Wine Touring and Tasting along the Lake Erie Region Wine Trail is an enjoyable way to learn about and sample the wines produced in the Lake Erie Region of Pennsylvania. Traveling along East Lake Road (Route 5) to the lovely small town of North East, you will find miles and miles of grape vines. Nestled among the vineyards are the wineries where you may tour and, of course, sample the finest wines grown in the Lake Erie Region.
Some of the wineries you don’t want to miss touring and sampling their products are:
11815 East Lake Road (Route 5)
North East, PA
Traveling along the Lake Erie Wine Trail, you will discover one of the premier wineries in North East PA, Mazza Vineyards. Started by Joseph Mazza, who arrived in Pa in 1954 after leaving his home in Calabria, Italy, the winery continues in the family tradition as it is now run by son Robert Mazza and his wife Kathie.
The Lake Erie Region was chosen by the Mazzas because of its cool breezes, sandy soil, and the plateau like ground which created an ideal growing condition for the grapes. Its moderate climate in the spring and fall contribute to the production of exceptional grapes for wine making. Because this region is suited more for the Germanic variety of wine, the Mazzas began to produce five Johannesburg Rieslings.
Along with the Rieslings, Mazza vineyard produces the sweet juicy Niagara, Concord and Catawba grapes. Its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin are popular wine choices.
Some of the innovations developed by the Mazza Vineyard include ice wine which results from pressing grapes while they are frozen. This creates a rich wine with a residual sweetness that is suitable to be served with desserts and cheese.
The Mazzas also developed a private label program that allows it customers to celebrate special occasions such as graduations, weddings, and class reunions.
Mazza wines have won several awards and are the top selling wine in PA. A tour of the winery followed by wine sampling is an exceptional treat. The guided tours demonstrate the entire winemaking process form harvesting the grapes to bottling.
The wines are reasonably priced: classic White, Red, or concord wines are under $8.00.
The premium wines of Cabernet, Merlot, and Rieslings are priced under $12.00. The most expensive wine is the Iced Wine of Vidal Blanc which is priced at $39.95 as it is limited.
12073 East Main Road
North East, PA
Arrowhead Wine Cellars, established in 1998, is a family owned by Nick and Kathy Mobilia. It was named arrowhead due to the large number of arrowheads that are found by the local grape farmers. Next to the winery, the Mobilia’s have a fruit stand selling grapes, cherries, peaches, frozen-pitted sour cherries, and fresh grape juice.
Charles Mobilia, the grandfather of Nick established the fruit farm in the 1920’s. Today Nick and his wife own a 250 acre fruit farm. In 1998, Nick opened the winery. Arrowhead wines have won several awards including a double gold for its 2004 Cabernet Franc at the 2006 Florida State International Wine competition. Silver, bronze or gold awards for Arrowhead wines have been won consistently since 2000.
Red, White, Port, Riesling and Cabernets are some of the wines that are sold at the store.
Penn Shore Winery
10225 East Lake Road (Route 5)
North East, PA
Penn Shore Winery opened in 1970, one of two wineries in the state of PA. Tall mammoth stainless steel storage tanks holding 7000 gallons of wine can only be found at Penn Shore. The winery can accommodate 175,000 gallons in cooperage. During tourist season at least 150 people a day pass through the winery touring and tasting.
The winery produces the usual Red, White, Lambruscano, and Chardonnay. Specialty wines include Kir and Holiday Spice.
Penn Shore invites you to enjoy a winemaking and tasting experience as you tour their winery. As you drive to the winery, you will pass miles of rows of French hybrid and native American grape vines. The tour demonstrates the care taken with harvesting, crushing, pressing, fermentation, aging and bottling.
The prices of the wines are quite reasonable with most being under $10.00 and most expensive, the Sparkling Champagne at $13.95.
Presque Isle Wine Cellars
9440 West Main Road
North East, PA
Presque Isle Wine Cellars, owned by Doug and Marlene Moorhead, was opened in 1964 and it is both a commercial winery and a national source for wine making supplies. Presque Isle Wines have won many awards and was a pioneer for growing European wine grape varieties.
This winery is located in a beautiful wooded area along Twelve-Mile Creek and is a lovely place for picnics. Winery tours and tasting are available during business hours. The winery holds a Creekside Festival scheduled during the summer and features food demonstrations and seminars on wine making, beer making, wine tasting and music.
The wines produce at Presque Isle wine Cellars are Cabernet, Concord, Niagara, Chardonnay, Port and Reflections of Lake Erie.
September: North East Wine Country Harvest Festival
Wine Country Harvest Festival is held in North East, PA on Lake Erie. The largest grape growing region in the East welcomes visitors to its Festival. This annual event consists of a weekend celebration of music, arts crafts, and the fruits of the vine. For more information contact the North East Chamber of Commerce at 814-725-4262.
For an enjoyable afternoon or evening experience, travel along East Lake Road ( Route 5) and view the miles of grape vines and stop at the several wineries for touring and tasting. The friendly people at the vineyards will be happy to help you select a perfect wine to complement any meal.