There was no rhyme or reason of how I selected Pennsylvania Wine Month as the last to discuss according to the Wine Lover’s Calendar. I can claim to actually have been in Pennsylvania, but only years ago and have never tried any of the wines, and while my Bride has also been there years ago, she also never tried any of the local wines. My truest knowledge of Pennsylvania is that I had two uncles that had grown up in Meadville, Pennsylvania and in my years of being a clothier, Meadville was known as the home of the Talon Zipper, which has long since disappeared from my industry as the search for a cheaper replacement was found over seas.
Pennsylvania is listed as the Seventh largest producer of wines in the United States of America. The growth of wineries is easy to see, when one compares that in the 1980’s there were about thirty wineries and now there is almost one-hundred-fifty wineries in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has been striving to create and maintain a state quality assurance program to even acquire more then the five designations that they have and there is even a website to promote the wine industry there.
The Central Delaware Valley AVA runs along the banks of the Delaware River and is shared by both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Lake Erie AVA is also another designation that goes beyond Pennsylvania and also includes New York and Ohio. Lancaster Valley AVA and Lehigh Valley AVA are both strictly Pennsylvania and they both share similar limestone and shale terrains, which are great for the growth of wines. Pennsylvania (Cumberland Valley) AVA is the fifth designation and it is shared with Maryland. The most successful grapes that are used in Pennsylvania for wine are Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. They are also successful with the growing of the some of the Cold Hardy American varietals such as Delaware, Chambourcin and Seyval Blanc. One day, I shall be able to report on these wines on a more personal manner.