Pennsylvania Winery Quadruples in Size

Mountain View Vineyard opens new facility, partners with restaurant business

by Linda Jones McKee
wine winery pennsylvania mountain view vineyard
Randy and Linda Rice's new winery is set on a 100-acre farm with 10 acres of vines.

Stroudsburg, Pa.—When your wine-production facility and tasting room are in the basement of your home, and production passes 1,000 cases, it’s time to find or build a new winery. Randy and Linda Rice, owners of Mountain View Vineyard in Stroudsburg, found themselves in that situation. On May 4, the couple officially opened the doors to their new winery facility, which includes a 3,000-square-foot tasting room on the entry level and a 3,500-square-foot production space below. The new building is four times as large as the original winery at their home.

The Rices were bitten by the winery bug on a trip to the Finger Lakes wine region of New York. Not long after, they planted six grape varieties (a total of 70 vines) along their driveway’s split rail-fence in 2003. The next step was to clear 4 of their 6 acres for more vineyard space, a project that took months because that land was steeply sloped. Planting those 4 acres were a challenge that caused Linda Rice to exclaim: “You need to be a mountain goat to work this property!”

That outburst inspired the Rices’ son, Bobby, to create the “Sweet Old Goat” logo that now appears on the winery’s labels.

The winery’s space problem was exacerbated when they added a distillery in 2013, and it became apparent that Mountain View Vineyard needed more vineyards, more production space and a larger tasting room.

The couple bought a 100-acre farm 2.5 miles from their house, planted 3 acres of Arandell (those grapes will come into production this year) and started to design a new building. Rice has expanded the vineyard to include 7 acres of the cold-climate varieties Noiret, Petite Pearl and Verona, as winter temperatures in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains can regularly drop below 0° F.

“Our goal is to be as sustainable as possible,” Rice told Wines & Vines. “We use mulch that we get from a tree trimmer under the vines, and don’t want to use herbicides.”

His plans for the property include planting an organic garden for produce for the winery’s restaurant, 5 acres of hops for a future brewery, and adding as many as 35 acres of vineyard to supply the winery as it grows.

The new building is geothermal (thanks in part to a Rural Energy for America Program grant from USDA that helped cover about a quarter of the cost), has “optimal” insulation and uses LED lighting throughout. As of opening day, the production was equipped with numerous tanks of various sizes, but Rice noted they were adding another nine 500-gallon tanks and anticipating the arrival of a new bottling line from Criveller Co. and 30 new oak barrels. For the time being, the distillery production and tasting room will remain at its location in the Rices’ basement. Future plans involve moving the distillery to the new building and adding a brewery, possibly by next fall.

The tasting room above the production area features a wrap-around porch with views of the vineyard and the hills beyond, a stone fireplace and a spacious round tasting bar. Mountain View’s 19 wines are available to taste, as are the vodkas, moonshine and brandies from their distillery. In addition, the Rices have partnered with the Frogtown family of restaurants (which includes The Frogtown Inn & Six Acres Restaurant in Canadensis, Pa., and The Frogtown Chophouse in Swiftwater, Pa.) to establish a bistro at the winery. Chef Lyman Winner and Eric Noone will run the Frogtown Bistro at Mountain View Vineyard, where they plan to feature a tapas-style menu for lunch and dinner. The Frogtown Bistro also will cater weddings and other events at the winery.

The opening day celebration was attended by Pennsylvania state Rep. Rosemary Brown, who noted, “How appropriate to open this new building during small business week!”

The new Mountain View Vineyard winery building is located at 2332 Walters Road in Stroudsburg, Pa. For more information, visit mountainviewvineyard.com.


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