October is officially recognized as Pennsylvania Wine Month. We celebrate our wineries every day! Our area is blessed to have not one, not two, not even ten, but 23 wineries! That’s right, Erie is part of Lake Erie Wine Country (formerly known as the Chautauqua Lake Erie Wine Trail), a region spanning 2 states, 53 miles and over 30,000 contiguous acres of lush fragrant grape vineyards. LEWC is the largest grape growing region east of the Rockies Located in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania along the southern shores of Lake Erie.
Pennsylvania ranks 4th nationally in the amount of grapes grown and 8th in wine production. The warm waters of Lake Erie are ideal for grape growing because of Pennsylvania’s moderate climate and rolling terrain. It provides some of the best grape growing conditions on the East Coast.
Today, Lake Erie Wine Country’s wineries boast hundreds of national and international wine awards ranging from Vidal Blanc, Riesling, Country Reds and Whites, Ice Wine and a variety of fruit wines. The wineries themselves have been evolving over the past few years to include other agricultural beverages such as distilled spirits, hard ciders, and microbrews. Some wineries provide wine-by-the-glass, seating areas, beautiful gift shops, extended hours, and a great variety of entertainment. Before the pandemic on any given weekend throughout the year, visitors could find live music, vineyard walks, the annual Wine Fest, winemaker’s dinners, or wine and art events. We are anxiously awaiting the return of these wonderful events so we can once again celebrate in true-style the fruits of the vine!
Lake Erie Wine Country is a thriving destination for tourists and wine lovers, and it continues to grow. Several wineries have expanded their production and wine tasting areas. Make sure to include a stop at the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield NY. There you will learn about the oldest and largest concord grape-growing region in the world. The Grape Discovery Center is the official Visitor’s Center for the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt, designated a New York State Heritage Area in 2006. Developed by the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association, it is an experiential destination that supports and promotes the grape industry through sharing stories and engaging, educating and informing the public about all things grape. Admission to the Center is Free and Wi-Fi is available.
If you haven’t visited Lake Erie Wine Country, you are missing out on new facilities, beautiful vineyard vistas and fantastic wines. Take the scenic route on the Seaway Trail – An America’s Byway (Route 5) and experience for yourself the sweet smells and tastes of success! And the best part? Most wineries are open year-round so don’t “wine” about not being able to go. Cheers!
Plan an overnight Erie Fall-cation and visit any or all of our Lake Erie Wine Country wineries. Lodging options here.
21 Brix Winery
Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing
6 Mile Cellars Winery
Arrowhead Wine Cellars
Johnson Estate Winery
Lakeview Wine Cellars
Penn Shore Vineyards
Presque Isle Wine Cellars
South Shore Wine Company
All of the above mentioned partner wineries are taking all the necessary precautions and cleaning protocols to ensure you have a safe experience. Please check with each winery for updated hours of operation and COVID-19 policies. Always remember to wear your mask and practice social distancing.