Although wine lovers may typically flock to France or Napa, they shouldn’t overlook Philadelphia. Surprised? Don’t be! The fertile countryside around the city features the ideal soil and climate to support vineyards, and more than 200 wineries dot the landscape—much to the delight of Philadelphians and visitors alike.
You could spend a day or even an entire weekend sipping your way along the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail or the Bucks County Wine Trail, or you could pay a single visit to one of these 12 Philadelphia area wineries. No matter which one you choose, you’ll experience a warm, welcoming atmosphere and a variety of unique wines that showcase a proud (though relatively new) and often family-oriented tradition of winemaking along the region’s stellar grapes and other fruits.
As one of the largest and oldest wineries in the region, Chaddsford produces over 30,000 cases per year. They regularly host special events—like their Donut, Pizza, and Wine Pairings—and offer tastings from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm (every half hour on the weekends and at any time during the week). Tasting flights range from $10-15.
Black Walnut Winery
Officially opened in 2009, the dream of the Black Walnut Winery began in 2001 when the founders experimented with winemaking for the first time. The original location in Sadsburyville is a renovated 200-year-old barn—a romantic, nostalgic setting for sampling their Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Port-style wines, and more. The Sadsburyville location is open from noon to 6:00 pm Wednesday through Sunday; the Phoenixville spot is open in the evenings. Tastings range from $5 for the port-style wines, $7 for your choice of five wines, or $10 for your choice of seven wines.
J. Maki Winery
At J. Maki, you can sample champagne, for which the winery has won some prestigious awards, and ice wine—wine made with grapes that were frozen on the vine! Ice wines are typically served with dessert, fruit, or cheese. Stop by for a tasting Thursday through Monday (or Tuesday and Wednesday “by appointment and chance”).
Penns Woods Winery
Founded by an Italian immigrant who began his career by importing and distributing wine, Penns Woods Winery is committed to using 100% Pennsylvania-grown grapes to produce their award-winning wines. Tastings are $12 for five one-ounce pours, or $15 to include a souvenir wine glass; reservations are required from November-March and recommended for the rest of the year. Located just 35 minutes from Philadelphia, Penns Woods is open Tuesday through Sunday.
The Inn at Grace Winery has been host to visitors for more than 30 years; the winery itself came on the scene in 2008 with additional renovations to the building being completed in 2010. Wine tastings are available every day of the week for $15 for a tasting of four wines.
Salem Oak Vineyards
Salem Oak Vineyards were exactly that for the first decade—this family-run winery didn’t open its tasting room until 2013. The operation has grown from about three acres to more than 12, and they now feature 14 wines, live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and ongoing special events. The $10 tasting includes all of their wines, sangrias, and slushies; for $12 you can keep the glass, too. After your tasting, enjoy a glass of your favorite with a snack from their food menu.
Cardinal Hollow Winery
If you’re looking for something a little different, look no further: in addition to reds and whites, Cardinal Hollow Winery produces two types of mead, two ports, and a variety of country wines made with jalapeño, apple, strawberry, agave, a Brazilian fruit called cupuacu, and much more! Their tasting menu includes the option to try every wine on the list for $30 (with a souvenir glass)—give yourself at least two hours to do it, because that list includes more than 25 wines. If that seems too ambitious, choose your samples for $1 each. (Their spectacular Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Dandelion wines are $5 each to sample, and they’re worth it!)
Owned and operated by two families—some of whom are physicians, which is where the vineyard’s clever name came from—Paradocx Vineyard offers wine tasting flights Friday through Sunday for $10 in their tranquil setting. If you prefer, you can create your own custom flight for $12.
Ed, a fourth-generation farmer, and his wife Marsha opened Cedarvale Winery in 2008. Their two sons, Chris and Andrew, joined the business, as well, making it a true labor of love for the entire family. They’re proud to make their wines using the grapes they’ve grown themselves, along with a selection of area fruits. Enjoy classics like Chardonnay and Merlot in addition to their Blueberry or Nectarine Table Wine. Tastings and other special events are also offered; they welcome groups and parties with reservations.
Amalthea Cellars features a variety of award-winning wines handcrafted using traditional methods. Tastings are offered Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm for $6 by the flight (red, white, or off-dry) or all three flights for $15. A professional taster will guide you through the experience as you explore the workings of the winery.
Though the property expands for nearly 65 fertile acres, Wycombe Vineyards owner Rich Fraser is committed to keeping the operation small, high-quality, and family-oriented. They currently grow grapes on about 10 acres with plans for slow, modest expansion to ensure the preservation of the values they hold dear. For now, they’re proud to produce about 16,000 bottles per year. Tastings are offered Friday through Sunday for $5 to sample up to eight wines; there is no tasting fee on Friday.
Unami Ridge Winery
Their website describes the winery as “a hobby gone amok”—what started as an enjoyable pastime became a passion and a lifestyle for owners Jim and Kathy Jenks, and they love to share that passion with their visitors. Tastings at Unami Ridge are available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 5:00 pm.