October/November Updates

Well here we are at the end of October and beginning November. Time to get the spiced wines out and begin drinking the Fall & Winter times as we roll through the seasons. Although October was a quiet month, it did present some business within the group, near the end of September we had a Sensory Wine Evaluation event held at our President’s place of residence in which those attended, were open to their eyes, nose and brain to how to get the best results from the wine you are drinking by using your senses.

Then in October, we had a date with Nate Larsen at Larsen Meadworks in Mechanicsburg where  we were intrigued with Nate’s style of dry meads. An interesting night full of information about the mead and its style as well as a tasting of the many flavors. You can also look in Facebook at Larsen Meadworks! or visit his website at http://larsenmeadworks.com/index.html

Also, the Executive Committee met Sunday, Oct. 28 to go over information pertaining to the Meeting on November 4th. What I want to get across to all the members is that this November meeting each year will be the Annual Meeting in which ALL members should make a point to attend! This is where we shall begin to elect the officers of the group as well as share the new schedule for the following year and other news such as this year, we will be sharing about the Website and information dealing with that.

So if you are a member of SWIG, you need to attend and also, don’t forget to pay your dues for 2019! If you are not a member and you live within the Cumberland, Dauphin and surrounding counties and want to join, please come to the meeting and see Tim, our Treasurer and he can get you taken care of for 2019. The Dues are still the same at $15 dollars for a Single Person and $20 dollars for couples. Please be there this Sunday, November 4th around 5pm at Mesino’s II at 598 West High street in Carlisle, PA. The meeting will begin at 6pm after the one hour social time. See you there!

2019 SWIG Wine Competition

Hi everyone! I just want to bring all up to date with the 2019 SWIG Wine Competition results! First off, I want to thank those involved with helping getting information up on the site as well as giving some advise or comments to help in the running of this event for 2020. I want to give special thanks to Ed & Janet Griscavage for getting pictures and writing and posting the article.

I cannot say much about the Picnic Awards Event as I pretty much ran the event. I want to thank the Compton’s for inviting us all to their place and holding this event. Since I did much of this work in getting the preparations done with the help of Don Hopler, and presenting the awards to all, I am unable  to say anything about the event except that it went well. I was told that the presentation was rather long but with a huge amount of winners with this new format, I suppose it did go a little bit longer. However, plans are already beginning for next year’s event by grouping the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners and then just having the Medal Winners individually as well as the Grand Champion! I would post all the winners and pictures of the Top winners but I believe that it would be best if you just click the link to see all of them on the Website! Click this link to see all the winners or copy and paste:

2019 SWIG Wine Competition Results

I hope that others who were at the event can fill in what their thoughts were and how they liked it!


This month we have an article written by a SWIG member, Janet Griscavage!  She shares her experiences she had at the Wine Tech Day in May and what she learned from this event. also we have pictures as well. So without further delay.                                    I want to thank Janet for her contribution to the Blog! If you would like to have an article about your experience in Winemaking and would like to share it, please send information to: Communication Committee at committeec3@gmail.com and we will get it on the blog. Pictures are welcomed too.

My Experience with the Susquehanna Winemakers Guild

Wine Kit Class and Technical Class

By Janet Griscavage

I have been the Sous Chef for my husband Ed Griscavage for the eleven years that he has been making wine. In the last two years, Ed has encouraged me to learn more. My input has been basically what wines I would like him to make. The next two parts are my education into making wine.



On Sunday, March 10th, Rick Mauro, a member of our wine guild facilitated a class on making wine from kits. Ed started making wine from kits in the beginning. The attendees were Liz and Chris Dettrey, Louisa (Weazy) Dunlap, Nick Pallente, Victor Foose, and Ed and Janet Griscavage.

The class objective was twofold, 1) entailed all the necessary steps to being successful in using wine kits and 2) the effect different types of water has on the outcomes of the kit wine. Ed started his wine making adventure with kit wines, so as Rick went through all the steps it was familiar to me, but I appreciated the detail he added to each of the steps. Rick went through all the necessary preparation. Beginning with specific gravity.

The class was not only instructional, but practical because the participants are making the same kit wine, Wine Expert Raspberry Dragonfruit, to see if water makes a difference in the preparation of a kit wine. We are all using a different type of water. One will be using well water, one will be using spring water, one will be using city water with reverse osmosis, one just city water no filtration, and lastly one will be city water with a water softener. When all of us are finished and the wine is bottled we will get together again to compare what difference, if any the type of water you use makes.

Rick and Lenora Mauro were gracious to open their beautiful home to us for the class with light refreshments provided. Thank you.

Doing a Specific Gravity Check

Mixing Wine and Ingredients together



On Saturday, May 18th, Totem Pole Ranch donated the space for the class to be held on the Technical Measurements of Wine Making. There were 15 wine guild members present for this class. Pat Moyer provided a delicious array of pastries and goodies and the Hopler’s provided the coffee and water.

The presenters were members Mel Heffley, Joan Hopler, Tim Murphy, and Jim Compton. Each presenter had multiple handouts that will help with referencing how to use the equipment. We learned how to use the different types of equipment and the importance of calibrating it or correct measurement. We learned how to read a hydrometer, use the testing equipment to measure PH, Total Acid, Sulfur Dioxide, and Titratable Acidity of Wines. We learned the formulas to correct these measurements to get to where we are aiming our wines to be.

We (Yes, I am the mouse in Ed’s pocket) have done a handful of pails from in the past. We look forward to applying what we learned to wine must pails in the future. I found this class to be very insightful. There were tips on replacing chemicals often to make sure of their effectiveness. Also discussed was where to purchase those chemicals and equipment that was used for testing.

Thanks again to the presenters, Pat Moyer for her goodies, and the Hopler’s for donating the classroom space. I hope to see more of the technical aspects of making wine presented by the Education committee in the future.

          Setting up classroom

Instruments used for Testing Wine

Class instructions by SWIG Members

These classes were published on our website https://swguildpa.com/ and were opened up to the public.


April is just about gone here in a couple of days! So we need to share what has been happening during the month of April. There were a few things that happened that were of note. One being that the Susquehanna Winemakers Guild met in April and it was the last time that members could have dropped off wine for the Shop the Block Wine Walk in Carlisle, PA. The Group took in about 115 bottles of wine and we had a good collection of Whites this year!

The Shop the Block Wine Walk went on, Saturday, 27th even though it started out windy!  The crowd came in full. The wine was fully stocked for the public to enjoy and there were many varieties for the public to choose from and they were very thrilled to do so. The Wine Walk was a big hit this year and we had a successful day as well. There was an idea presented by Liz Dettrey about putting rubberbands around the bottle that the person liked the most and that is all I will state about that for now as I know Liz will write about that idea. The weather looked like it was going to play into our day some but it never puffed at our event.  We were a little under-manned at the event but we stood our grounds and pushed through and finished the event with flying colors. There were some amazing people there that were looking for certain wines such as the Basil (which has been a hit for the past couple of year’s), in fact, there were 4 varieties of the Basil wine this year. I am having trouble writing this as I am drinking a new wine made by one of the members who just bottled this recently and I am not at liberty to state what it is. However, it is very good. We also may have some new members joining from this event as I have spoken to several couples and a lady that were interested in joining. Hope to see them at our next meeting in July! There were 24 entries in the Wine Competition and congrats to all the winners including myself. So that is what has been happening in April! So we will close this out for the month of April! See you later!


Well, February can only mean one thing! ??? Maybe 2 things? Maybe 3 things? I don’t know anymore, there are just too many things going on that it can be narrowed down to just one or two things. So here we are and what does it mean “FEBRUARY”? First and foremost, Love is in the air! However, Groundhog Phil steals the show! Mr. Winter says “NOT SO FAST”! But one thing will always stay constant, making and drinking wine.

This month, the Heart will show up around the 14th and many will share their hearts with others in all the many ways that they can think to do so. Then there is the understanding that Winter is the midst of us and it soon will die down and blow away. So what do we look forward to as Winemakers?

The Susquehanna Winemakers Guild will be meeting on February 10th as it was re-scheduled from January’s storm. There will be a lot to talk about since we now have the Website up and going and then we also have the Rules for the 2019 SWIG Wine Competition up on the site too. We will be helping anyone and all who show up at the meeting, how to navigate through the Website on the mobile devise as well as on a computer desktop/laptop style. There will also be announcements about other things too. This would be the first time for tasting some new wines that we have been waiting to develop and bottle and have fun sharing it.

Since I have been busy doing a ton of work within and outside the SWIG group, I figured that I need to post something every month as to what is happening for the month. SO I am asking you out there (Member or Not) to send me things that are happening in the months ahead. SO if you know of something that is happening this month, please share it in your comments. Also, you can send me a message through the Website at http://www.swguildpa.com and go to the “CONTACT” and enter the information and your question or comments. So until we thaw a little out and begin to breathe more, I will see you in March!

January 2019 Update

Well Hello 2019!

I certainly hope that you are not going to follow 2018’s routine and RAIN every other day of the year! We need rain but not that much!

So I hope all of our winemakers are busy making and working on their wines? Trying to get that baby just right to win the Wine Competitions and show-off to others what you have created. I use the word “created” here because 11 year’s ago the Susquehanna Winemakers Guild or SWIG for short was created for people who like to make Wine and want to share their experiences and taste other’s wines and help them with problems by solving them from their past experiences!

So we now take the next step as we created a Website for our members to commute to on a daily basis to get their information as well as to communicate with the Committees and others in the loop. Although it is open to the public to see, there are special places for only the members who have paid their dues to enter and share with others. Since we launched the Website, we have added content ready for the 2019 Season with a Calendar, Competition results from 2018 and there is a section on Past Presidents, plus others. I want to caution that we will be (that is the Communication Committee) working hard on this site constantly trying to upgrade or update any information.

We have created a number of things in the past couple of years and I would like to share them with you! We have created a group of Committees that will help forge this group to even better heights then we have in the past. One of the foremost Committee that was created was the Executive Committee. This Committee focuses on what will be best for the group by taking all the information and  recommendations from all the other committees. The other Committees are: Educational, Communication, Travel, Wine Competition, Membership and Nominee Committees.

The Wine Competition Committee can be proud to say that their ideas and hard sacrifices are working to produce some of the best wines in the region. We hope to have the SWIG Wine Competition for 2019 up as soon as we complete the details of new information and set the forms for the Competition. There is one change that will be created within the rules and that will be, that ONLY A MEMBER of SWIG will be able to take the Grand Champion Cup home for the year. The reason for creating this rule is to safeguard the Cup, since we have had a few winners who were not members, but became members. We do not want to run the risk of not getting the cup back each year. However, there will be Medals and perhaps Ribbons and some other ideas that could possibly be created within this year’s Competition.

We created a Membership Committee that will take information when you join and keep track of dues as well as making sure that the members will carry on the Knowledge that we learn and share with others within the group and those of interest outside as well.

We also have an Education Department that will be working on details that will benefit the members with trips or special evenings at some special place. To share one we just did in October of 2018, we had a visit to the Meadworks on Main Street in Mechanicsburg, PA. It was a terrific evening and much knowledge was shared as well as drinking some samples of the dry mead’s that were made right there.

Also, there is the Nominee Committee, they will be in charge of selections for Officers within the Executive Committee when the times comes for voting for President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

The Travel Committee will be working on trips for the group as well as other such things related to the Group’s needs. We just had a trip to Black Ankle in Maryland along with another Winery called New Market Plains. Both of these were written in detail earlier in the post in April 2018. If you have not read it, please go to April 2018 report and read it.

So we have created a number of ideas and gifts for the members to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience in the Wine-making business. All I ask of you who are not members and are making wine and you live in the Cumberland, Dauphin, York and surrounding areas to please consider joining the group. You will have a lot of fun and be able to work along side members while sharing your wine at Pomfret Street “Shop the Block” Wine Walk in Carlisle and through out the year! All the information that you need to know is on the New Website at: swguildpa.com. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting! Happy Wine-ing!


WEBSITE up and running.

Please bear with us as we begin to make changes to the new Website that was started Saturday, October 20, 2018. We will begin to transfer all of the content onto the Website as soon as we can determine such. If you see the New Website “A Journey Begins” that is good. What you may want to do is go to upper left corner and click “My Site” and you should see my Blog section and perhaps some other content. So this is the beginning of all our contact information when we have it fully operational.

Thank You

Sensory Evaluation Techniques Lesson

Hi Everyone! Well Sunday night’s event was a very good lesson on Taste Sensory Evaluation of wine. Marty Cook presented to the SWIG group(those who paid to attend this event) how to enhance your taste by smell and drinking the wine you are tasting! Marty told the group that we are barely scratching the surface of our senses in this complicated world of Wine!

   There were 4 bottles that were used to help us understand how to prepare our senses to get the most out of the wine. These wines were, 2016 Old Line Chardonnay, 2017 Stiegel Rose, 2015 Barron Red and 2015 Cherry Tree Merlot, all purchased at Waltz Vineyards Estate Winery. During the demonstration Marty shared or passed around numerous items of fruits and other items like spices for us to smell so as to know what we are supposed to smell and or taste from each bottle of wine as they were presented. The group discussed many of their findings while tasting and smelling each wine and comparing them with foods and why it goes best with a certain food.

   I would like to thank Pat Moyer and her son for having the event at her house and for her son in cooking all the wonderful food! There were some great moments to share as well since it was Jack Moyer’s birthday and the 47th anniversary of Ed & Janet Griscavage!

   I will stop here and allow those members who attended to share their thoughts about this event. Also, although there were not enough members to conduct a meeting per the by-laws, However, the Meeting that is scheduled for October 21, 2018 will be moved to November due to the MEAD Event being scheduled on that date. Information on these changes will come forth shortly. Also, we will begin to use this site as our Website. So you will see changes going on and we are hoping to have it completed by our November Meeting. Another note from that night is that the Wine Committee will hope to have the 2019 Wine Competition rules and forms ready by November meeting as well so we can plan well ahead of time what we want to enter. So November will be a Huge Meeting to attend.

  I just want to say that this year has been tough on us all as we work through the changes that this year has presented us. I hope that after this year is over, we will have a better 2019 and beyond as we will have done a better job in our preperation to help the members as we strive to make it an enjoyment to be with everyone in the SWIG group. The only way to do that is to speak with your voice in all that we do and get involved. Because if we are doing things the wrong way, then we don’t get to enjoy the company of our members. So please Speak Up and let the Committee know what is on your mind.

AG EXPO Competition & Results

Welcome to our First AG Expo Competition Results for 2018. I must say that although we did not get as many entries as we were expecting, we did get some of the best wines for this competition! Since this is our first year doing this, we expect to see more entries next year as we will be getting the word out to other areas.

2018 AG Expo Wine Competition

We collected 14 wines this year and we had  judges to taste the wines and score them by the American Wine Society Score sheet. The Judges (Don Hopler, Pat Moyer, Christopher & Elizabeth Dettrey) discussed each wine and scored in agreement with the sheet. There were some half scores as some were better than or lesser than the whole number. I think that the judges did a fantastic job for the first year and we look forward to doing many more. Also, I wish to thank Scott Lemmon for his help and patience throughout all of this as well, for if not for him giving us guidance through this Expo Competition it would not have made it off the ground! Thank You, Scott!

The score sheets were noted as well with judges comments on the back which is listed as judge 1, judge 2, judge 3 & judge 4(these are not according to the list above).  A side note: All entries were members of the SWiG group except one.

We have 4 entries win Third Place ribbons, they are:

Exhibitor #18538   Tim Murphy   2017 Traminette

Exhibitor # 18536   Pat Moyer      2016   Pear/Basil

Exhibitor #18538   Tim Murphy   2017 Savignon Blanc

Exhibitor #  18539   Jerry Morgan   2017 Cabernet Franc

We have 4 entries win Second Place ribbons, they are:

Exhibitor #18538   Tim Murphy   2017 Basil

Exhibitor #18538   Pat Moryer   2016 Foch

Exhibitor # 18536   Pat Moyer     2016  Red Blend

Exhibitor # 18536   Pat Moyer     2016  Raspberry Concord

We have 2 entries win First Place ribbons, they are:

Exhibitor #18535   Jim & Marsha Compton   2016 Concord/Black Raspberry

Exhibitor #18538   Pat Moryer   2017 Niagara/Cayuga

We have 1 entry win Best of Show, they are:

Exhibitor #18535   Jim & Marsha Compton   2016 Concord/Black Raspberry

So give a hand to all the entry members and their efforts in producing good wines.

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