Do you know that Pennsylvania ranks fifth in grape growing production and is one of the fastest growing wine region in the nation?
Pennsylvania's winemaking history goes back to the 1600s with William Penn the first to plant Vinifera vines in 1684. Unfortunately, none of them survived.
Nowadays, Pennsylvania is still primarily a dairy producing state but winemaking has been growing rapidly since the adoption of the Farm Winery Act in 1968, which allowed wineries to sell wine directly to the public. Only about a quarter of the grapes grown in the state are Vitis vinifera. The majority are Native American (Vitis labrusca) and French-American hybrids (including Chambourcin, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Vignoles) that are planted for their hardiness and resistance to disease.
Pennsylvania wine is not easy to find. 95 percent of the production is sold directly at the winery, 4 percent through the state-owned liquor stores, and only 1 percent is sold out of state.
Therefore , the best way to discover Pennsylvania wine is to visit the wineries along some of the state's well documented wine trails such as the Berks County Wine Trail, the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail, or the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail.
Unfortunately, I will not have the time for such visits during this trip, so I just hope that I will find some local wines by the glass wherever I go for dinner.
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