The History of Pennsylvania Wine Land

PA Wine Land as we know it is only about 50 years old, but its roots were planted more than three hundred years ago when William Penn cultivated the state’s first vineyard in what is now Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.

1787


history-of-pa-wines-first-vineyardThe country’s first commercial vineyard is founded. Shareholders include Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Johns Hopkins, Robert Morris, and Citizen Genet.

1807


old-economy-wine-cellar-ambridge-paThe Harmonists, a German religious sect, bring commercial winemaking to the SouthWest region of Pennsylvania. Their 30,000 gallon arched stone cellar is still there today in Ambridge, PA.

1900


winemaking-in-pennsylvania-counties-historyWinemaking is happening in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

{Prohibition}

1933


pennsylvania-liquor-control-board-historyThe Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is founded. Commercial wine production resumes, but only state-operated stores can sell it.

1968


grapes-pennsylvania-wine-historyThe Limited Winery Act goes into effect, permitting wineries to make up to 50,000 gallons of wine using Pennsylvania grown fruit, and to sell their wine directly to the public, hotels, restaurants, clubs, and the PLCB.

1969


first-two-wineries-in-pa-pennsylvania-winePresque Isle Wine Cellars and Penn Shore Vineyards obtain licenses and become the first two wineries in the state.

Today


wineries-in-pennsylvania-wine0shelvesThe industry has grown to nearly 300 licensed wineries, producing more than two million gallons of wine each year (that’s more than 10 million bottles!).

 

Explore Pennsylvania Wine Land