With geography, climate and growing conditions that mirror those of the Bordeaux region in France, southeastern Pennsylvania continues to emerge as a force in American winemaking.
Pennsylvania ranks seventh in the nation for number of wineries — more than 200 — and produces nearly two million gallons of wine per year. Pennsylvania vintners have won awards at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the International Women’s Wine Competition, the New York International Wine Competition, the International Eastern Wine Competition, the World Wine Championships and the Berlin International Wine Competition, proving Pennsylvania can craft wines worthy of any table.
The Philadelphia region is specifically ideal for producing wine. The temperate climate, gently rolling hills and large bodies of water create warmer soil that nurtures a long growing season. The soil itself is flecked with limestone and gravel, enhancing the fertility of a range of grapes. Local winemakers point to the popularity and flavor of their chardonnays, chambourcins, pinot noirs, cabernet sauvignons and sparkling wines.
Many of the area’s wineries grow their own grapes. Others buy them locally, resulting in a spirit of cooperation among vintners. Several vintners have joined together to establish three wine trails in Philadelphia’s countryside: The Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail (35 miles from Center City) bridges Chester County wineries. The Bucks County Wine Trail (35 miles from Center City) unites wineries just north of Philadelphia. And The Montgomery County Wine Trail (25 miles from Center City) runs northwest of the city.
These trails — detailed below — are situated in the middle of historic and lush landscapes, near dozens of quaint bed and breakfasts and close to attractions in Center City Philadelphia, New Hope, Washington Crossing, Valley Forge National Historical Park and Pennsylvania Dutch Country, making for ideal afternoon and weekend getaways.
Read on to learn more about some of the region’s best wineries and vineyards (arranged alphabetically by wine trail), or click the buttons below to jump down to a specific wine trail. Cheers!
View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Town Dish (@thetowndish) on Mar 13, 2017 at 12:31pm PDT
A post shared by The Town Dish (@thetowndish) on Mar 13, 2017 at 12:31pm PDT
Founded by two couples who turned a hobby into a career by refurbishing a 198-year-old bank barn, Black Walnut Winery uses grapes from neighboring vineyards to produce 13 locally grown varietals and blends, including syrah, merlot and tryst (a pinot noir/merlot blend). Both Black Walnut’s winery and its offsite tasting room in downtown Phoenixville host a variety of events, including live music, throughout the year.
Where: Black Walnut Winery, 3000 Lincoln Highway, Coatesville
In 2006, Kurt Kalb began revitalizing the agricultural areas of the farm that his parents purchased in 1946. In 2008, he planted the first grapevines and has slowly expanded Borderland Vineyard with the help of family and friends.
Where: Borderland Vineyard, 332 Indiantown Road, Landenberg
Awards keep pouring in for Chaddsford Winery, whose owners turned an 18th-century barn into a premium wine operation in 1982, eventually expanding to their current 30,000-cases-a-year output of dry reds and whites, as well as sweet seasonal favorites. Set amid the rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley, between Longwood Gardens and the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the Delaware County winery hosts wine-and-food pairings and live music events, in addition to tastings and tours. A second location in Bucks County’s Peddler’s Village offers tastings and sales.
Where: Chaddsford Winery, 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford
This vintner produces both traditional — pinot noir, Riesling, chardonnay — and quirky — MapleVine, strawberry rhubarb, spiced peach — wines, offered in two tasting rooms, one in Chester County, the other in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Where: Flickerwood Wine Cellars, 33 South 3rd Street, Oxford
Wines at Galer are hand-produced exclusively from grapes grown at this Chester County vineyard or from vineyards within a 30-mile radius of the winery. The winemakers let the terroir express itself, taking a mostly hands-off approach once the grapes are harvested in order to generate different characteristics for each vintage. For sampling, there’s a tasting room just off the fermentation room and a deck overlooking the chardonnay vineyard.
Where: Galer Estate Vineyard & Winery, 700 Folly Hill Road, Kennett Square
View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Inn at Grace Winery (@innatgracewinery) on Jul 29, 2018 at 11:10am PDT
A post shared by The Inn at Grace Winery (@innatgracewinery) on Jul 29, 2018 at 11:10am PDT
Grace Winery and Sweetwater Farm sits on 50 acres along the Brandywine Valley in Delaware County. A vineyard, winery and inn, the bucolic venue hosts overnight guests in its Manor House and cottages and welcomes visitors into a renovated 1750 bank barn turned into a winery, tasting room and event space.
Where: Grace Winery and Sweetwater Farm, 50 Sweetwater Road, Glen Mills
One of the few local wineries to produce sparkling wine, J. Maki offers tastings of sparkling wine by the glass, along with chardonnays, Gewürztraminer, syrah and ice wine in its handsome tasting room.
Where: J. Maki Winery, 200 Grove Road, Elverson
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kreutz Creek Vineyards (@kreutzcreekwine) on Aug 1, 2016 at 4:45am PDT
A post shared by Kreutz Creek Vineyards (@kreutzcreekwine) on Aug 1, 2016 at 4:45am PDT
Jim Kirkpatrick began his winemaking journey in 1989 after his wife Carole gave him an at-home kit for his birthday. Soon, Kreutz Creek Vineyards was born, and today the couple produces nearly a dozen varieties, including a dessert wine and a holiday wassail. This winery’s tasting room features an almost year-round concert-and-movie series. The party continues at the vineyard’s tasting room in West Chester, which hosts live music every weekend.
Where: Kreutz Creek Vineyards, 553 S. Guernsey Road, West Grove
Nestled among rolling hills, Paradocx Vineyard uses almost exclusively homegrown grapes in its dozens of wines. Though shoppers can buy Paradocx wines at two retail shops, two farmers markets and through a mail-order wine club, at the winery they can sample wine out of pouches, special “paint” cans or flights.
Where: Paradocx Vineyard, 1833 Flint Hill Road, Landenberg
With more than 40 years of experience in the wine business, former wine importer and Abruzzese winemaker Gino Razzi produces internationally award-winning wines at Penns Woods Winery. Visitors savor his creations at the tasting room; buy locally made honey, chocolate and candles in the gift shop and do yoga in the vineyard. The actual winery, located offsite, is not open to the public.
Where: Penns Woods Winery, 124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford
Maintained and operated by owners Alice and John Weygandt, Stargazers Vineyard and Winery is situated on the Brandywine River near the Stargazers Stone, where Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon used celestial navigation to survey the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Open seasonally, Stargazers lets visitors wander past its vines and into its production winery.
Where: Stargazers Vineyard, 1024 Wheatland Drive, Coatesville
Lauded three times as one of the country’s best wineries by The Wine Advocate and The Daily Meal, Va La Vineyards prides itself on individuality. Winemaker Anthony Vietri sections his tiny vineyard into four plots where he co-cultivates vines and lets the soil determine what they turn into.
Where: Va La Vineyards, 8820 Gap Newport Pike, Avondale
View this post on Instagram A post shared by WAYVINE winery & vineyard (@way_vine) on Aug 15, 2017 at 5:24am PDT
A post shared by WAYVINE winery & vineyard (@way_vine) on Aug 15, 2017 at 5:24am PDT
A pair of Penn State University alums put their agriculture degrees to good use, hand planting 18 acres of grapes on a Nottingham farm. Their roster of wines leans European in style but does include Carmine, a deep red varietal developed on North American soil.
Where: Wayvine Vineyard & Winery, 4374 Forge Road
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Buckingham Valley Vineyards (@buckinghamvalleyvineyards) on Sep 3, 2016 at 4:23pm PDT
A post shared by Buckingham Valley Vineyards (@buckinghamvalleyvineyards) on Sep 3, 2016 at 4:23pm PDT
Celebrating more than 50 years in business, family-owned Buckingham Valley Vineyards & Winery is one of the state’s oldest farm wineries — and Bucks County’s sole winery producing naturally fermented sparkling wine using the Champagne method. There’s a folksy atmosphere on the 40-acre site, with a sculpture garden and picnic areas. Self-guided tours and tastings are available.
Where: Buckingham Valley Vineyards & Winery, 1521 Durham Road, Buckingham
With a facility and grounds on a 200-year-old estate less than a mile from where George Washington crossed the Delaware River in 1776, Crossing Vineyards and Winery prides itself on making restrained, European-style wines that have won more than 120 awards. To reduce the need for pesticides and other environmentally harmful or inefficient farming practices, the solar-powered winery uses lasers to evenly plant vines and employs a computerized weather station to gather useful data on the vineyard’s microclimates. The winery hosts private events, summer concerts, wine education events and special happenings for singles, wine novices and others.
Where: Crossing Vineyards and Winery, 1853 Wrightstown Road, Newtown
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A post shared by Jessica Michele (@honestcravings) on Sep 20, 2016 at 9:36pm PDT
Situated on a picturesque tract of land originally deeded by William Penn to his daughters, Rose Bank Winery captures the history of Bucks County with its 1719 stone manor house and 1835 barn, both overlooking lush pasture. Visitors to the estate are encouraged to savor the winery’s reds, whites, fruit wines and specialty wines such as chocolate orange port and coffee-like Cappavino.
Where: Rose Bank Winery, 258 Durham Road, Newtown
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Barbara (@cafeperlei) on Aug 26, 2017 at 12:14pm PDT
A post shared by Barbara (@cafeperlei) on Aug 26, 2017 at 12:14pm PDT
In the late 1960s, the Ullmans made their first wine on Kings Oak Farm in Huntingdon Valley. In 1986, husband-and-wife team Ed and Lisa purchased 22 acres in central Bucks County and planted an acre of French-American hybrids and native grapes. In 1991, they officially opened Rushland Ridge Vineyard and Winery and built a tasting room. Today, more than a dozen different varietals — including a traditionally crafted port — support the winery.
Where: Rushland Ridge Vineyards and Winery, 2665 Rushland Road, Jamison
This winery is one of the few on the East Coast to produce wines grown exclusively from vinis vinfera — cloned European vines, in this case, from Germany and France. Overlooking the Delaware River, the property features a cliff-side castle that houses a 30-foot-deep cellar where all of the vinification takes place. It’s open for various levels of tastings, from casual sips to extensive food pairings; public classes round out the experience. Two more Taste locations in Phoenixville and Warrington offer food to accompany wine by the glass.
Where: Sand Castle Winery, 755 River Road
Open since 2010, this boutique bottle shop and winery specializes in European whites and premium reds. Owners Jim and Kathy Jenks produce just nine wines, with a white German called Scheurebe as the premier offering.
Where: Unami Ridge Winery, 2144 Kumry Road, Quakertown
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A post shared by Kathryn Yard. 👾 (@ktyard) on Jul 23, 2016 at 1:43pm PDT
The Wycombe Vineyards estate has been in Rich Fraser’s family since 1925, first supporting the family pork businesses, later, in 1965, producing sod. Now, 10 of the 65 acres of fertile farmland are devoted to growing classic vinifera and French-hybrid varietals in various stages of maturity.
Where: Wycombe Vineyards, 1391 Forest Grove Road, Furlong
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Favian Martin (@favimart84) on Oct 16, 2016 at 12:07pm PDT
A post shared by Favian Martin (@favimart84) on Oct 16, 2016 at 12:07pm PDT
A’Dello Vineyard and Winery’s recipes and methods come from hundreds of years of family winemaking in Italy. Visitors bring their own food to enjoy while tasting signature reds and whites, semi-sweet whites, blushes and fruity wines, available on the patio and at the wine bar.
Where: A'Dello Vineyard and Winery, 21 Simmons Road, Perkiomenville
At Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery, guests can sample more than 35 different wines, including varieties with unusual ingredients such as mango, rhubarb, pumpkin and cranberry. Open-minded oenophiles love the hazelnut port, award-winning jalapeño wine and whiskey mead. The family-owned winery hosts wine classes and sells at stores and markets throughout the area.
Where: Boyd's Cardinal Hollow Winery, 1830 West Point Pike, Lansdale
Crafting wines from Pennsylvania-grown fruit and French-American hybrid grapes is a family affair at this winery on the border of Bucks and Montgomery counties. A circa 1856 dairy barn serves as a production facility, but it’s not all business: The site hosts live bands, yoga and other events.
Where: County Creek Vineyard and Winery, 133 Cressman Road, Telford
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jennifer Phuong (@shadesofgreentea) on Feb 4, 2017 at 4:22pm PST
A post shared by Jennifer Phuong (@shadesofgreentea) on Feb 4, 2017 at 4:22pm PST
Stone & Key Cellars specializes in bringing visitors the full experience of creating their own wine — from the design, based on a grape-tasting session with professional winemakers, to crushing, pressing, blending, bottling and, of course, drinking. If that sounds like too much work, visitors can sample and purchase premade house wines and ciders in the tasting room or participate in the Quarter Barrel Club, through which 24 participants meet at a series of pressings, barrel tastings and bottling events to create six wines, all with a focus on fun and making new friends.
Where: Stone & Key Cellars, 435 Doylestown Road, Montgomeryville
View this post on Instagram A post shared by KaramoorEstate (@karamoorestate) on Aug 13, 2018 at 6:04am PDT
A post shared by KaramoorEstate (@karamoorestate) on Aug 13, 2018 at 6:04am PDT
The wines produced at the elaborate Montgomery County Karamoor Estate Wines have been praised by Philadelphia Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan, and benefit from a collaboration between two very educated and experienced winemakers and viticulturalists. Grapes grow on family property that’s been farmed since before the days of William Penn.
Where: Karamoor Estate, 1001 Pinetown Road, Fort Washington
View this post on Instagram A post shared by New Hope Winery (@newhopewinery) on Aug 29, 2016 at 10:20am PDT
A post shared by New Hope Winery (@newhopewinery) on Aug 29, 2016 at 10:20am PDT
Housed in an 18th-century barn equipped with a robust gift, antique and gourmet food shop, wine bar and music/entertainment venue, New Hope Winery sells various fruit wines, a rosé and a wide variety of reds and whites. The winery doesn’t offer tours, as its vineyard is off-site, but there’s more than enough other activity to keep even casual visitors entertained.
Where: The New Hope Winery, 6123 Lower York Road, New Hope
Open since 2013, Vivat Alfa Winery (formerly Alpha and Omega) is a simple operation running out of a small fieldstone barn dating to 1750. Winemaker Richard Adamek went to winemaking school in the former Czechoslovakia and grows his European grapes on a plot of land next to the barn.
Where: Vivat Alfa Winery, 3612 Stump Road, Fountainville
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