Article originally published in the September 2015 article of Berks County Living. To see more features visit BerksCountyLiving.com!
Clover Hill Winery & Vineyard is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and, like a fine wine, it is only improving with age.
1985: An Excellent Vintage
John and Pat Skrip purchased property in Breinigsville in 1976 to build a home and start an agricultural hobby. They originally planned to start a Christmas tree or a potato farm. Fortunately for local wine lovers, they decided to experiment with growing grapes instead. The modest vineyard thrived and the Skrips continued to cultivate, making wine and selling extra grapes to other winemaking hobbyists.
By 1985, John sold his construction company and Clover Hill opened its doors. In the first year the winery produced just over 1000 gallons of wine. Today they produce nearly 80,000 gallons. “As a kid during grape harvest season, I can remember my parents working around the clock to pick the grapes during the day and crush them through the night, then put us on the bus for school! My parents worked so hard to make their dream become a reality,” recalled Kari Skrip who, along with her brother John III, now helps her parents run the business.
A toast! To many more harvests
After 30 years it is easy to keep doing what works, but the Clover Hill family is always looking to find better ways to grow their grapes, to discover new winemaking techniques and to host fun events at the wineries, all while providing exceptional customer service. The humble hobby garden has grown to include six vineyards, four in Lehigh Valley and two in Berks County. They grow enough to provide nearly 75% of the grapes needed for annual production. The rest are purchased within Pennsylvania. With more than two dozen wines– many of them award winners – there is something for all palates on their wine list.
Kari and the rest of the Skrip family are excited to celebrate the past 30 years, and are already looking forward to the future. “We are focused on growing and producing premium PA wines. We strive to make our business fun and unique for our family, staff and customers. We continue to experiment with an occasional new grape or wine style to keep our wine list exciting. We will honor our past and just how far Clover Hill and PA wines have come in the last 30 years,” she said.
Cheers to the last 30 years!
The Skrip Family would like to invite you to celebrate 30 years with them. Local enthusiasts can visit Clover Hill’s largest vineyard in rural Berks County, located at 17 Clover Hill Lane in Robesonia, for a tasting or to enjoy wine by the glass on the picturesque patio. Or pick the perfect the pairing for any meal at the Boscov’s Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market. As a thank you to their customers for drinking Clover Hill wines for three decades, they are offering a 30% discount on wine purchases at all six locations from September 10 to September 13. The same weekend vintners and connoisseurs alike are also invited to celebrate the end of another season with a harvest weekend where it all began, at the winery in Breinigsville.
John Skrip, Jr.: Turtle Rock Red
Pat Skrip: Sparking Pinot Noir
Kari Skrip: 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
John Skrip, III: Vidal Verde
Who said money doesn’t grow on trees?
It takes approximately 400 grapes, or four clusters, to make one bottle of wine. One grape vine will produce enough grapes for approximately ten bottles.
It takes time to make good wine
A new grape vine will not yield a harvest for three to four years. It takes five to seven years for a grape vine to begin properly producing the grapes needed for wine making.