 1,045 cases.

    “Focused and deftly wrought, with rich pomegranate, red plum and blackberry flavors floating over superfine tannins. The elements move weightlessly through the long, expressive and open-textured finish. Drink now through 2023.” -- Wine Spectator (93 Points)

    Alcohol by Volume 13.5%

    Available at Cedar Crest (67), Krock’s Road (11), Center Valley (60), White Hall (12), Quakertown (10) Easton – Nazareth (11), and Easton - Freemansburg (20).


    3)      Alexandria Nicole Cellars “Jet Black” Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills, 2016 $24.99 #76537A project of the Mercer and Boyle families (winery named after winemaker Jarrod Boyle’s, partner and wife, Ali) “Produced…from select blocks of the (estate) Destiny Ridge Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA of the Columbia Valley…whole berry fermented and aged 18 months in 40% new French oak and 60% 2-year-old French oak barrels, this wine showcases a wide array of fruit, earthy notes and smoked meat, backed with a velvety richness. On the nose, raspberry, Rainier cherry, and boysenberry, cured meat, a touch of allspice, vanilla and mocha. Pallet is highlighted by plum, blackberry and ripe blueberry, with oaky nuances and a plush tannin profile.” (Winery Notes) 450 cases

    Available at Cedar Crest (10), Center Valley (16), and Quakertown (10)


    4)      The Walls “Gaspard” Syrah, Red Mountain, 2016. $19.99 #79215

    Chairman's Selection® Winemaking guided by Todd Alexander, formerly of Cade, PlumpJack, and Bryant Family Vineyard, with fruit from the premier Red Mountain AVA featuring hot days and cooler nights: 

    “… reveals a deep, inky purple color as well as powerful notes of blue fruits, ground pepper, crushed violets, and graphite. It’s beautiful on the palate as well and is full-bodied, with terrific purity of fruit and a great finish, all while staying in the elegant, seamless end of the spectrum.” — 95 Points Jeb Dunnuck, 2019

    “Vibrant aromas of blackberry, black cherry, cassis, licorice and violet. Densely packed, vibrant and pure, with intense black fruit and dark chocolate flavors complicated by hints of stone and game. Finishes with serious, fine-grained tannins, excellent energy and sneaky, slowly building length. Drink 2020-2027.” — 92 Points Vinous Media, 2018

    Alcohol by Volume 15.4%

    Available at Cedar Crest (10) and Krock’s Road (9).


    5)      Guardian Cellars “The informant” Syrah, Wahluke Slope, 2016, $29.99 #76451

    Have you heard the one about the cop and the newspaper reporter who fell in love, got married and started a winery with one Bordeaux-style blend, a Cabernet, and a Syrah?  For harvest 2019, Jerry Riener and Jennifer Sullivan produced 16 different wines between the two labels – “Guardian” and “Newsprint” -- a total of just over 9,000 cases.


    “This is classic Syrah with a little oomph. It’s a blend of 97% Syrah with 3% Viognier sourced from StoneTree Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope…surrounded on one side by the Columbia River and on the other by the Saddle Mountains. This velvety and lush wine was aged 18 months on 45% new French oak and is full of notes of blueberry, white pepper and tar. It’s a serious wine with tons of mouthfeel. 350 cases.” (Winery notes) 89 Points – Wine Spectator


    “Decanted 8 hours, but this wine needs more time. So dense and it’s all there, but this needs a few more years.” – Cellar Tracker Review

    Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%

    Available at Center Valley (10), White Hall (10), and Doylestown (15)  


    • 8 Jan 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM (EST)
    • Online (register to receive the meeting link)

    Join your fellow Lehigh Valley Chapter Members for a


    on Friday, January 8 from 5:00-6:00 PM

    Join us for our next Virtual BYOB -- our theme will be "Spicy Wine" -- either a wine that has spice in it, or a wine you would serve with spicy food.  We hope you will join us at 5pm on Friday. 

    You do not need to have a Zoom account to participate, but you will be asked to download the free Zoom software. 

    NOTE:  To avoid "Zoom Bombing" by outsiders the meeting link will be emailed to you when you register for the event.  On Friday when you click the meeting link you will enter a "waiting room".  There may be a momentary delay before you join the meeting.  


    Leslie and Peter Staffeld

    Co-Chairs of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the American Wine Society

    • 30 Jan 2021
    • 1:00 PM (EST)
    • 99 Dietrich Valley Rd, Kutztown OR Online (register to receive the meeting link)

    January Lehigh Valley Chapter Tasting

    Saturday, January 30, 1:00 PM

    Hosts: Dean and Bonnie Scott

    Register online at

    You are invited to join hosts Dean and Bonnie Scott with winemaker Richard Blair for a private LVAWS tasting at Setter Ridge Vineyarsds.  This will be a hybrid tasting: up to 20 members can meet at the winery (99 Dietrich Valley Rd, Kutztown) and all other members can join on ZOOM.

    Setter Ridge is known for their Pinot Noir.  So, the tasting will include a tour of the winery and a vertical tasting of 6 Pinot Noirs.  We will be tasting:

    14 Pinot Noir, Richard J Vineyard
    14 Pinot Noir, Stonehedge Vineyard
    15 Pinot Noir (no vineyard designation)
    16 Pinot Noir Reserve
    16 Pinot Noir, Richard J Vineyard
    16 Pinot Noir, Stonehedge Vineyard

    If you are participating through ZOOM:

    • Register on by December 30. After registering, you will receive the ZOOM link (this will be different than the BYOB link).
    • Make arrangements for the wine by contacting Dean by December 30. Setter Ridge will make special 375ml (1/2 bottles) of the 6 wines for $67.14 OR you can buy the 6 (750ml) bottles of wines (price to be determined).  Wine can be picked up at the winery OR email Dean and he will meet you for delivery.  Dean’s email:  You will pay the winery or Dean directly.

     If you are participating in person:

    • Register on  This option is only open to the first 20 members who register on-line.  There will be a waiting list on the website and you will be notified if a seat becomes available.
    • Pay $20 at the door.  Because it is limited seating, no shows will be billed.  The cost for the in-person tasting includes a wine tasting of 6 pinot noirs, cheese and crackers, and a rimless Setter Ridge Vineyard glass.
    • Eat lunch prior to the event.
    • Dress warmly.  The tasting will be held in the fermenting room in the wine cellar.  To properly socially distance, only 20 people can be accommodated.  The room is around 60 degrees so members will need to dress accordingly.

Past events

20 Nov 2020 Virtual BYOB - Chairman Select Wine
4 Nov 2020 Virtual AWS National Convention
24 Oct 2020 Virtual Tasting - Petite Sirah
16 Oct 2020 Virtual BYOB - African Wine
27 Sep 2020 Northampton September VIrtual Tasting
18 Sep 2020 Virtual BYOB - A Winery You Would Like to Visit
13 Sep 2020 Wines of Greece
29 Aug 2020 Barolo Versus Barbaresco Virtual Tasting
14 Aug 2020 Virtual BYOB - A Grape You've Never Heard Of
24 Jul 2020 Virtual Pinnacle Ridge Tasting and Talk with the Vitner
17 Jul 2020 Virtual BYOB - Rose
27 Jun 2020 Virtual Folino Estate Tasting and Talk with the Vitner
5 Jun 2020 Virtual BYOB - Personal Celebration Wine
29 May 2020 Virtual BYOB - Cabernet Sauvignon
22 May 2020 Virtual BYOB - Iberian Wines
17 May 2020 Showcasing Wines of Illyria
15 May 2020 Willamette Valley Vineyards Tasting with Jim Bernau
8 May 2020 Virtual BYOB - Central & South American Wines
1 May 2020 Virtual BYOB - Pennsylvania Wines
24 Apr 2020 Virtual BYOB - French Wines
17 Apr 2020 Virtual BYOB - Italian Wines
10 Apr 2020 Virtual BYOB - Sparkling Wines
3 Apr 2020 Virtual BYOB
10 Mar 2020 March Lehigh Valley Chapter BYOB
9 Feb 2020 Nero D’Avola Wines of Sicily
4 Feb 2020 February Lehigh Chapter BYOB
26 Jan 2020 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel
21 Jan 2020 January Lehigh Chapter BYOB
22 Dec 2019 Holiday Party
10 Dec 2019 December Lehigh Chapter BYOB
10 Nov 2019 Chile
31 Oct 2019 National AWS Annual Meeting
20 Oct 2019 Puglia Wines
15 Oct 2019 October Lehigh Chapter BYOB
21 Sep 2019 Northern CA vs. Southern CA
20 Aug 2019 August Lehigh Chapter BYOB
11 Aug 2019 National AWS Tasting
14 Jul 2019 Picnic in the Vineyard
22 Jun 2019 Malbecs
13 Jun 2019 June Chapter BYOB
28 May 2019 May Lehigh Chapter BYOB
9 Dec 2018 Holiday Party 2018
1 Nov 2018 National AWS Conference
24 Apr 2018 Louies Italian Restaurant
15 Apr 2018 Incredible Chateauneuf du Pape Wine 90+
25 Mar 2018 Bottle Shock & the Judgment of Paris
6 Mar 2018 March Lehigh Chapter BYOB

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"Lehigh Valley AWS" is a private, social, non-profit organization.

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