With its unique terroir and climate, Pennsylvania is home to many exceptional wineries and vineyards. In fact, PA is the fifth-largest grape producer and seventh-largest wine producer in the US. There are over 300 wineries in the state and it produces more than two million gallons of wine annually.
If you’re in any one of Keystone State’s picturesque cities and villages, you’re no more than an hour away from wine country. There are 14 unique wine trails in the region, so vino lovers are really spoilt for choice.
To get you started, here is our list of five of the best wineries in PA that should definitely be on the itinerary when next you travel to the vineyards.
Galen Glen Winery, Andreas
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For an all-inclusive wine tasting experience with a German flavour, Galen Glen Winery is your go-to destination in Pennsylvania. These 20 acres of Lehigh Valley vineyards, with an annual production of between 6 500 and 7 000 cases, produce rich and complex wines.
At the helm are the Troxells, a family with seven generations of wine-making experience and a passion for white varietals with German origins. Parents, Galen and Sarah purchased the estate from Galen’s father in 1995 and released Galen Glen Winery’s first vintage in 1998. Today, with daughter Erin as vineyard manner and apprentice winemaker, Galen Glen Winery is responsible for some of the region’s best Grüner, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling, among others.
When the weather is fine, guests can enjoy wine by the glass or in tasting flights on Galen Glen’s elegantly patio, with sweeping vineyard and mountain views. In inclement weather, or at any other time, guests can take it inside to the estate’s climate-controlled pavilion or the winery itself.
Galen Glen offers a wine-tasting experience – including cheese pairings and blind tasting, among others – for every palate. Parties of more than eight people need to make reservations in advance and reservations are recommended but not required for inside the winery. You can visit Galen Glen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 12pm and 5pm. These hours are extended for the regular special events – from Sips and Soup to Wine Barrel Hanger craft workshops – held at Galen Glen. It’s definitely one of the best wineries in PA.
- 2015 Stone Cellar Riesling
- 2017 Stone Cellar Grüner Veltliner
Stony Run Winery, Breinigsville
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Another of the LeHigh Valley wineries in Pennsylvania is Stony Run Winery. Producing 7 500 cases of wine annually from 45 acres of vineyards, this 60-acre working farm is beloved for its Spanish grape varietals.
Stony Run has come a long way since its initial 600 Albariño plantings. Today, Stony Run is one of the Pennsylvania wineries from which the region draws its status as a premier wine-growing region. The vineyard was recently expanded with a further 3 000 Albariño plantings and the winery has the infrastructure to produce batches of 80 000 cases in the future.
Two years ago, the owner, Lawry Shrawder, secured the services of Argentinean winemaker extraordinaire, Ignacio (Nacho) Martinez Giardini. Using a state-of-the-art automated grape harvester and other wine-making machinery, Shrawder’s team produces an award-winning array of red and white whites.
Between 2pm and 8pm on Thursdays and Fridays, from 12pm to 7pm on Saturdays, and from 12pm to 5pm on Sundays, visitors can come to Stony Run to purchase wine or enjoy a delightful tasting experience. If you’re after more than just the wineries in PA, you should check the Stony Run calendar to catch the farmers’ market or one of the exciting events frequently hosted on the grounds.
The stone walls, rustic decor, and expansive LeHigh Valley countryside provide a sensory escape from modernity. Stony Run visitors can enjoy this with a glass of wine on the patio of The Cellar. With different styles of chardonnay, this is among the Pennsylvania wineries that are paradise for white wine lovers. Also on offer, to name but a few, are bright sparkling wine, crisp Grüner Veltliners, dry Rieslings and, of course, the celebrated Stony Run Albariño.
- 2017 Grüner Veltliner
- 2017 Albariño 2017
Vox Vineti Wines, Christiana
Vox Vineti is Latin for “voice of the vineyard”, an apt name for a winery brimming with soul. Ed and Adrienne Lazzerini, the owners of Vox Vineti Wines, aim to produce wines that channel the unique terroir of their land into the bottle. They carefully create small-batch, single-vineyard wines, with aromas, flavours and textures that truly reflect their origins.
The 78-acre estate encompasses 20 acres ideal for the cultivation of premium grapevines. The first three of these acres was planted in 2010 and the winery was established just two years later. From this, Vox Vineti produces 200 to 300 cases of the two million gallons of wine bottled by wineries in PA each year. The Lazzerinis bought the property specifically for its rocky soil, comprised of sandy loam, quartz and schist.
Ed Lazzerini, who is also the estate’s winemaker, closely monitors the PH of the soil and induces water stress in the vines to develop complex blends that recall his childhood travels in Burgundy. It is little wonder, then, that Vox Vineti stands out as one of the best wineries in Pennsylvania. You can enjoy tastings at this winery by reservation only on weekends, between 1pm and 4pm. Reservations are limited to a maximum of eight guests for one-hour tasting slots. If you’re lucky, you may even be treated to an exclusive tasting of one of the winery’s limited edition wines.
- 2017 Nebbiolo
- 2015 Polyphony
Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery, Kennett Square
Art lovers and seekers of scenic surrounds will find heaven at Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery. It all began in 2010, when Lela and Brad Galer planted a seven-acre vineyard on the farm where they live in Pocopson village, near the town of Kennet Square.
Inspired by the picturesque Chester County landscape of rolling hills and lush green valleys, Lela Galer, a steel sculptor, has re-imagined the grounds through her artist’s eye. This is expressed throughout the estate and inside the charming wooden building that houses the tasting room. Inside, the counters, created from the recycled marble steps of Independence Hall, lend a sense of history to the tasting room. Visitors enjoy breathtaking vineyard views through ornate lead-glass windows as they savour Galer Estate’s award-winning wines.
This magic is reflected in the Galer Estate wines, featuring Albariño, Pinot Gris, and oaked and un-oaked Chardonnay, to name but a few. The duo responsible for these varietals is comprised of vineyard manager, Jan Grimes, and winemaker and winery manager, Virginia Mitchell.
The estate is open for tastings from Fridays to Saturdays, between 12pm and 8pm, and on Sundays, from 12pm to 7pm. These are on a first-come-first-served basis and not available for reservation. Larger groups should contact Galer Estate to arrange private tastings.
- 2017 Red Lion Chardonnay
- 2018 Rosé
Penns Woods Winery, Chadds Ford
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Established in 2001, Penns Woods Winery is an award-winning family winery, 25 miles southwest of Philadelphia. This widely beloved estate is among the best wineries in PA, with perhaps the most awe-inspiring views in all the region.
Combining old world tradition with the latest winemaking technology, Penns Woods produces 5 000 cases of complex and flavoursome wine each year. This is owed largely to the unique terroir of the soil in this south-eastern corner of Pennsylvania. The grapes yielded from this soil are given the special Penns Wood touch by two generations of winemakers – owner, Gino Razzi and his son-in-law and assistant winemaker, Davide Creato. The family boasts over four decades of winemaking experience.
Visitors can take along a picnic basket or sample some delicious local fare on the estate’s lawn, while enjoying a Penns Wood wine tasting or simply a bottle from the outdoor bar. Tastings are available from Tuesdays to Fridays, between 12pm and 6pm (open seating), and on Saturdays and Sundays between 11pm and 6pm.
- 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
- 2014 Cabernet Franc Reserve
Whether you have a preference for trying the latest wine trends, boutique family-owned farms or larger historic estates, there is a destination with your name on it among the wineries in PA.
Born amidst the rolling vineyards of Napa Valley, Chloe’s love for wine was instilled from a young age. This passion led her to the picturesque wine regions of France, where she immersed herself in the rich wine culture and traditions.
Chloe’s dedication to the craft culminated in her becoming a wine sommelier, a testament to her deep knowledge and appreciation for wines.