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Pennsylvania Wine Region

Prolific Wine Region in the United States

Pennsylvania, which is a state located in the north-eastern part of the United States, is known to be one of the most prolific wine regions in the country.

Although we cannot say that this state is competing with California in its wine production, we can say that the state’s production is more or less comparable to that of the regions like New York, Oregon, and Washington.

This state, which is covering almost 119,000 square miles, is found to be having around 5665 hectares of vineyards.

Thus, this state is ranking fifth in the country for the quantity of vines cultivated every year. Also, it ranks seventh in the wine total production.

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Now, let’s see everything about the wines from Pennsylvania here…

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Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide…

Looking at Pennsylvania as a Wine Region

As you all know, Pennsylvania is lying between the Lake Erie and the great Atlantic Ocean. I would say this placement of the region is giving the state the ideal conditions for vine cultivation.

The region is found to be experiencing mild winters and these climatic conditions are giving the vineyards the long and moderate growing seasons.

Therefore, the winegrowers of Pennsylvania would never have to worry about the spiking temperatures!
Here, irrigation is not at all a problem as the state is having sufficient natural precipitation for vine cultivation.

The vineyards of Pennsylvania can be found all across the state and is found to be containing two of the highest vineyards in the country.

In the state, there were only around 30 wineries during the 1980s. But, the condition has totally changed now. At present, the state has a total of 123 wineries, which are producing almost 971,191 gallons of wine every year.

Wine Quality Regulations in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has found to have implemented a statewide program for wine quality assurance.

This is somewhat similar to the regulations of New Jersey. As per the regulations, any wine could be tested by a panel of judges for quality.

Those wines which could meet the established standards would receive the state seal. Thus, this program is showcasing a brand-new level of wine quality assurance thereby bringing the region closer to the full-fledged appellation system that is found in France at present.

The American Viticultural Areas of Pennsylvania

The state is found to be having a total of five AVAs within the borders. However, only the following two are found to be lying completely inside the state.

Lancaster Valley
This AVA is found to be covering almost 91,000 hectares of land and is containing around 160 hectares of vineyards.

This, which is lying in the south-eastern corner of the state, is found to be rich in free-draining types of soils and therefore, we can compare this with the world-famous Burgundy region.

Lehigh Valley
This AVA of Pennsylvania is lying in the eastern part of the country and is covering almost 490,000 hectares of land.

Within this AVA, there are almost 200 hectares of vineyards. Just like the Lancaster Valley AVA, the soils in this AVA too are found to be rich in free-draining types of soils like shale and limestone.

Other AVAs
Apart from the above two, there are three other AVAs in Pennsylvania which are shared with the neighboring states:

  • Central Delaware Valley
  • Lake Erie
  • Cumberland Valley

Wine Grapes of Pennsylvania

The major wine grape varieties of Pennsylvania include:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Catawba
  • Cayuga
  • Chambourcin
  • Chardonnay
  • Gewurztraminer
  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Noir
  • Riesling
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Vidal Blanc
  • Vignoles
  • Delaware
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot
  • Niagara
  • Concord

It is to be noted that a large proportion of Pennsylvania’s vineyards are being cultivated with raisins and table grapes and not the wine grapes.

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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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