14 Cork-Popping PA Wine Trails
As the fifth-largest grape producer and seventh in both wine production and number of wineries, Pennsylvania knows vino. The state’s moderate climate and rolling terrain provide some of the best growing conditions on the East Coast, evidenced by the more than 1.6 million gallons of wine produced each year.
From anywhere in-state, wine aficionados are less than an hour’s drive from at least one of more than 200 Pennsylvania wineries, many of which are smaller, family-owned establishments. Pennsylvania’s 14 self-guided wine trails allow (very) Happy Travelers to sip their way through vineyard-clustered areas at their own pace. Lodging options abound, so stick around after you indulge!
1. Lake Erie Wine Country (22 wineries)
Lake Erie Wine Trail is approximately 50 miles long and runs along 30,000 acres of vineyards along Lake Erie in Pennsylvania. Eleven of their 22 wineries can be found in Pennsylvania. Those with time constraints appreciate the closeness of the trail’s wineries, which produce everything from ice and fruit varieties to specialty wines like brandies and ports. Don’t have all day? Use the handy Trip Planner to select which wineries you want to visit and receive detailed directions to each. If you can’t decide on just a few, check out Lake Erie’s Harvest Celebration Nov. 3-5, where you can enjoy delicious food and wine sampling at all 22 wineries. While you’re in the area, you can’t miss Presque Isle State Park – offering seven miles of sandy beaches along Lake Erie, hiking and biking trails, fishing and more.
2. Southwest Passage Wine Trail (8 wineries)
Eight wineries in the Laurel Highlands, make up the scenic Southwest Passage Wine Trail. The cooler climate and higher elevations in this region helps cold-hardy hybrids native grapes thrive in the shale-based soils. You can expect to find varieties like Chardonnay, Cabernet, Franc, Vidal, and Chambourcin. Along the way, explore the mountains and valleys of southwestern Pennsylvania — and before you leave, we recommend a stop at destinations like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and the stunning Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
3. Groundhog Wine Trail (17 wineries)
Beyond its adorable namesake, the Groundhog Wine Trail spans multiple counties and takes visitors to 17 wineries accented by the unique beauty of the Pennsylvania Wilds and surrounding regions. Mix up your tastings with a brisk hike in the Allegheny National Forest, or make a pit stop in one of the many charming towns along the way. If it’s panoramic views you’re after, take a stroll on the Kinzua Sky Walk, a railroad bridge that towers 225 feet above the valley floor and was the world’s longest, highest bridge at the time of its construction. And you’re looking for the eponymous groundhog on this trail, don’t worry — every January, the region hosts a Groundhog Day Wine Festival — featuring a visit from Punxsutawney Phil himself!
4. Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail (16 wineries)
Producers of copious award-winning wines of all varieties, the 16 participating wineries along the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail enjoy a favorable climate for growing native and hybrid grapes, as well as more delicate grape varieties. The wineries also produce delicious fruit wines, including offerings infused with apple, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, cantaloupe, elderberry, peach, and rhubarb. Spanning from just north of Harrisburg to State College, there is plenty to see and do along the way. Take an ice cream break at Penn State’s Berkey Creamery, or fawn over the foliage along the Seven Mountains in Juniata Valley. Celebrate spring and leave winter behind at A Ticket to Good Taste and Adventure, the trail’s annual celebration in March.
5. Uncork PA Great Outdoors (20 stops)
This trail is home to a unique variety of wineries, breweries, and even a distillery (the only one in the world that makes real moonshine by hand from local corn to bottle!), offering tastes to please any palate. Take in the gorgeous scenery of the PA Great Outdoors, like at Cook Forest, rated one of America’s top 50 state parks. You may even catch a glimpse of elk in the wild! Make sure you don’t miss one of their well-known events this fall.
6. Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country (15 wineries)
Fifteen family-owned, award-winning wineries make up the Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country Trail, producing more than 250 handcrafted selections of whites, reds, and blushes. Take advantage of the trail’s proximity to the attraction-rich cities of Hershey (Hersheypark, anyone?), Harrisburg (a tour of the Capitol building is a must), and Lancaster (you won’t regret stopping for a meal at Luca).
7. Mason-Dixon Wine Trail (17 stops)
Seventeen stops dot the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail, which boasts a mix of established vineyards and emerging vintners. Many tasting rooms are housed in rustic and historical properties, spanning from York County, into Maryland. Wineries offer festivals, concerts and events throughout the year. Come for the trail’s two signature events – Tour de Tanks, held weekends in March and offering tours and tastings from a tank or a barrel, and Wine Just Off the Vine, held on two weekends in November and celebrating the just-pressed harvest. Make a weekend of it and spend some time of York, the Factory Tour of the World, and see the inner workings of Harley-Davidson, Snyder’s of Hanover and more.
8. Sweet Arrow Wine Trail (3 wineries)
Just outside the state capital and separated by five miles of mostly country road along the banks of the Swatara Creek watershed, the Sweet Arrow Wine Trail provides guests with the opportunity to explore the trail’s three wineries at a relaxing pace. Sundays on the trail feature tastings, food and dessert pairings, live music, and family-friendly activities. Not far away, check out downtown Harrisburg’s restaurant scene, shopping and art boutiques. You’ll also want to venture to the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey.
9. Pocono Wine Trail (7 wineries)
Nestled throughout the beautiful Pocono Mountains are seven family-owned vineyards and wineries that make up the Pocono Wine Trail. On this trail, wine lovers can explore the unique and original tastes the region has to offer while surrounded by one of the state’s most beautiful natural settings. While in the Pocono Mountains, don’t forget to explore the region — from hiking, skiing, and snowboarding to specialty shops and spas.
10. Lehigh Valley Wine Trail (8 wineries)
Eight wineries populate this wine trail in Lehigh Valley. Sample award-winning wines made with Chambourcin (such as rosé, semi-sweet, sweet, dry barrel-aged, sparkling, and port),Lehigh Valley’s signature grape and the only grape grown by all member wineries. The Chambourcin red grape is so powerful in the Lehigh Valley that it covers a total of 40 acres and is crafted into approximately 150,000 bottles each year. This region has also brought home the Governor’s Cup for Pennsylvania’s best wine in nine of the last 10 years. Visit nearby Bethlehem for a stop in a rejuvenated city full of history, art and culture – and the world’s oldest bookstore, Moravian Book Shop.
11. Berks County Wine Trail (11 wineries)
The trail of wineries lining the countryside landscape of greater Berks County now features eleven wineries, offering a stunning backdrop for wine tasting. From sparkling and sweet dessert wines to dry table wines, the county’s fertile soil lends itself to a variety of styles — and attracts visitors from far and wide. Plan ahead to visit one of their popular events, and, along the way, make sure to head over to one of Reading’s famous covered bridges and take in the beauty of The Pagoda.
12. Brandywine Wine Trail (6 wineries)
A favorite of Philadelphians, the Brandywine Wine Trail in Chester County includes six wineries located within a 50-mile radius. Stay for the weekend and visit a few wineries per day, make sure to leave time to see nearby sights such as Longwood Gardens, Brandywine River Museum, Brandywine Battlefield Park and Kennett Square, “the Mushroom Capital of the World”.
13. Bucks County Wine Trail (7 wineries)
Bucks County Wine Trail’s seven participating wineries are located just minutes apart in the Delaware Valley, where visitors can also see historic highlights like Washington Cross Historic Park and Pennsbury Manor, the estate of Pennsylvania founder William Penn. If you find yourself there in mid-October, join the fun at the trail’s annual Harvest Celebration.
14. Montgomery County Wine Trail (4 wineries)
Branding itself as bold and different, the Montgomery County Wine Trail’s four wineries offer unique and satisfying experiences. In addition to traditional varieties, this trail offers wines you may never have tried before — like meads, ciders, and even veggie wines. You can also create your own custom wine. The trail also intersects with the Bucks County Wine Trail, so wine lovers can easily add seven additional stops to their journey. Not far from the trail is the famed King of Prussia Mall – or if history is your style, check out Valley Forge National Historical Park.
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s wine trails, visit pennsylvaniawine.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great trip ideas and places to visit around our state.