Putting Pennsylvania Wine on the Map

We often get the question of what inspired us to venture into the wine business. The answer is simple: put Pennsylvania wine on the map! Our winemaker, Nicco Dalpiaz, transfers his passion for Pennsylvania wines by crafting unique dry wines from Pennsylvania fruit. His end goal: to break down the stereotype that all Pennsylvania wines are sweet.

A Focus on Dry Wine

Dalvino is known for dry style wines that reflect Pennsylvania’s climate and unique growing conditions. Dalvino works with local Pennsylvania grape growers to source fruit that reflects our micro-climate. After all, if Pennsylvania wants to be a premier wine economy we, Pennsylvania wineries, need to focus on what grows well in Pennsylvania! It’s that simple. It’s going to take Pennsylvania wineries as a collective to stand up to New York, Maryland and Virginia wineries, we are all in it together.

A peek at a Chambourcin cluster before processing in 2018. This varietal is a French-American hybrid that grows well in Pennsylvania. It’s disease resistant and cold hardy, an important vineyard factor.

A Family Affair

Upon visiting Dalvino’s tasting room, you will be greeted by one of the Dalpiaz family members who run the winery operations on a day-to-day basis. Charlie, Linda, and Nicco Dalpiaz pour their heart and soul into Dalvino; which is an extension of their own personalities. Charlie instilled his passion for winemaking upon Nicco, who learned the basics of winemaking at a young age, “As I grew older and would read more about wine, the more I realized there is to learn about winemaking, especially on the East Coast”, reflects Nicco.

Duo, a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes.

Today, Nicco is one class away from graduating with his degree, Associate of Applied Science in Enology and Viticulture; further solidifying his mission to put Pennsylvania wine on the map. “Quality comes first at Dalvino, and that quality starts in the vineyard,” says Nicco.

Charlie attributes the success of Dalvino to his son by, “…taking it to the next level.” However, if you ask Nicco, he attributes the success of Dalvino to his father and great-grandfather Camillo, who started the family passion for winemaking in the first place! Within the first two and a half years of being open, Dalvino wines have carved out a niche in the Susquehanna Valley:

If I could give more than 5 stars, I would. We were actually referred to Dalvino Wine by the folks at Whispering Oaks. It was a surprise and reminded me of some of the smaller, off the beaten path wineries we enjoy in Virginia. I love dry wines and I don’t think there was one of the six available that I didn’t like. I do know that we will be back and bringing friends with us!

Paula V, June 2018

What’s Missing in Pennsylvania Wines?

It’s apparent that most people assume that all Pennsylvania wines must be sweet. This is a common misconception across the Pennsylvania wine industry that could potentially misguide potential wine consumers in Pennsylvania. In Nicco’s eyes, dry is a big opportunity that will help establish the Pennsylvania wine industry:

“Pennsylvania often gets the reputation that all wines are sweet. Or we can’t compete with California wines, which is correct because our climate is very different from California, hot and dry versus cool and wet. While there is a place for sweet wines within Pennsylvania, it is not our focus. If you are looking for sweet table wine, Dalvino may not be the best option for you.”

Nicco Dalpiaz, winemaker Dalvino Wine Company

To be clear, there are many excellent sweet wines across the state that are true to varietal characteristics such as: Niagara, Concord, Cayuga, etc. At Dalvino we focus on dry style table wines, with Residual sugar ranging from 0.2% to 2.0%. Check out our blog post explaining Residual Sugar levels in wine for more information.

If you are curious about Dalvino’s mission to put Pennsylvania wines on the map, our tasting room is open all year!

Friday 1:00pm – 6:00pm Saturday 11:00am – 6:00pm Sunday 12:00pm – 4:00pm

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