Weaving goes well with wine at Weathered Vineyards
Dana and Richard Woolley of Weathered Vineyard, Weisenberg Township, joined a dozen vineyards in the Lehigh Valley area in 2013.
Richard serves as the vintner, but his previous job as a meteorologist took them to New York, Nevada and California where they investigated the wine industry, as it was Richard’s hobby for many years.
Debbi Zvanut teaches weaving baskets a year ago as part of Wine and Weaving Night at the vineyard.
There are also other crafts and a great deal of interest has been shown in the events.
Some nights there are more than 20 attendees.
In the backroom of the vineyard there are pews from Big Brothers Big Sisters, which purchased a church.
The Woolleys bought the oak pews for additional party seating so more tables could be set up.
Dana said the crafts help attract people to the wine tastings, for which there are embossed glasses.
“We started from scratch three years ago,” she said. “We bought 26 acres and had to put up our home and then the wine production and tasting building.”
Some 2,500 vines were planted on 3 acres and then another 1-1/2 acres were planted.
A new press, at $22,000, was loaded on the front of a truck. It was difficult to unload and finally was moved toward the back by jerking the truck and hoping it would slide. It did, a few inches at a time. Dana said the new press is a huge undertaking and Richard is working to unpack it.
Bottles of Estate Wine lay golden in the fading sun.
For Mother’s Day a door knob basket was the project. Zvanut said it can be handy to drop keys or other small items in.
Gena DeLong said they had been making baskets to hold wine bottles.
“Ann is making her third, might be on her fourth. They finish a project here unless they feel capable of finishing it at home,” said Zvanut.
Dianne Piervatto said she didn’t know she had to push each strip of rattan tight and her first finished basket was big enough to hold two bottles because of the looseness.
The bottom is finished and the basket is upset. The up and down pieces are called the stakes and the one to go around the top is the weaver.
The strips of rattan have to be wet to work with. If a weaving is too loose it has to be taken apart to the loose area and done over.
Dana said the baskets are functional and fun.
The couple has a son, Jason Jr. who attends Northwestern Lehigh, and an older son, Andrew, who recently graduated from West Virginia University.
“The biggest thing is we make people feel like family when people come in the door,” Dana said.