About Our Wines
Dryness/Sweetness: We have found that sweetness level is very important to the consumer. In our region of Central Pennsylvania, many people prefer that a wine be sweet, while others prefer dry (the absence of detectable sweetness). Accordingly, our wines range from very dry to very sweet, with many levels in between. Each label contains a dryness/sweetness designation to help you determine whether the wine might fit your taste. Dry, Off-dry, Semi-dry, Semi-sweet and Sweet are the five designations we use.
The Source of the Grapes or other fruit is indicated by four designations. Estate Bottled means that we grew the grapes, produced (fermented) the wine and bottled it, all at our winery. Lancaster Valley (our American Viticultural Area) means that at least 85% of the grapes were grown in this established area. Lancaster County means that all grapes were grown in the wider area of our county. Pennsylvania means that the wine does not qualify for any of the other designations, but the grapes/fruits were all grown in PA. Regardless of the source of the grapes/fruits, all Nissley wines are produced and bottled at our winery. Any exceptions, which are rare, would be indicated on the wine label by the word “made” or “vinted” instead of “produced.”
Vintage refers to the year that the grapes were grown. We vintage date all grape wines which qualify (according to Federal Government regulations). On the wine label, you will see the vintage date prominently displayed above the wine name. If the wine does not qualify for the vintage date, we refer to the copyright date, displayed at the bottom or side of the label in small print. (This copyright date is the same year that the fruit was grown.) Occasionally we will use a letter of the alphabet to differentiate two separate lots of the same wine.
Although we strive to produce wines that are consistent from one lot to the next and one year to the next, there will often be variations due to availability of and climatic effects on the grapes or fruit. Furthermore, a wine develops different characteristics as time passes. Even one year can make a noticeable difference. Therefore, for reasons of quality control, we pay close attention to the dates printed on Nissley labels.
The composition of a wine (i.e., percent of grapes and fruits) may vary from vintage to vintage. However, the descriptions on the Wine Lists are generally appropriate from one vintage to the next. [A significant exception is the 2003 Vintage of Red Wines.They were notably pale and light-bodied because of the cool, rainy summer of 2003.] Proprietary is a term used to indicate that the blend is special and falls into the category of trade secret.