Everyone talks about the California wine country, but for oenophiles and those who just like a nip of the grape every now and then, you don’t have to travel all the way to the West Coast for a fun and an informative day of visiting wineries. Pennsylvania is the fifth largest producer of grapes in the country and is ranked seventh nationally in the number of wineries. With more than 200 licensed wineries in the state, many of them right in your own back yard, go ahead and take off for Southwestern Pennsylvania’s wine country where varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Vidal, and Chambourcin thrive. Some of the wineries are very small and others quite large. Check their websites before your visit to make sure of their hours and what each winery features.
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar
Located in Lawrenceville across from the historic Allegheny Arsenal, Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellars specializes in small batch, handcrafted hard apple cider, “cider style” fruit and grape wines, and mead.
B & L Wine Cellars
B & L Wine Cellars is located in Johnstown and is the endeavor of two home wine makers. Two of the wines they feature are “Cambria City Red” and “Stone Bridge Red.”
Carlo’s Garage Winery
Carlo’s is Pittsburgh’s first urban winery. Located in the Strip District at Enrico Biscotti Cafe, Carlo’s makes and bottles a variety of wines that change seasonally.
Christian W. Klay Winery
Located in Chalk Hall, Christian W. Klay Winery has more than 14,000 vines and offers wine tasting and other events on their vast property.
Glades Pike Winery
Glades Pike Winery, located in Somerset, has been in operation since 1995 and produces a wide variety of wines. It also hosts events and has banquet facilities.
Glatz Wine Cellars
Located in Aliquippa, Glatz Wine Cellars began on a whim by jeweler Tom Glatz in 1980 and has grown into a full-fledged winery operating from the rear of Glatz Jewelers. It produces more than 10,000 gallons of wine annually.
Greendance, The Winery at Sand Hill
Located in Mt. Pleasant, Greendance offers over 40 wines free for tasting every day. It has a Nectar Garden and outdoor café and regularly hosts events.
Opened in 2007, Greenhouse Winery in Irwin offers more than 20 distinct wines and schedules an event almost every weekend.
J&D specializes in making small batch wines at their location in Eighty Four. It offers a large variety of wines.
Kavic Winery uses locally grown grapes and is located 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh in Carnegie. Their wines are often sold at area festivals.
Laurel Highlands Meadery
Mead is a liquor produced from fermented honey and fruit. At present, Laurel Highlands meads can be found in several restaurants around Greensburg and Pittsburgh.
La Casa Narcisi
Narcisi Winery was founded in 2001 and is located in Gibsonia and is reminiscent of a Tuscan villa. There is a restaurant on site.
La Vigneta Winery
La Vigneta features wines handcrafted from California and Chilean varietals in their Pittsburgh winery. Many of La Vigneta’s wines are also sold at local farmers markets.
Montgomery Underground Winery
Located in Elderton between Kittanning and Indiana, Montgomery Underground Winery handpicks, washes, and crushes their own fruits and grapes.
A boutique winery located in the Strip District, Pittsburgh Winery makes a variety of wines in the historic old bank building on Penn Avenue.
Raccoon Creek Winery at Kramer’s Greenhouse
Raccoon Creek Winery produces wine from fruit grown by local farmers. It specializes in berry wines, but also offers grape wines.
Richard Ripepi founded his winery in 1987 in Monangahela and now has a 10-acre vineyard. He features a wide variety of wines.
Royal Welsh Winery
Located in Ligonier, Royal Welsh Winery is a family-owned boutique winery and offers daily free wine tastings.
R Wine Cellar
R Wine Cellar located on Smallman Street in the Strip District produces wine using grapes from California, Pennsylvania, and South America.
Shields Demesne Winery
Located in Spraggs, Shields Demesne Winery specializes in Melomel, wine made with honey and grapes. It offers more than a dozen varieties of this unusual wine.
Stone Villa Wine Cellars
Stone Villa Wine Cellars is located in the foothills of the Laurel Highlands in Acme. It offers an extensive array of wines and a beautiful venue for enjoying them.
Thistlewaite Vineyards has five acres of vines and grows 10 varieties of French hybrid grapes. Thistlewaite is Greene County’s first winery.
Windgate Vineyard is the largest estate winery in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Located in Smicksburg, it generates more than 9,000 bottles of wine per year.
Wooden Door Winery & Estate
Established in 2010, Wooden Door Winery offers more than 30 styles of wine in Lower Burrell and features an outdoor pavilion.