In March 2008, the current owners bought "Folly Hill Winery" and then proceeded to close the business in order to build a state-of-the-art winery and vineyard over the next 4 years. With the extensive expert assistance from internationally renowned consultants Lucy Morton viticulture consultant and John Levenberg winery/winemaker consultant, the world class winemaking property was conceived and built.
The "Red Lion Vineyard" initially had 4 acres that had been planted over 10 years prior with 50% Chardonnay and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. After two years of significant efforts and cost, the tough decision was made in 2010 to replace all the Cabernet Sauvignon with 6 different clones of Chardonnay. Today, these vines produce award winning "naked" unoaked chardonnay, oaked reserve chardonnay, and Methode champenoise chardonnay.
The current state-of-the-art winery was designed by John Levenberg in collaboration with Vinquip of South Africa, who had built major and boutique wineries in South Africa, Europe, South America and US, with blanketed temperature controlled stainless steel fermentation tanks, catwalk, and gravity flow piping to fill the French oak barrels below in the temperature-controlled barrel room. In addition, the design incorporated newly constructed crush pad, bottling room, wine laboratory, and sparkling wine 'cave'. The winery currently produces on average 2500 cases per year but can produce up to 4000+ cases annually.
The customer facing areas were designed with much thought and design. The external plantings were designed by Michael Petrie, a Philadelphia award winning garden designer. The two stunning artsy rustic tasting rooms were designed by artist founder Lele Galer. To accommodate the large number of patrons, two external decks were also built.
This award-winning vineyard and winery have won over 150 awards, including prestigious international blind tasting competitions, such as Gold Medals in the San Francisco Chronical Competition. The winery currently has over 70 Wine Club members and many loyal customers from Chester County, Delaware County, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Maryland.
There is an internationally acclaimed Airbnb separate 1 bedroom apartment on the property that has been written up in national and international magazines, built from a building that was formerly an icehouse and then a garage, overlooking the vineyard.
In recognition of the historical significance of the property- a historical placard from the Chester County Historical Society marks the site for its importance leading up to the Battle of the Brandywine. In addition, the current owners discovered that British General Howe used the original house as an office following his victory at the Battle of the Brandywine and his Hessian troops camped at the current site of the Red Lion Vineyard. For many decades later the site was a hunting lodge and a famous regular visitor was Babe Ruth, in his journeys to and from Baltimore to New York city.
Property benefits from Act 319 Taxes.
- Chester County
- 39.8803, -75.6822
- Year not provided