It won’t be too long before a trip to The Vineyard at Hershey might mean a choice between sipping a glass of wine or hoisting a mug of beer.
Partner Jason Reimer will formally announce in several weeks about a new venture at a winery that just turned 1 and already turned over a lot of ground. The winery, located near Middletown, Pa., outside Harrisburg, is nearing completion on a new building on the property that eventually will house a tasting room and production area for winemaker L. Paul Vezzetti to work his magic.
The full group of Vineyard at Hershey partners pose, including brewer Ryan DeLutis in the middle.
The Vineyard at Hershey   The winery sent an eletter out earlier this week noting that it will make the announcement at an event at the winery on April 12. It will be an opportunity for visitors to meet Ryan DeLutis, a home brewer from Lancaster, Pa. who brings his beer-making skills to the operation as its fifth partner.
Reimer said by phone Thursday that The Vineyard at Hershey applied March 18 for a brewery license. Should everything go through, Vezzetti would share the production area with DeLutis, who brings a lot of the same makeup as his wine-marking partner.
“We were looking for a person who looks at himself as an artist, he wants to handcraft everything,” Reimer said. “Focus on quality, not worrying about the marketing or business. He realizes there’s a good marketing and business team in place, and wants to make really good beers that are using Pennsylvania agriculture products. That part’s important to us.”
Some of those products soon will be growing on the property, including hops and watermelon for what Reimer said would be their summer seasonal in 2014: Watermelon Wheat. It will be one of four beers that the planned brewery would start making.
You’ve read about watermelon in this blog before, but on the wine end. Layton’s Chance on Maryland Eastern Shore and Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery in North Wales, Pa., north of Philly, are two of the regional wineries with watermelon wine on their list.
Reimer noted this arrangement isn’t unique in the state. He said that Nimble Hill, in northern Pennsylvania near Scranton, had a limited winery license and last year was granted a brewing license. Here’s the brewery website.
“Ultimately, we’re pretty excited,” Reimer said. “You’re going to have two great Pennsylvania products on one 40-acre property.” They’ll take the first step on the evening of April 12, with food, wine and music. The cost is $20 for an individual and $35 for a couple.partnersjpg-09ea06a520ca34f9