Owner(s): Jim and Kathy Jenks
Winemaker: Jim Jenks
Open to Public
Fri-Sun 12 to 5
2144 Kumry Rd, Quakertown, PA 18951
phone: (215) 538-7067
Unami Ridge Winery Profile
Written by Brian—Oct 12, 2018
As of this writing, there are about 270 Pennsylvania wineries. A handful are well known, but most are modest, small-batch, boutique producers. Unami Ridge Winery in Quakertown falls into this much larger grouping.
I arrived at Unami Ridge to find a "for sale" sign at the end of the driveway. Owner Jim Jenks described his winery as a “hobby gone amok.” He became interested in the idea of wine while stationed in Germany with the Army and his “retirement” foray into personal wine making grew until it became a small, commercial venture.
The four acres of Unami Ridge vines were planted in 2005 and a tasting room opened four years later. In a good year, Jim and his wife Kathy were able to squeeze 2250 cases of wine out of their small holding. This is enough to show a profit, but not enough to hire help. So the couple managed all aspects of the operation until they decided it was time to “really” retire.
Fortunately, there are some potential buyers, because it will be a shame to see the winery close its doors. As small producers, Jim and Kathy Jenks did a fantastic job and created a distinct niche for the winery. In fact, there are some very unique aspects of their program.
Chief among these is the Scheurebe grape that Jenks cultivates and uses in a single-varietal wine. This underrated grape originated in Germany as a cross between Riesling and a second, unknown variety. Some speculate that it was Silvaner, but that appears to be incorrect. It has gone into decline in Germany, but can still be found in many regions. I recently tasted Scheurebe at a festival in the Franconian town of Wurzburg. So it’s definitely still used, but you are unlikely to encounter it in the United States.
The Unami Ridge Scheurebe had nice fruit and balance. I also tasted a Riesling, which was good, but the Scheurebe is worth the drive. In any case, the white offerings are the main event.
That is not to say the reds are not good. I sampled an excellent Cabernet Franc, a respectable Pinot Noir and a great Bordeaux blend. I found all the wines to be well crafted. I hope the new owners can continue and even build on the program established by Jim and Kathy Jenks.
So here’s the bottom line… You want to get over there in the nearterm. Unami Ridge Winery is small, but they are doing great things and merit attention. After you visit, please let me know what you think.