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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Pa. winery’s 2nd generation set for release of her 1st sparkling wines

Erin Troxell already has had an impact on Galen Glen Winery since her return to the farm where she grew up, from increasingly getting involved in the vineyard and cellar to putting on workshops and teaching classes.

Now, she’s about to take a significant step, unveiling two sparkling wines that will be released Dec. 10 with her name – Erin Elizabeth – on the label.

Her vision for these sparklings, she said, is a series of small-lot wines that are largely made in the vineyard. That means there is almost no manipulation of the fruit in the cellar; rather, it’s pressed, fermented, and bottled with minimal manipulation. The first wines in this series will be traditional method sparklings, one made from Riesling and the other from Grüner Veltliner.

She said in an email earlier this week that the hands-off approach is intended to produce “a pure expression of the way the fruit tasted on the vine. Although I am formally trained in winemaking, I have always been more likely to be found in the vineyard than the cellar,” she said. “The goal for these products is to showcase estate-grown wines that have exclusive availability.”

The label’s name pulls from her first and middle names, given for her maternal Irish heritage. The name Erin is derived from the Gaelic word for Ireland with its meaning more poetically described as jewel of the sea. As for Elizabeth, she added, it was chosen as a family name that has been passed through the generations. “Ultimately, both names exemplify femininity – Erin as the female personification of Ireland while many famous historical female figures were called Elizabeth,” she said. “This theme is captured in the label design as well as with its tagline: ‘Wine with Feminine Fluency.’ “

Needless to say, the excitement for the release extends to parents Sarah and Galen, who established the winery in Andreas, about a 45-minute drive northwest of Allentown, in 1995 and have been building its profile ever since. It’s best known for its Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, which have been recognized nationally and internationally, but also has gotten accolades for other vinifera such as Gewurztraminer and Cabernet Franc and for the hybrid grape it grows the most, Chambourcin.

Erin earned a degree in viticulture and enology from Cornell University and a master’s degree from the Vinifera EuroMaster program in Germany and France. She has interned in Nahe, Napa and New Zealand and worked for several years at E. & J. Gallo. Among the events she has held since returning to the winery was a master class on Cabernet Franc varieties utilizing its own wines compared to those around the world. That took place Nov. 12.

She is one of a handful of next-generation entrants to the family business in wineries around Pennsylvania, which include Zach Waltz in Lancaster County, Mario Mazza in Erie County, and John Skrip Jr. (Clover Hill) and Sam Landis (Vynecrest) in Lehigh County.

Galen Glen Winery

Owners Galen and Sarah established the winery in 1995 when they purchased the Troxell family double century farm from Galen’s father. They have built it into one of the region’s top wineries and one that’s recognized both nationally and internationally for its Gruner Veltliner and Riesling.

“We’re super excited about it,” Sarah said recently about the introduction of her daughter’s new line. “My fingers crossed; it’s coming in December ready or not. [The idea] is to highlight things that she’s got some interest in. So it’s the first and hopefully what will become part of a series as she’s changed what we do and how we grow and also impacted our style as well. It’s common to see in a European family winery where the next generation would start to do something to show that – not out of the realm of what we do because we’ll always be Germanic-style wines. That can’t change. That’s kind of who we are. But something that’s interesting and special.”

This is not Galen Glen’s first sparkling; it has produced a sparkling Gruner. But this will be the first sparkling Riesling, Sarah said.

Release of both sparklings is planned for Dec. 10 in the tasting room. In addition to the unveiling, Erin will offer a special class to present the wines. More details and tickets can be found at this link

More:

Here’s what’s new at one of central Pa.’s oldest wineries

Former owner, winemaker at Pa. winery team up again for new venture in southern N.J.

WineAmerica economic impact study shows an industry that’s ‘still strong’

For Sonoma County winemaker, end of harvest means the work is just beginning

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