Galen Glen Winery – Perfecting the Art of Making White Wine in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
If you are a fan of well-made white wine and you are winetasting in Pennsylvania, a visit to Galen Glen Winery is obligatory.
I make this recommendation having visited eight of Pennsylvania’s top wineries.
Husband-and-wife team, Galen Troxel and Sarah Rhodes-Troxell established Galen Glen in 1995 starting with a 2-acre parcel of grape vines that produced the winery’s first vintage in 1998.
Today Galen Glen has 20 acres under vine with an annual production of 6,500 – 7,000 cases.
Climate change is impacting the area with more extreme weather events affecting the estate more often, but the vineyard has been able to rebound including from -10°C weather this past January.
The winery is a family affair with daughter, Erin Troxell, serving as a vineyard manager, owner and winemaker in training.
Many family wineries rely predominately on sales made through their tasting rooms, but Galen Glen has diversified its sales strategy beyond its cellar doors.
Three years ago, 90% of Galen Glen’s sales were made through its tasting room.
Today 60% of its sales are made through the tasting room, and 40% are made through distributors in Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland.
You can also find Galen Glen wine in restaurants in Philadelphia.
The first thing you notice about a bottle of Galen Glen is its design-forward label.
In 2017 Galen Glen brought in a design team to design a more modern label to better appeal to millennials.
You can see in a side-by-side comparison how elements from the older label are tastefully retained in the updated design.
Sarah Rhodes-Troxell is Galen Glen’s winemaker.
Before becoming a winemaker she was a pharmaceutical scientist.
When you visit Galen Glen’s wine laboratory you get a strong sense of the precision Sarah brings to her winemaking which is reflected in the bottle.
In the middle of the vineyard sits a Stone Cellar whose name factors into the name of Galen Glen’s premium wines.
Standing in the rustic space of the cellar I tasted Galen Glen’s GJT Vineyard 2015 riesling which transported me immediately to the Mosel.
If you’d blind-tasted me on this riesling and told me it was from Germany’s Mosel region, I would have believed you.
Galen-Glen wines shine with complexity and richness.
For a combo made in heaven, pair any of their white wines with fondue.
Below are some wines to explore when you visit:
- Galen Glen, Fossil Vineyard Riesling 2018, Vinology, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Wine Casual, 90 Points)
- Galen Glen, Grüner Veltliner 2018, Vinology, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Wine Casual, 90 Points)
- Galen Glen, Fossil Vineyard Riesling 2017, Stone Cellar, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Wine Casual, 91 Points)
- Galen Glen, Gewürztraminer 2017, Stone Cellar, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Wine Casual, 91 Points)
- Galen Glen, Grüner Veltliner 2017, Stone Cellar, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Wine Casual, 92 Points)
- Galen Glen, Riesling GJT Vineyard 2015, Stone Cellar, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Wine Casual, 94 Points)