By Jacqueline G. Goodwin, Ed. D. • Photos By Danielle Debley
It’s no surprise that the rolling hills of central Pennsylvania are home to numerous wineries since the state ranks fourth nationally in the number of grapes grown and eighth in the production of wine produced. The state’s four-season climate and sprawling farmland allows for a wide variety of grapes. So, for those wondering, “Are there any wineries near me?” Relax, there are.
Visiting a winery is a fantastic way to spend a fall day or afternoon with your friends, coworkers, or family, offering the unique opportunity to see beautiful vineyards, taste great wines, and learn all about the wine making process. While summer gives us beautiful, long vacation days to get into our cars and go visit the twelve wineries described below, when the first yellow leaves begin to fall and there’s a chill in the air, it’s the best time to visit.
Fall in love with the rich flavors of whites, reds, blends, ciders, sparkling wines, and seasonal selections as you discover what each winery has to offer. Go beyond the tasting and learn about the process. We guarantee that you’ll walk away with a deeper appreciation of wine, from grape to glass.
To find out more about additional wineries besides the ones listed below and the 12 wine trails located throughout Pennsylvania, log onto www.PAWineLand.com. The site also has maps and contact information for the more than 150 wineries spread across the state as well as wine tips and wine information. And if you’re on the road, find nearby wineries by using the mobile website at www.pennsylvaniawine.com.
Buddy Boy Winery and Vineyard
Experience backwoods, hometown hospitality when you visit Buddy Boy Winery and enjoy the many award-winning wines available. Sit back, relax, and stay awhile. Located in Perry County on land that once hosted an apple orchard, schedule a one-hour winery tour, or stop by for a tasting. Check the winery’s events calendar for musical and dining events.
111 Barnett Drive, Duncannon, PA 17020
West Hanover Winery
Enjoy award-winning wines, summer concerts, and wine tasting tours by visiting West Hanover Winery, the first and oldest operational winery in Dauphin County.
With over 38 varieties, West Hanover Winery creates its wines using knowledge and skills developed with over 45 years of experience.
7646 Jonestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112
Cullari Vineyards and Winery
Cullari Vineyards and Winery is a small boutique bottler and producer that specializes in both traditional dry and sweet red, white and pink wines, and also some unusual and uniquely crafted grape and fruit wine varieties that are only available at the winery’s tasting rooms. Grape varieties include both vinifera type grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay, and hybrid varieties such as Chambourcin, Chancellor and Vidal Blanc. Cullari is also one of the few vineyards in Pennsylvania to grow Zinfandel, Sangiovese, and Barbera. At this time, Cullari Vineyards does not offer tours of the winery or vineyards.
1251 E. Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, PA 17033
The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey
From whimsical and refreshing whites to bold and flavorful reds, and everything in between, The Vineyard at Hershey handcrafts every bottle of wine for the enjoyment of new and the most experienced of palates. In total, the winery produces more than 60,000 bottles of wine and boasts it does so without ever sacrificing its winemaker’s philosophy that the best wines are created with a passionate attention to detail and by growing grapes and producing wine in limited quantities. All of the winery’s artisan wines are designed to be enjoyed young and vibrant, or, for its dry wines, enjoyed cellared and graceful with age.
598 Schoolhouse Road, Middletown, PA 17057
Spring Gate Vineyard and Brewery
Spring Gate Vineyard and Brewery is a family owned business, located on 60 acres of farmland between the rolling hills of Lancaster County and Blue Mountain, near Harrisburg.
The property dates back to the Revolutionary War and is complete with artifacts from the Indians who roamed it and used its natural springs before then. The property incorporates beautiful fields, streams, orchards, vineyards, and wildlife. The farm has been owned by only three families since the 1740s.
Whether you prefer dry wines, crisp semi-sweet, or sweet and hard cider or sparkling wines, Spring Gate has something for everyone. In addition, the farm craft brewery, established in 2015, brews fine craft beers to enjoy by flight, glass or growler and, increasingly, by bottle.
5790 Devonshire Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112
Cassel Vineyards of Hershey
Located just minutes from downtown Hershey, Cassel Vineyards offers more than just a wide selection of award-winning wines. The working farm features free roaming peacocks and guineas, a picturesque vineyard, along with mares and foals grazing on the hillside. Stop by to sit on the deck and enjoy the peace and quiet while you share a bottle of wine with a friend.
The 12-acre vineyard includes six varieties of grapes: Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, Concord, and Niagara. The vineyards and winery are part of the 135-acre Cassel family farm. This farm has been in the Cassel family for five generations has operated since 1903.
“Taking what my dad and grandfathers have given us and seeing that my children want to carry this on has been most rewarding,” says owner Craig Cassel.
80 Shetland Drive, Hummelstown, PA 17036
CrossWinds Winery at Hershey
CrossWinds’ vineyard was planted in the early 1990s and its grapes have produced some very fine wines. The owners, both pilots, have carried out the aviation theme via the winery’s name, labels, and even the décor.
CrossWinds offers tastings from Wednesday through Sunday and no appointment is needed. The winery also hosts public and private events, including wine pairing dinners, and Sip and Shop—showcasing local artists, and custom art parties.
621 Hershey Road, Hummelstown, PA 17036
J & P Winery and Vineyard
J& P Winery, located 1.5 miles from Hollywood Casino, is known for producing wines that reflect the varietal of the grape they’re made from. Something for everyone, stop in to discover the taste. From the winery to your table, you’ll be sure to enjoy the experience. Now open 7 days a week. Additional hours for special events or private parties can be arranged.
10417 Mountain Road, Grantville, PA 17028
(717) 686-WINE (9463)
Nissley Vineyards & Winery Estate
Family-owned and operated, Nissley Vineyards & Winery Estate has been making an assortment of wines for over 30 years. An actual operating winery in a scenic setting, a portion of the tour takes place outside the building, with a short walk to the nearest grape vines. Inside the winery, you will pass among tall wine tanks, as you learn about the wine-making process. In harvest months (late summer and early fall), you are likely to see grapes coming from the vineyards, then being crushed and pressed. In the spring, you are likely to see the bottling operation. Open year-round, tours and tastings are available
40 Vintage Drive, Brainbridge, PA 17502
The Winery at Hunters Valley
Hunters Valley Winery was founded by Bill and Darlene Kvaternik in 1987, starting with a stand along Route 11/15 and then taking the winery and tasting room up the hill, allowing visitors to overlook the vines and the Susquehanna River. Find a bench or just get comfy on the lawn and take in a slice of Americana. The Williams family (who own The Winery at Wilcox and The Winery at Versailles in Ohio) took ownership and reopened in 2015 the place with a slightly tweaked name, The Winery at Hunters Valley and an upgraded wine list. But obviously that view hasn’t changed one bit. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.
3 Orchard Road, Liverpool, PA 17045
5 Schmucks Winery
5 Schmucks Winery is proud to keep things efficient and manageable, allowing the creation of great wines at lower costs. The winery keeps things as small-scale as possible by using 55-gallon stainless steel tanks and small fermentation vessels.
Using raw grape juice from all over the world from the finest vineyards for its reds and white wines, 5 Schmucks Winery’s sweet wines are made with varietal grapes, and are infused with fruit making for a sweeter, lighter wine. Private in-home tastings are available.
118 Prince Street, Harrisburg, PA 17109