The Bucks County Wine Trail is pleased to announce the opening of its newest member winery, Bishop Estate Vineyard and Winery, of Hilltown Township. Owned by Kevin and Cindy Bishop, the winery is one of eight family owned and operated wineries along the Bucks County Wine Trail.
Bishop’s tasting room, which is planned for the family’s historic bank barn, is still underway. In the meantime, Kevin and Cindy will transform a cottage on the property into a quaint temporary room.
The Bishops will offer 16 varieties of wine, including Cranberries Dream, a sweet white wine and cranberry juice blend in a holiday-themed bottle and mulled apple wine, another fall favorite. The winery’s signature wine is its Cabernet Sauvignon, which is aged in emptied bourbon barrels, giving the wine a smooth taste.
Speaking of wine, the Bishops have plenty of it! Kevin bottled 20 cases of each variety and has another 20 thousand ready to bottle. Even though the commercial aspect of the winery is new, he has been making small batches of wine for the last 10 or 15 years. His first creation was pear wine, made from pears grown on his farm. He produced two varieties – one was “way sweet,” and the other was “way dry,” but blending them together made for a perfect wine.
After “toying” with the idea of growing grapes for wine, the Bishops took the plunge two and a half years ago following a wine expo in Syracuse, N.Y. It was there that Kevin purchased his first vines. Soon after, while visiting wineries for tastings, the Bishops found their mentors, Randy and Dan Detrick of Blue Ridge Winery and Estate Vineyards in Saylorsburg. Winemaker Dan Detrick has been spending time with Kevin and showing him the ropes.
This fall the Bishops finished harvesting the four acres of vineyards on the 32-acre farm they have owned since 1993. The land has been in the Bishop family for the last century and was primarily used as a dairy farm. As Kevin got older, he worked for two hours on the farm before school each morning. After high school, he formed a farming partnership with his father. By 1998, the Bishops had gotten out of the dairy business. Kevin spent the next two years crop farming before taking a 15-year hiatus from farming.
A farmer at heart, Kevin wanted to return to his roots after working in home improvement.
“We wanted to do something with the farm other than dairy,” Kevin said.
Bishop Estate Vineyard and Winery is located at 2730 Hilltown Pike. The winery will be open beginning Oct. 28. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The winery will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays. For more information call 215-249-3559 or click here.