Pennsylvania has an ideal climate for a mid-Atlantic state to become a major player in the North American wine world. It enjoys mild winters, due to its proximity to Lake Erie in the west and the Atlantic’s Gulf Stream waters in the east. The growing season here is long and moderate, sparing growers the problems associated with spiking temperatures. Irrigation is not a concern, as the state receives enough natural precipitation to nurture vines. In southeastern Pennsylvania, the landscape is marked by rolling hills which provide great air drainage and desirable southern exposures. More than 110 wineries, most of which are family-run operations, are spread across all areas of the state. Indeed, just about every part of Pennsylvania has its own wine trail. Collectively, these small family producers make Pennsylvania the nation’s eighth largest producer of wine.
Since Thomas Jefferson first tried to cultivate European vinifera in Virginia, the state has been a decided piece of American wine country. Over the years better knowledge, equipment and materials have all contributed to an advancing wine industry, but the more recent decade or two has brought out the real potential that can be found.
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