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 Pennsylvania Wine Country 
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Post Pennsylvania Wine Country
Pennsylvania Wine Country
by: Ronald Senn

In elementary school when learning U.S. geography, Pennsylvania always “threw me for a loop” when trying to spell it. I kept forgetting the “y”. The state is infamous as the location where the Declaration of Independence was signed. In December 1878, Pennsylvania became the second state to join the new union of American states, just five days after Delaware. The state ranks sixth in population and thirty-third in total area when compared to the other states. In agricultural production, Pennsylvania ranks nineteenth overall, but ranks first in mushroom production, third in Christmas tree production and, surprisingly, seventh in the nation in wine making.

The state has over 100 wineries covering over 14,000 acres. The wine industry contributes over 2 billion dollars to the state’s economy. Approximately 230 distinct growers produce nearly 400,000 cases of wine annually. The Pennsylvania wine industry accounts for over 10,500 jobs. The wine industry is relatively young, but is growing fast and gaining recognition for its quality wines. The grape crop harvest typically starts in late August and ends in the middle of October.

The wine industry originated in the southeast and northwest portions of the state. Today, wineries are scattered throughout the state. The majority of wine production is in the eastern part of the state within a polygon defined by drawing a line from Williamsport east to Scranton, then southeast to Newtown, then southwest to Eddystone, then west to Orrtanna, and then north back to Williamsport. In August 2009, Jennifer Eckinger, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Winery Association, in an interview with Joel Berg, The Patriot News, said, “There’s actually a winery within a 45 minute drive anywhere in the state . . .”

The primary Pennsylvania varietals that can be found includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Catawba, Cayuga, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Reisling, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc and Virnoles. One of the strengths of the Pennsylvania wine industry is the diversity of the grapes grown. Many of the wine makers have received awards and other recognitions for their quality vintages. Most of the wine growing operations are family-owned and offer a special brand of hospitality should you opt to tour them.

Touring Pennsylvania wineries can be fun endeavor to partake. Plan your trip carefully before hitting the road. If you do not like crowds and want a more one-on-one experience, tour during the week rather than the weekends. Prepare yourself by learning as much as you can about the wineries you plan to visit by visiting their respective websites. Do not forget to stop occasionally to “smell the roses” and experience the local cultures, museums, historical markers, restaurants, etc. Manage your tour trip to get all the enjoyment you can and not let the trip become an onus to having fun.

Author: Ronald Senn, Vice-president, Ideal Wine Coolers


About The Author
Ronald Senn is currently Vice-president of Ideal Wine Coolers. Ron served in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1970. Ron graduated from the University of Arizona with BS and MS Degrees. Ron is retired from the U.S. Forest Service after serving over 30 years.

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Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:32 pm
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