California is famous for its wine country, but did you know there are quality wineries right in our backyard? Western Pennsylvania has more than a few, and in fact, Pennsylvania ranks No. 4 in the nation for grape-growing and seventh for wine production, according to the Pennsylvania Winery Association. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it’s a start to a local tour for your tastebuds!
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar
300 39th St.
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15201
The Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar is located right in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. Their specialties include meads, hard apple cider and “cider-style” fruit and grape wines. The cool factor for this winery is that it brings the past to the present with a Civil War theme. They also offer a newsletter, if you’d like to keep tabs on what’s happening.
Volant Mill Winery
1229 Main Street
Volant, PA 15156
A trip north on Interstate 79 will lead you to the Volant Mill Winery in Lawrence County. This winery boasts vino made from locally-grown fruit from orchards and vineyards in western Pennsylvania. Starting back in 2004, the winery has grown to operate two retail stores in Mars and at Janoski’s Farm Market in Clinton. Their offerings of fruit, port, reds and whites are certainly worth the road trip.
C.T. Miller Vineyards
24 Clarke Lane
Avella, Pa. 15312
The journey to winemaking wasn’t an easy one for Janet and Ted Miller. After two attempts at growing vines yielded lackluster results, the third time was a charm and now the Millers run a seven-acre winery on their 102-acre farm in Avella, Washington County. Steeped in tradition, some of their wines bear family names like “Capanna Rose” and “Alimonti.” The winery is open each year on weekends between April and December and their wine is also available via retail.
Walnut Hill Winery
638 Turner Drive
Blairsville, Pa. 15717
Open for just three years, the Walnut Hill Winery is making a splash in Indiana County. The operators call it “labor of love.” While they produce less than 5,000 gallons of wine a year, they do have a long list of reds and whites available for tasting. Additionally, Walnut Hill is part of the Southwest Passage Wine Trail coming up April 10, so it’s worth exploring!
1013 Campbells Run Road
Carnegie, Pa. 15106
412- 279 – WINE (9463)
“Pittsburgh made and Pittsburgh proud” is the motto at the Kavic Winery, located just 10 minutes away from downtown Pittsburgh in Carnegie. Carrying on the family tradition from Italy and Serbia, Michael and Patricia Kavic feature white and red wines made exclusively with grapes grown locally. The winery is open on Saturdays and Sundays, but does operate on select Fridays, so call ahead before planning your visit.
To find more wineries, both locally and across Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Winery Association’s website.