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

Drink local

Dalvino’s Canned Wine Series

Dalvino’s canned wine series will launch March 30th in the tasting room

A new way to enjoy Dalvino, in a CAN! Why can wine you ask? Well wine not? Sometimes wine can be intimidating and at Dalvino we want to break down the status quo that you must know everything about wine in order to enjoy it.

Canned wine is meant to be fun while introducing a craft approach to winemaking. Dalvino is introducing our canned wine series Saturday March 30th in the tasting room. Cans are available in two flavors: Juicy Rosè and Fizzy Rosè. Fizzy Rosè is the black sheep of the canned wine family, offering carbonation to balance out the juicy and fruity flavors. Both flavors are made from 100% Pennsylvania grapes that offer bright citrus and fruit flavors that is sure to please any wine lovers palate.

Watch out Cali, PA wines are coming for you! Lets put PA wine on the map together. Cans will be available in a convenient 4 pack or sold individually. See you all on March 30th.

Residual Sugar in Wine

Residual sugar, or RS, is the measure of sugar present in the wine after fermentation. During fermentation yeast attacks sugar (Glucose + Fructose), and the by-product is CO2 and alcohol (our most favorite.) After this chemical reaction, the measure of fermentable sugars left over is residual sugar – usually expressed in grams per liter (g/L) or as a percentage of weight to volume (% RS.) For example, our Syrah contains 6 grams of sugar per liter or 0.6% residual sugar.

Residual sugar in wine may also result from the addition of unfermented ‘must’ (a technique practiced in Germany and known as Süssreserve – a process of adding unfermented grape juice) or ordinary table sugar added to the wine as a sweetening component.

Residual sugar also has an relationship with acidity, as they are on opposite sides of the spectrum. If the wine has sugar you will probably want strong acidity as well, otherwise the wine will taste syrupy. Certain high-acid wines, like Riesling, can be more tasty with a few extra grams of RS. It’s all about balance.

Varying levels of RS result in wine classifications from bone dry to very sweet. Most wines at Dalvino fall into the bone dry, dry and off-dry category because we do not add any sugar to sweeten our wine. Any residual sugar in our wines are sugars that are left over after fermentation.  Wines falling into the sweet to very sweet category are achieved by adding table sugar to the wine or stopping fermentation at the desired sugar level.