The rich, fertile farmlands of Pennsylvania have long produced bountiful harvests. Since our nation’s beginnings, Pennsylvania has served as the birthplace of America’s grape and wine heritage. The first commercially successful vineyard was located in Spring Mills, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, only thirteen miles northwest of Philadelphia. Several of the country’s oldest wineries, dating back to the early 1800s, were started in Pennsylvania.
In 1968, the Pennsylvania grape industry sponsored legislation that permitted the establishment of small farm wineries. Today, there are approximately 50 operating wineries in the state. There are 460 grape farmers producing 65-70,000 tons of grapes on 14,000 acres of land. This grape crops means over 14 million gallons of Pennsylvania grape juice, 700,000 gallons of Pennsylvania wine and 200 tons of fresh grapes are produced annually.
Historically, native American grapes established the beginnings of Pennsylvania wine making. Today, the state’s wine grape vineyards produce European vinifera varieties, French-American hybrids, as well as native American varieties. Many wineries also produce fruit wines. Visitors to Pennsylvania wineries will find a wide diversity of wine types available.
The Pennsylvania wine industry plays an important role in the state’s economy. Directly or indirectly, the thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in wages and taxes it generates adds more than $1.3 billion to the economic activity of Pennsylvania.
For information on Pennsylvania’s wines and wineries, call The Pennsylvania Wine Association hotline, 1-800-322-7575, or write to The Pennsylvania Wine Association, 103 South Duke Street, Lancaster, PA 17602.