I didn’t know Stroudsburg, PA had an up-and-coming urban winery scene, but to my surprise it does. On the charming Main Street in this Pocono town are two winery tasting rooms with a third just off the main drag.

The moment we stepped into Rowan Asher Winery (RAW), the first urban winery and hard cidery in the Poconos, we were blanketed by the owner’s warmth and enthusiasm. Misty immediately introduced herself and walked us through the tasting options. As we tried a couple of white wines and all of their reds, we learned the story of the winery…

RAW is named after Misty and husband Matthew’s children, Jude Rowan and Zoan Asher. Misty explained that Matthew, RAW’s winemaker, had learned to make wine from his aunt, and they had started by making wine at home. This hobby turned into a vocation when Matthew left the automotive industry and fully focused on his craft. Their original tasting room, in a former industrial lumberyard, is also in Stroudsburg outside of the downtown area. Misty said Matthew grew up in the area and they wanted to bring business to and support the local community.

They source their fruit locally and globally. Global examples include a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chilean grapes and a Pinotage from South African grapes. We enjoyed the wines and the conversation. Everything has a thoughtful sentimental touch from the name of the winery to the names of the wines (“Misty Love” Cabernet) to the décor – the tasting room chandeliers (see below) are made from their first wine barrel.

Enjoyable wine, engaging conversation, and touching sentimentality on a vintage Main Street – I’m glad I discovered RAW and the urban winery scene in Stroudsburg.