Pennsylvania Wine Travel Guide

About the Pennsylvania Wine Country

An interesting fact about the Pennsylvania wine country is it’s everywhere in the state! No matter where you are, you’re less an hours drive to a winery.

Winemaking in Pennsylvania began centuries ago when William Penn planted the first vineyard in Philadelphia in 1683. Since then the area thrived, only to come to a halt in the 1920’s when Prohibition was enacted. After its repeal in the 1930’s, it was a hard road toward recovery but today the Pennsylvania wine country is thriving once again.

There are more than 200 wineries in Pennsylvania, and more than a dozen wine trails making it a perfect wine country weekend getaway. Make sure to sips some local Pinot Noir and Riesling – two of the state’s leading wine varietals.

Pennsylvania wine travel guide

Pennsylvania Wine

Pennsylvania’s climate – hot summers and cold winters – is more like Europe than California or Australia and presents the ideal terroir for emerging French-American hybrid grapes, and traditional wine varieties. The state is home to five designated American Viticultural Areas (AVA – wine growing regions), including…
  • Lehigh Valley AVA: Recognized for its unique microclimates and fertile land, the Lehigh Valley AVA is an ideal environment for red grapes such as Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc and white grapes, including Vidal and Riesling. Lehigh Valley is also home to the state’s original Grüner Veltliner plantings.
  • Lancaster Valley AVA: The Lancaster Valley AVA rests on a deep limestone bed, which produces grapes that are rich and ripe, ideal for Cabernets, Chardonnays and Rieslings.
  • Lake Erie AVA: Historically known as the “Grape Belt of America,” the lake region’s cold climate is ideal for native grapes like Concord, Riesling, Niagara and Catawba, and emerging varieties like Noiret and Vidal Blanc.
  • Central Delaware Valley AVA: Located in southeastern part of the state, Pennsylvania shares the wine region with New Jersey, which includes 96,000 acres surrounding the Delaware River north of Philadelphia.
  • Cumberland Valley AVA: Located in south-central Pennsylvania, this AVA is shared with Maryland. Only 100 acres of the 765,000 acres included in the wine region are planted to grapevines. Of those acres that are planted, they’re predominantly on high terraces over the Potomac River and on the slopes of South Mountain – making for some amazing views!

Pennsylvania Wineries

With more than 200 wineries in Pennsylvania, and a dozen wine trails, finding a nice spot in wine country to sip and savor won’t be challenging. Here’s a map to help guide your route.

Wine Trails in Pennsylvania Wine Country

Wine trails are designed to provide a unique experience and allow you to sample different growing regions within an area. With 200 wineries, Pennsylvania has more than 12 wine trails, meaning there are a lot of experiences you can have.

Exploring the Pennsylvania Wine trails
A quick guide to two popular Pennsylvania wine trails

 

Wine Festivales in Pennsylvania (Not to Miss)

Taste of Pennsylvania
May 19 -20, 2018
A family-friendly weekend of Pennsylvania wines, 250 to be exact, unique vendors, local food, and live bands. If wine isn’t your thing, head over to Brew Kids on the Block, the festival will offer a tour of Pennsylvania’s 20 or so newest breweries.

Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine & Food Festival
June 23 – 24, 2018
Split Rock Resort, Lake Harmony, PA
Uncork summer with the Annual Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine and Food Festival. This two-day outdoor festival features food and craft vendors, live musical entertainment, and samples from an estimated 30 Pennsylvania wineries.

Pennsylvania Winemakers

Coming soon - Meet the makers behind Pennsylvania wine...

Beyond the Vines: Things to see and do besides sipping wine...

More Pennsylvania Wine Country Resources

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Pennsylvania wine travel guide