PA's wine history stretches back to the 1600s when William Penn planted European grapevines in Pennsylvania — the first American hybrids. Indulge in some history as you sip your way across our 14 wine trails and more than 20 flourishing varieties. 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 300 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. And with nearby lodging options abound, stick around after you indulge!
1. LAKE ERIE WINE COUNTRY
Lake Erie Wine Country Trail is approximately 53 miles long, spanning 30,000 acres of vineyards along Lake Erie. Twelve of their 23 wineries can be found in Pennsylvania. Those with time constraints will 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? Narrow down your plans using the Wineries and Things to Do pages. 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
Eight wineries in the Laurel Highlands make up the scenic Southwest Passage Wine Trail. The cooler climate and higher elevations in this region help cold-hardy 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.
3. GROUNDHOG WINE TRAIL
Beyond its adorable namesake, the Groundhog Wine Trail spans 120 miles and takes visitors to 14 wineries accented by the unique beauty of central and northern Pennsylvania. 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 if you’re looking for the eponymous groundhog on this trail, don’t worry — at the beginning of the year, the region hosts an annual Groundhog Day Wine Festival — featuring a visit from Punxsutawney Phil himself!
4. SUSQUEHANNA HEARTLAND WINE TRAIL
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. Not only do the award-winning wineries offer a variety of traditional blends, but they 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.
5. PA GREAT OUTDOORS WINE, BEER, & MOONSHINE TRAIL
PA Great Outdoors Wine, Beer, and Moonshine Trail is home to 30 unique 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 northwest PA , like 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
Twelve 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
Fourteen 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. Make a weekend of it and spend some time seeing the inner workings of Harley-Davidson or exploring the snack factories in the area, like Snyder’s of Hanover.
8. SWEET ARROW WINE TRAIL
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
Nestled throughout the beautiful Pocono Mountains are eight 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
Eight wineries populate the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail. 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. The region’s wineries have won numerous regional, state, national, and international awards over the 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
The Berks County Wine Trail lines the countryside landscape of greater Berks County and 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 Reading’s famous covered bridges and take in the beauty of The Pagoda.
12. BRANDYWINE VALLEY WINE TRAIL
A favorite of Philadelphians, the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail includes five vineyards 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 of Art, and Kennett Square, “the Mushroom Capital of the World”.
13. BUCKS COUNTY WINE TRAIL
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 Crossing Historic Park and Pennsbury Manor, the estate of Pennsylvania founder William Penn. If you find yourself there in early December, join the fun at the trail’s annual Vineyard Illumination.
14. MONTGOMERY COUNTY WINE TRAIL
Branding itself as bold and different, the Montgomery County Wine Trail’s five 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 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, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great trip ideas and places to visit around our state. Don’t forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.