Every year, Pennsylvania hosts the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the nation. Head to Harrisburg January 4 through 11 to check out nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits, and a whole lot of local wine.
This will be the 104th iteration of the PA Farm Show and the first of a new decade. The beloved annual event is an astounding showcase of the state’s agricultural prowess, including its booming wine industry. Pennsylvania is the 5th largest wine producer in the U.S., leading to a total economic impact of $1,423,950,178; the sector employs 9,677 people being paid $390.2 million in wages. More than two million people visit PA wineries annually, generating $476.5 million in tourism revenue.
“In the last 10 years, the industry has continued to grow in the number of wineries and has matured by exploring more varietals that grow well in the region,” says Jennifer Eckinger, executive director of the Pennsylvania Winery Association. “In the next ten years, I foresee a continued focus on quality and growth within the existing wineries as well.”
The PA Farm Show conducts yearly competitions for various agricultural commodities. At the 2020 Farm Show, winning wineries will be awarded Best of Show Governor’s Cup prizes for top dry grape wine, sweet grape wine, and fruit wine, as well as Best of Show awards by grape species, with categories for Vinifera (of European origin), Hybrid (cross-breeds of Vinifera and native grapes), Sparkling, and American. Other awards include Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze categories for general excellence.
With its early January slot on the calendar, the Farm Show draws a swarm of stir-crazy locals, people from across Pennsylvania, and visitors from neighboring states. The PA Wines booths, located in the Main Hall, will feature 32 wineries throughout the week — eight wineries rotating every two days — offering tastings and selling their wine.
“There are wineries from all over the state, so attendees are able to try a wine from Erie, a wine from southeastern Pennsylvania, and one from northeastern PA over the course of just a few minutes,” explains Eckinger. “We also work with the Culinary Connection, which is the cooking demonstration area, to pair Pennsylvania wines with the dishes that the chefs are making.”
And new for 2020, the Pennsylvania Winery Association is partnering with the Pennsylvania Cheese Guild.
“We will be creating a pairing guide showcasing wine varietals that grow well in the PA terroir alongside handcrafted PA cheeses,” adds Eckinger. “What a way to let your taste buds explore! The booths for the Pennsylvania Winery Association and the Cheese Guild are near each other.”
Speaking of food, it’s one of the Farm Show’s main draws. Line up for potato donuts while ogling the famous butter sculpture or snag some apple dumplings, a local specialty. And in addition to the array of food vendors, visitors can take in live entertainment, educational booths, and enough animals to keep attendees of any age entranced.
When you arrive at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, look for the PA Wine Land booth in the Main Hall.
Below is a list of 2019’s participating wineries by date.
Arundel Cellars, North East, PA
Deer Creek Winery, Shippenville, PA
Mazza Vineyards, North East, PA
Paradocx Vineyard, Landenberg, PA
Seven Mountains Wine Cellars, Spring Mills, PA
SpringGate Vineyard, Harrisburg, PA
The Winery at Wilcox, Wilcox, PA
Woody Lodge Winery, Ashville, South West PA
Allegheny Cellars Winery, Sheffield, PA
Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars, New Tripoli, PA
Broad Mountain Vineyard, Elizabethville, PA
Flickerwood Wine Cellars, Kane, PA
Hungry Run Wine & Spirits, Lewistown, PA
Mount Hope Estate, Manheim, PA
Reid’s Orchard & Winery, Orrtanna, PA
University Wine Company, State College, PA
Armstrong Valley Winery, Halifax, PA
Cassel Vineyards of Hershey, Hummelstown, PA
Christian W. Klay Winery, Chalk Hill, PA
Courtyard Winery, North East, PA
Fero Vineyards & Winery, Lewisburg, North Central PA
Happy Valley Vineyards & Winery, State College, PA
Presque Isle Wine Cellars, North East, PA
Shade Mountain Winery, Middleburg, PA
Allegro Winery, Brogue, PA
Bee Kind Winery, Clearfield, PA
Benigna’s Creek Winery, Klingerstown, PA
Brookmere Winery, Belleville, South Central PA
Juniata Valley Winery, South Mifflin, PA
Kingview Mead, Pittsburgh, South West PA
Nissley Vineyards, Bainbridge, PA
Olivero’s Vineyard, McAlisterville, PA
*These lists of wineries are subject to change. Please be sure to check back here as we get closer to the date.