I’ve recently thought about why I got into wine and it’s culture. It’s good to revisit thoughts like this from time to time to stay grounded. When I started this blog, the focus was primarily monetary (which is laughable, now that I think about it) and I just wanted to focus on a topic that held my interest.
Well, it’s been over three years, and I really had no idea how big this thing was. I’ve met so many fascinating people and the list of wine-centric happenings and venues that I want to check out keeps growing. Even locally here in & around my stomping grounds (Philly, the BYOB capital of the world), I probably will never see it all. I seem to have found passion in this and it’s still a blast to get out and experience it.
My point of that statement, was that today I met Dr. Brad Galer, another passionate individual and the newest contributor to the local winery scene in Chester County. His winery sits on the grounds of the former Folly Hill Vineyards estate. Though it would probably have been easier and much less costly to just pick up where Folly Hill left off, Brad has invested heavily in new equipment, an extremely knowledgeable & talented staff and has proceeded to rip out acres of vines in the interest of quality, and to restart the winery the right way. Galer’s mantra is “Blending nature, science & art”. It fits.
Dr. Galer took the time to give Fran & I a personal tour of the grounds. His wife, Lele is an artist and has put her talents to work inside the tasting room and all over the property. She also designs all of the labels for Galer’s wines.
Behind the winery are acres of Chardonnay, Galer’s primary estate grown varietal. They grow six clones of it here, which is transformed into local, award winning elixir by Galer’s talented young winemaker, Catrina. I didn’t have the chance to meet her as she was in the Finger Lakes this weekend, poor thing.
Other offerings here include Rosé, Riesling, Cab Franc and a unique line of “Icebox” Ice Wine. There will be more reds available later this summer, which I will enthusiastically sample on my next visit. The full list of Galer’s wines and awards can be found HERE.
The tasting room is on the smaller side, but to be fair, it was crazy busy on this July Saturday. Galer Estate butts right up next to the Longwood Gardens property, which was having fireworks in the evening. The Galers graciously open up the grounds to watch the show. From what I hear it gets quite lively but I didn’t stick around to find out. A large deck is attached to the tasting room, but the majority of the patrons were inside today. High humidity & indoor acoustic entertainment probably had something to do with that.
The tastings are organized into three or five wines, and all of Galer’s selections are for sale to enjoy on the property, if one chooses. Bottles are chilled onsite if that is your preference. Personally, I enjoyed the 2012 Rosé. A chilled, light colored gem, primarily Merlot w/ Cab Franc & Petit Verdot. Crawling w/ summer fruit, all aces on a humid, July day.
I want to thank Alicia, Galer’s bubbly GM for a fantastic visit, and to Dr. Galer for the tour & hospitality. If you are in the area, please stop by and give the Galers some love for their awesome contribution to the local PA wine community.
Though the total production was only about 2700 cases last year, it’s growing and the quality is there.
Thanks for reading, Cheers!