Think Local – Think Wine

Winery in PA

This article was previously published by the Pennsylvania Winery Association. Find PA wineries, wine trails, events, and more at PennsylvaniaWine.com.

Sometimes, the best things are made right in your own backyard. Did you know Pennsylvania is the fifth-largest grape-growing region in the country? Dedicated vintners at wineries across the commonwealth are making award-winning bottles with Pennsylvania-grown grapes. The next time you’re shopping for everyday meals (or special occasions), add Pennsylvania wineries to the places you frequent, along with local farms, dairies and breweries.

Buying local wines lets you indulge in and discover new flavors while you support the small-town economy—including creative artisans and regional agriculture. Winemakers in Pennsylvania are pushing the boundaries of winemaking techniques with new grape varietals and cutting-edge yeasts.This innovation is crafting a host of unique flavors and styles such as Lemberger (a black-skinned grape originally from Germany), with bold notes of ripe black cherries, blackberries and red currant plus a touch of spice; Grüner Veltliner (a white wine grape from Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic), a crisp, dry white with flavors of lime and grapefruit marked with good acidity and minerality; and Chambourcin (a red-skinned French-American hybrid), a complex, earthy red wine with notes of pomegranate, black pepper and sage for slight spice at the finish. That’s just a sampling of what you’ll find at Pennsylvania wineries.

Visiting your local winery means more than tasting award-winning wines. You get to meet the people behind the brands and engage in new experiences. Pennsylvania wineries offer simple wine-tasting tutorials for the beginner and reserve tastings for seasoned oenophiles; special events like yoga, concerts, car shows, food truck festivals and artisan showcases; picnic space;  and at some wineries, markets filled with local foods.

Your visit also supports an agricultural tradition that goes all the way back to 1683 when William Penn planted the first vineyard in Philadelphia, in what is now Fairmount Park. Check out your local wine trail to find great vineyards and winemakers near you. With 14 wine trails across the state, and more than 200 wineries, there’s no shortage of impressive destinations to visit within an easy drive.

Even if you can’t make it out to the winery, you’ll be able to find Pennsylvania wines in your local Fine Wine and Good Spirits store. Visit these links to find Pennsylvania-made whitered and sparkling wines near you.

The Pennsylvania Winery Association is a trade association representing more than 100 member wineries and an advocate on behalf of the state’s growing multibillion-dollar wine industry. With some of the most fertile grape-growing land on the East Coast, Pennsylvania ranks fifth nationally in the amount of grapes grown, seventh in wine production, and seventh in the number of licensed wineries. To learn more about Pennsylvania wine, visit PennsylvaniaWine.com.

Nathan Greenwood