Manatawny Creek Winery

About

Our family winery is located on our 90-acre farm in Amityville, PA along the banks of the Manatawny Creek. Manatawny is a Native American term meaning "Where we Meet to Drink". We feel we have placed our winery in the ideal location! We have a tasting room in the winery that is open to the public every day where we provide tastings of our wines. A $5 tasting fee is collected to taste up to 8 wines and is refundable with a wine purchase. The wide variety of wine styles ensures everyone will find a wine to suit his or her taste. We hope you will come visit us!

Location Description

Located in the heart of Douglassville, Pennsylvania.

Features

  • Producing unique delicious wines.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Average Bottle Price

$ 12

Winemaker

Darvin - Winemaker

History

We in the Levengood family have been making wine at Manatawny Creek Winery for over 13 years and having a great time doing it! All of our wines are made here at the winery and we grow about half of the grapes we need to produce about 12,000 gallons (5000 cases) of wine every year. All the grapes we purchase are grown in Pennsylvania with the majority grown here in Berks County and nearby Lehigh, York, Chester and Lancaster counties.

Almost all of our wines are sold out of our tasting room with a small amount sold at area restaurants. We do not distribute through other stores, but we can ship to consumers in Pennsylvania. If you visit our tasting room, live in a state other than PA, and want to ship wine to your home, chances are we can do it. Just check with us.

And while you're visiting our tasting room, look through the set of windows on the side wall and you will be able to see down into the cellar where the wine production occurs. Stainless steel fermenting and storage tanks are visible from the tasting room, but in order to see the bottling line and other equipment, you'll have to take a tour of the winery. These tours last about 30 minutes to an hour and are available by appointment only.

Probably the most-asked question we get from customers is how on earth we got into the wine business. In his previous life as a chemical engineer, Darvin was an enthusiastic home-winemaker who always had a few carboys bubbling away in his basement. His wife, Mary, got to enjoy the fruits of his labor for all those years. Their kids, Dave and Joanne, must have acquired the wine bug somewhere along the way. Joanne left her job as an environmental engineer in 1994 and moved to California to study winemaking at the University of California at Davis and to work at several wineries before returning to the family farm in 1997 to start Manatawny Creek Winery. Our farm is located in a wonderful community and our extended family now includes many neighbors and friends who work and play with us.

Practices & Techniques

At Manatawny Creek Winery, we are attempting to practice sustainable agriculture as much as possible. Instead of chemical fertilizers, we are solely fertilizing our vines with compost made from horse manure at our local horse farms and from grape skins, seeds and stems leftover from processing our grapes. Composting is an amazing way not only to add nutrients to the soil for the vines to use, but also to increase the level of beneficial microorganisms and the organic matter in the soil.

East coast viticulture is challenging compared to West coast viticulture in that, due to rainfall and humidity, we have many types of fungi to combat in the vineyard. Fortunately, less dangerous and more environmentally sound materials are being researched and developed all the time. For example, natural phosphorous acid products can now be used to fight downy mildew instead of more harsh compounds. We use pheromone ties and an insect growth regulator to interrupt mating of the grape berry moth, a severe pest, instead of conventional insecticides. Better canopy management practices, like opening up the fruiting zone, are being employed to increase air movement and decrease use of pesticides.

Weed growth in the vineyard, particularly underneath the vines, is always an issue. We have stopped using pre-emergent herbicides which can remain in the environment for long periods of time and are using only post-emergent herbicides which break down quickly. We are currently experimenting with various techniques to try and eliminate herbicides altogether.
We still have much work to do, but feel like we are headed in the right direction in our sustainable vineyard management practices.

Sustainability in the Winery:

All businesses can practice sustainability to minimize environmental impact. Our biggest step taken to reduce use of natural resources at Manatawny Creek Winery is to install an 11 kilowatt solar energy system which has greatly reduced our need to buy electricity. If you drive around the winery, you will see an entire roof filled with solar panels, also known as photovoltaic modules. When the sun's energy hits the silicon cells of a module, electrons are stimulated to flow in a circuit. This electricity is in direct current (DC), so it goes to 3 inverters we have installed on the crush pad for inversion into alternating current (AC). Then the electricity goes to the electric panel where it can be distributed throughout the building to power equipment. If the solar electricity is not needed, it travels out to the electrical power grid for someone else to use. Producing clean electricity in this manner is a great example of environmental sustainability!

During harvest time, we generate quite a bit of waste pomace, the skins and seeds of the grapes that are separated from the juice or wine in the press. All of the pomace goes out to our composting area where it gets mixed with the neighborhood horse manure and turned into valuable compost for our vineyard. The stems which get removed in the destemmer/crusher also get added to the compost mix. In addition, we are experimenting with composting our used filter pads from the filter press in order to eliminate sending them to the landfill.

In the office and tasting room environment, there are many small contributions to the reduction of our carbon footprint including recycling toner cartridges, using recycled copy paper for our tasting notes, using recycled paper stock for our wine labels, and recycling used wine bottles or giving them to our customers who make their own homemade wine. New innovations are always being introduced; for example, an aluminum capsule that can be recycled may soon be taking the place of the tin capsules that we use.

Perhaps the Iroquois' "great law of peace" best articulates the spirit of sustainability: "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Whether deciding on how to farm a vineyard or how to most efficiently use our natural resources in our business, reducing our environmental impact is an important goal that we'll continue to try and meet at Manatawny Creek Winery.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

There are 10 acres of vines planted at Manatawny Creek Winery in 3 separate vineyards.

Vineyard 1, planted in 1991, contains about 5 acres of hybrid grapes. Hybrids are crosses between Vinifera (e.g. Chardonnay, Cabernet) and Native American varieties (e.g. Niagara, Concord). The 6 varieties in Vineyard 1 include Foch, Chancellor, Steuben, Cayuga White, Vidal Blanc and Seyval Blanc. The Seyval is used in our sparkling wine, Blanc de Blancs, and is also blended with the Cayuga White to make our popular "Soleils Jumeaux" white wine. Steuben is a beautiful pink grape that produces the Autumn Blush wine. Foch and Chancellor are highly-colored red grapes used in our Harvest Red and Vidal Blanc is a white grape that we bottle varietally.

In 1998 we planted Vineyard 2 on top of the hill behind the winery. This 5-acre vineyard contains mostly vinifera vines including Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Lemberger and Syrah. A hybrid called Chambourcin somehow snuck its way into this vineyard as well.

If you are standing on the deck at the winery, you will see Vineyard 3, which is a small demonstration vineyard. This vineyard contains one row each of twelve different varieties of grapes. For a self-guided tour, follow the path across the bridge and read the informative signs posted in this vineyard. Come in the fall and if the birds haven't beat you to them, you can taste the grapes off of these vines.

Speaking of birds, we have a tremendous bird problem in our vineyards must be because of the wonderful-tasting grapes produced on our red shale soil. We need to net all of our vines with bird netting or else those birds will eat every single one of our grapes.

There are other critters that bother our grapes including deer, wild turkeys, and groundhogs. We let our dogs Rufus, Zeke and Zoe patrol the vineyards (okay, they basically pee and shed their hair) to help keep the unwanted grape-destroyers away.

Be the first to review this item!

Hours

Monday - Saturday 10:00 - 6:00 Sunday 12:00 - 6:00 Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day

Address

227 Levengood Rd
Douglassville, Pennsylvania 19518
United States

Get Directions

Advertisement
Newsletter