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Top Wineries Near Philadelphia

Stuck at home and need some wine? Want to support a local winery?  A number of students in our online wine classes asked us for this list, and here it is!  If you have any favorite wineries that are not on the list, please let us know in the comments. 

In the era of COVID-19, most of the listed wineries are offering curbside pick-up. Before you head out, make sure you reach out. Every winery has a different protocol on  how to order wine for pickup. 

These wineries are a short road trip from Philly. To make things a bit more interesting, we also included a few wineries that are worthy of a road trip, just in case you are getting stir crazy.  If you aren’t up for leaving home right now, you can also order wine online.  Cheers!

Pennsylvania Wineries

Our top winery picks. All are less than 45 minutes from center city Philadelphia. 

A hotbed for wine production in PA has always been located around Chad’s Ford. They have become a specialist in Cabernet Sauvignon, and their reserve bottlings should be sought out.  Their planting of Cabernet vines dates back to 1997, making them some of the oldest vines in the state.  These wines show what is possible to achieve here.

website: https://www.pennswoodsevents.com/

A new winery located in what could be called South-South Philly (It’s actually in Essington). They are an urban winery, sourcing fruit from both Calfornia and Chile.  Going strong after their first vintage. Of note is their Petite Sirah from Suisun Valley. 

website: https://www.facebook.com/JohnRobertCellarsPA/

A classic winery that was hugely influential in the PA fine wine scene in the late nineties and early oughts. After a decade of decline, Chaddsford has rebounded into its former glory. Of particular note is their Cabernet Franc, which is on par with their 2001 vintage. Their Artisan Series is a very promising line of fine wines. 

website: www.chaddsford.com

A winery that is all but a transplant from Napa Valley. The wine production here focuses on Bordeaux blends.  A project by the influential Karabots family, the winery is located on their sprawling Fort Washington estate. It the bonafides and resources far beyond the reach of any other Philly winery. 

website: www.karamoorwines.com

While a local winery, they source grapes from across the world. Of particular note are their wines sourced from Columbia Valley in Washington State. The Obsidian bottling is a worthwhile splurge. Much of the top production staff earned their wine certification here in Philly. 

website: stoneandkeycellars.com

Worth The Drive

A few Pennsylvania wineries over an hour away that are still worth the journey.

Located just outside Jim Thorpe, this winery is one of the great wineries on the East Coast. It shows mastery in an obscure but demanding field of winemaking: Austrian wine styles and varietals. The Gruner Veltliners and Rieslings here are extraordinary. 

website: www.galenglen.com

A rising talent for white wine production in Pennsylvania, especially for Grüner Veltliner.  Their bubbles are exceptional, in particular their Cuvée Chardonnay.  They do dip their winemaking toes into that murky pool of sweet wines; keep to their dry wines and you’ll be rewarded. 

website: pinridge.com

The original natural wine destination in PA.  The wines are sourced solely from their own vineyards, which was planted in 1997 with an odd assortment of Italian varietals. Nebbiolo from the chilly & hilly  Piedmont region is planted near Primitivo (Zinfandel) from hot & flat Apulia. Like many in the natural wine movement, the choices made here are unique and against the grain. What has been consistent is the high quality and uniqueness of these wines.  These are wines that are often cited as the best of the East Coast. 

website: www.valavineyards.com

New Jersey Wineries

Our top winery picks. All are less than 45 minutes from center city Philadelphia.

A longtime favorite at the Wine School. The wines here are ever-evolving. A decade ago, they were focused on Bordeaux blends, and their BDX bottling has been a standard-bearer for luxury East Coast red wines. They moved into sparkling wine production, which has earned national praise. I expect they will continue to evolve and push the NJ wine scene forward. Their tasting room experience is one of the best in the region. 

website: www.williamheritagewine.com

To love Amalthea winery, you really need to meet the owner and winemaker Louis Caracciolo. He’s been making Bordeaux blends in Jersey longer than anyone. He has gained a long list of ardent fans, including the best selling author George Taber. Of particular note is the Europa series of wines. 

website: www.amaltheacellars.com

A new winery that has great potential. Their vineyards were planted in 2013 and pulled their first harvest in 2018. While still young, their 50-acre vineyard is showing promise. Of note is their estate white wines, Albariño and Vidal Blanc. For reds, the reserve Cabernet Franc is very good. Philly Magazine named their Chambourcin as “Best of Philly” in 2019. 

website: www.whitehorsewinery.com

Worth The Drive

A few New Jersey wineries over an hour away that are still worth the journey.

Hands-down one of the great wineries of the East Coast. Their syrah has earned praise from other winemakers ask well as international wine critics. The winery started the same year as the Wine School (2001) and grew over time. Their wines started to get noticed by the national press in 2010 and it’s reached a fever pitch now. They are legit rock stars in the Jersey wine scene now.

website: www.workingdogwinerynj.com

The leading winery in Cape May, Hawk Haven has produced stellar wines for a decade now. I first wrote an article praising their wines in the iconic (but sadly defunct) Philly Beer Scene magazine. They produce an excellent Chardonnay, and their Viognier has great potential. Their white game is very strong.  If you are a fan of natural wines, then seek out their Pet-Nats. 

website: www.hawkhavenvineyard.com

This sliver of New Jersey is becoming a premier white wine-producing region in America. Their grand reserve estate chardonnay is spectacular. They are also producing some of the best Pinots on the East Coast right now, and I expect they will continue to push the envelope. 

website: www.albavineyard.com

5 thoughts on “Top Wineries Near Philadelphia”

  1. Friends and I go to Penns Woods Winery frequently, probably the best quality local wines available, other than Karamoor which is terribly pricey, but excellent quality, and definitely is like Napa. Penns Woods merlot and viognier are very well done and I buy them frequently, as well as their cab franc. I wish the Karamoor tasting room would open because taking the entire tour just to get to the wines is expensive and repetitive. Galen Glen is another terrific winery producing lovely German style whites.

    Reply
  2. In your list of local wineries you fail to distinguish between Pennsylvania wineries producing Pa. Wines and transplants wineries buying juice or maybe shipped grapes from California or South America.
    Pinnacle Ridge, VaLa, Galen Glen, Karamoor stand out as truly Pa. wineries and deserve to be recognized for there true ability to make good wines from Pa. grapes. Stone Key Cellar, Chaddsford, and John Robert Cellar make South American, California and Washington state wines.
    We need people like the Wine School to really support our local grape growers and local Pa. wineries.

    Reply
    • I have to apologize for Dean. He’s a fellow member of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the American Wine Society. Sadly, his knowldege level is not equal to his zeal. He doesn’t realize that most wineries buy their grapes and that in these difficult times we really need to support all our local wineries.

      Reply

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