Gregg Amore displays the fruits of his labor of love on the counter of his winery.
Inspired by fellow alum and renowned wine expert Jeff Cox '62, Gregg Amore '72G planted some grapevines on his family's 100-acre farm just a few miles from his alma mater. Three years later, the wine is flowing at Amore Winery.
"When I read one of the recent alumni magazines (Lehigh Alumni Bulletin
, Winter 2004) and saw a story on Cox's new book, I was surprised--I didn't know he had gone to Lehigh. I must have referred to his book on winemaking--From Vines to Wines--a thousand times," says Amore, who earned his Ph.D. in education from Lehigh and is now director of counseling and chairman of the psychology department at nearby DeSales University.
After a hard day's work counseling and teaching, Amore says he's eager to get out on the farm and dig in the dirt--the very dirt he played in as a child. "I was born on that farm and after playing around with some winemaking kits, I thought I'd like to get back and do something with it, so I planted some vines," he says. "Then I got crazy and thought, 'I really want to do this...'"
Although business is going well at Amore Winery, which opened Easter weekend 2003, the owner says making money was not his primary goal when he planted the seeds.
"You have to have vines planted for a few years before you can even start making wine, so it's not a get-rich-quick business," he says. "The goal here is not to be the biggest winery in Pennsylvania by any stretch of the imagination. The only thing I aspire to is to make some good wine, have some people enjoy it, and enjoy the process."
Amore enjoys the process every day. "There's always something to learn about winemaking, from what kind of root stock the grapes grow best on to how to deal with inclement weather conditions to the kind of wine people choose the most," he says. Incidentally, the most popular Amore wine is Red Rapture, a semi-sweet red.
In addition to wine, Amore also sells flowers, produce, pumpkins in the fall, and Christmas trees in the winter. And when he's not counseling or teaching students or pruning vines in his fields, Amore is often flying over fields in the cockpit of his 1970 six-seat Twin Commanche airplane. He also presents corporate seminars on personal impact, John Gray's Mars/Venus male-female communication, and leadership and team building.
Having traveled the road from vines to wines himself, Amore says he frequently refers people to Jeff Cox's book. "People who just want to play around and make some wine--I tell them to pick up From Vines to Wines. It just might lead into something bigger..."
Lehigh Alumni Bulletin