Last weekend John Husk and Dot Harvison hosted a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis for Dot’s daughter Holly McIntosh who was named as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest is a select group of Pittsburgh’s most eligible men and women chosen for their activity in the community and success in their careers.
The event, which raised more than $3,000 for the cause was held at the soon to be J&D Cellars in Eighty-Four. John and Dot, who also run the Washington Winemaker’s Society, have been making wine for years and they are finally very close to opening their winery. It is just a matter of paperwork. The winery and vineyard are in a beautiful, quiet, wooded area, complete with beautiful gardens and picturesque goats, that is just off of the Eighty-Four exit. It is easy to get to, yet it is a quiet escape.
For the event, guests were treated to a preview of wines that John and Dot are working on. There were three red and three white selections as well as a port and a specialty sangria blend. The wines range from traditional vinifera varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and their “Bortage” (a Bordeaux blend) to native varieties like Niagara. The juicy and crisp “Diamond” wine was the perfect summer wine, while the chocolate port was amazing. The wines are made from a combination of estate grown grapes (the varieties which grow best in this area) and imported grapes from warmer climates. There is no doubt that J&D Cellars will be a welcome and quality addition to the area’s growing wine trail. Western Pennsylvania is well on it’s way to being an area known for quality wine makers.
The tasting room, situated in the lower level of a beautiful log home, is ready to go for the winery’s opening, which could happen as early as the Fall. For now, John and Dot continue to perfect their craft and family and friends are happy to help with the testing.