Benigna's Creek was founded on the simple idea that if you take care of the ground, it takes care of you. In 1999, brothers Rick and Mike faced the harsh realities of a declining hog market. As lifelong farmers with a deep land ethic, they knew better than anyone what wonders a well-tended field could produce. For years they had cultivated the same plot of ground that their father had to support their stock, and, despite some lean seasons, it had always produced. Rick knew their particular blend of Calvin Shaly Silt and Leck Kill Channery Loam had greatness in it. It was capable of producing something other then grain crops, and it would breathe new life into a declining family farm.
While Rick and Mike had faith in the ground's potential, what they were asking it to do was audacious. In the late nineties, there were only a few of vineyards and wineries in Pennsylvania. While competition was light, the trail was largely “unblazed”. There was no road map to get them from where they were to where they were headed. The learning curve was steep, but farming is a strict and thorough teacher. Things they'd learned through a lifetime of land stewardship and commitment to quality translated more directly than they could have imagined.
20 years later, Rick and Mike aren't farming hogs anymore. They've taken the lessons learned about caring for the ground, concentrating on the little things, and reaping what you sow and applied them to a new type of stock. From the vines they tend and prune by hand, through the fall harvest and crush, on into fermentation and bottling, they sweat the small stuff that makes the difference between a good wine and a great one. Over the years, the Benigna's Creek family has grown, and it's not just Rick and Mike who work the vines anymore. Parents, siblings, children, nieces, nephews, and even grandchildren are involved. Along the way, we're all learning that same land ethic and what it means to truly take care.
If you take care of the ground, it takes care of you.
About the Name
Along the south side of the vineyard flows a small trout stream. Now the Mahantongo, this creek was originally named Benigna's Creek for the daughter of Nicolas von Zinzendorf, a German missionary traveling through Schuylkill County with intentsions of evangelizing the Native Americans.
Benigna later settled in the Bethlehem, PA area and would begin the first all girls’ school in America.
True to its roots, Benigna's Creek Vineyard and Winery strives to keep faith and family at the center of its everyday operations.