Generation Next: The Acadian Wine Company arrives in West Grove
Photo by Richard L. Gaw Pennsylvania winemaker Kyle Jones recently purchased the nearly eight-acre Kreutz Creek vineyards in West Grove, where he will own and operate The Acadian Wine Company.
By Richard L. Gaw
When winemaker Kyle Jones first arrived at Kreutz Creek Vineyards in West Grove last November, he was there to buy equipment from Jim and Carole Kirkpatrick, who were retiring after owning and operating the vineyard for the past 25 last years.
There, high on the hill, Jones saw the enveloping field of nearly eight acres of vineyards, tumbling gently to the east.
All this Jones had always wanted and needed as a winemaker was already there, firmly entrenched and permanent. Vines so thick and robust as heavy rope were meticulously aligned in neat rows. A small but efficient production unit stood in the center of the vineyard. The spacious, airy house the Kirkpatricks lived in had lovely views of the vineyard below and could easily be converted into a wine-tasting space for guests.
It was all there in front of Jones like a dream come true, and last December he became the new owner of the vineyard and proceeded to give it a new name: The Acadian Wine Company.
“I have been making wine for several years, and while I don’t come from a family that has land we owned companies, so the potential of owning a winery as a business has always been there for me,” Jones said, which had been Chief Winemaker of Nissley Vineyards & Winery in Lancaster County until 2021. “Wmanufacturing is a creative outlet for me, but Starting from scratch in the wine industry seems like a daunting undertaking, but the potential of our growing regions and taking over a turnkey operation has made it more achievable.
In his welcome letter to customers of Kreutz Creek Vineyards, Jones detailed what he inherited – four acres of 20-year-old growth of Vitis vinifera (common vine) and three acres of Vitis vinifera complex hybrid grape
vines, including some complex Bordeaux grape varieties. The coincidence was strange, he wrote, given his origins of the family in Europe.
“The winemaker in this case (Jones) is a descendant of the Acadians who brought some of these same types of vines with them across the Atlantic to North America in the early 1600s from the territory of France,” wrote Jones. “Learning to adapt and associate with the land and its inhabitants is the first tradition of the Acadian people.
“Similarly, the vines contained in these vineyards have flourished from twenty-five years of growth and adaptation in this site.”
Accoaccompanied by his dog Lilly and friends and family, Jones – who recently took over responsibility for the winemaking of the Paradocx Vineyard in Landenberg — is currently preparing its vinesor the cultivation of Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Vidalas well as
transformation of several rooms at the intermediate level and the outer deck of the former Kirkpatrick House to what will become a tasting area.
“I want it to be a space where people can participate in a celebration of wine,” he said. “We want our guests to be welcomed here into our ‘home’, where they can enjoy the fruits of our labor on this magnificent property.
Jones enters another growing season knowing full well that the life of a winemaker is both a labor of love and an investmentboth in science and creativity – and it all depends on the intangible of the climate in which the grapes grow. like a pennywinemaker lvania, Jones is at a double
advantage; the commonwealth ranks as the fourth largest in the country wine producer, representing 1.5% of the total volume, behind California, Washington and New York. In addition, the rocky soil and the microclimate of the department make the region particularly well suited to the cultivation of many varieties of grapes.
Consequently, Chester County has has continued to emerge as a major player in the regional wine scene, highlighted by more than a dozen wineries and tasting rooms that attract visitors from across the Mid-Atlantic and beyond.
“Able to stand on the world stage”
“The wine region in the southeast corner of Pennsylvania is able to stand on the world stage”, Jones noted. “There is no excuse for producing bad wine. If I believe wine is a common experience and not just separate pillars on their own hills – there must be a cohesion of the winegrowers. We are not competitors, but collaborators.
While there’s no definitive book demonstrating how a winemaker can combine the business, creative and entertainment aspects of winery ownership, Jones said it often comes down to small details.
“I painted the top of the bar white because when I walk into a wine tasting room and take a glass of wine from a wooden bar, I can’t see the wine,” he said. -he declares. “That level of attention – and intention – is what underpins everything.”
When The Acadian Wine Company starts its first year this month of April, his first harvest will still be several mmonths, so Jones develops a wine list from other regions to serve customers in 2022 – including the wines he salutesmself made in Pennsylvania.
“I will welcome guandsts in my ‘house’ and offerwines that I did and stand behind wiwithout question,” he said. “I could put my wine on the table next to California grape varieties, Italy and France and shamelessly say, ‘It’s Pennsylvania wine, and it belongs here.’
“I may be the next generation of winemakers in this region, but I stand on the shoulders of giants. All the work they have done makes what I do possible. While I have experience as a winemaker in Pennsylvania, I hope to be insinuated within this communityity. The rising tide helps us all to rise, as long as we all raise our anchors.
The Acadian Wine Company is located at 553 S. Guernsey Road in West Grove. To keep up to date with the latest news from La Compagnie des Vins Acadiens, visit www.acadianwinecompany.comor email [email protected]
To contact editor Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected].