Bucks County

 

Meet the Winemaker: Sand Castle Winery

WINEMAKER

Joseph Maxian

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE YOUR WINERY IN BUCKS COUNTY?

Bucks County is an ideal location to grow the four greatest grapes of the world. Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet and Pinot Noir. We have the sunshine of Southern Italy, winters of Northern Germany, rocky soils and plenty of natural rain. Bucks County is one of the few places in the world where nature, history, people and wild animals can thrive together.

DESCRIBE YOUR WINEMAKING PROCESS.

Our grapes are grown on rocky soils and the banks of the Delaware River, which produces a unique mineral complexity and allows us to use the skins of the grapes in the process of fermentation. We use this technique for whites and reds to create not only full bodied wines, but to extract compounds which are identified as health properties of the wines.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE WINEMAKING BUSINESS?

Growing up in Carpathian wine country, it was only natural that we used our heritage to create Sand Castle vineyards and the winery. The building is patterned after 12th Century Bratislava Castle and in the foundation are even some stones that date back to the original castle walls. At the beginning, some of the best European wine masters were summoned to assess Bucks County's potential and put together European tradition and American know-how.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES IN BUCKS COUNTY?

Some favorite locations in Bucks County include Peddler's Village, Dilly's Corner, The Bridgeton House, 1740 House, The Golden Pheasant Inn, New Hope and River Road, that is one of the top 10 scenic rides in the country.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE PLANS FOR THE VINEYARD?

In our times, the service of the customers is always changing. We at Sand Castle accommodate the needs and requests of the ever changing hospitality industry.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT MAKING WINE?

The art of making wine is as old as civilization itself. All of us at Sand Castle are putting all the effort forward to grow the best quality grapes possible, and in the winemaking process we are protecting what nature gave us. After aging the wines for several years and putting it into the bottle we archive a small portion for future tasting. The greatest reward is when you open a 20 year old bottle of wine and remember the past times of that year.

DO YOU HAVE A RECIPE YOU'RE WILLING TO SHARE?

Our blend of red and white wine called Claret Sweet Red makes a great Sangria. The recipe is very simple: 1 bottle, 1 navel orange, 1 couple. We call it our "breakfast wine."

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE WINE AND FOOD PAIRING?

Pairing of wine and food is the cooperation of wine and flavor makers. Herbs, spices, cheeses, sauces are just to name a few. For example, dry Riesling is great with thyme and if you use the thyme on chicken or vegetables the food will greatly be enhanced with the dry Riesling. My favorite combination, however would have to be hot Alpine Spice paired with vanilla ice cream.