Road Trip: Pennsylvania Wine Trail
Discover destinations to wine and dine, stay the night and more along the Lake Erie Wine Trail.
The Lake Erie Wine Trail is peppered with 23 wineries and loads of tasting opportunities — 13 of which are located in or near North East, Pennsylvania. “We are within a seven-minute drive time of all 13 wineries,” says Michael Yori, proprietor at Yori Wine Cellars with his wife, Lynn Yori.
The Yoris opened their winery in 2017 in historic North East with a downstairs tasting room and upstairs production space next to their pizza shop. They have since expanded to seat 100 with an outdoor patio and a menu of shared plates, such as coconut shrimp or cold ravioli caprese salad with fresh basil and tomatoes. Try the top-selling sweet wine, Famiglia Red, a multiple award winner. On the drier side, guests go for Yori’s Cabernet Sauvignon.
Yori explains the North East wine scene. “There are two wineries in historic downtown, one with a shop and there is a meadery within walking distance,” he says.
Go with an agenda or see where the afternoon or long weekend takes you. Shoot for a Thursday arrival, as some venues are closed Monday through Wednesday. With such density in the region, you can cover a lot of ground in little mileage, and Erie is only a half-hour away.
Wine & Dine
Known for its Victorian towns and vineyard views, Lake Erie’s shore offers ripe growing conditions for grapes. Wineries on the trail include Yori Wine Cellars (yoriwinecellars.com), Mazza Vineyards (mazzawines.com); a staple since 1973; and Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards, also in North East (pennshore.com), which will have pop-up kitchens throughout the summer. Also in or around town is Arrowhead Wine Cellars (arrowheadwine.com), Presque Isle Wine Cellars (piwine.com), Cellar ’54 (cellar54wines.com) and Lakeview Wine Cellars (lakeviewwinecellars.com). Find a full listing if you decide to meander beyond North East at pennsylvaniawine.com.
Off the Trail
Skip off the trail for a visit to the Erie Art Museum (erieartmuseum.org), open Thursday through Sunday. The regional museum holds more than 8,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, ceramics, metalworks, textiles and rotating exhibitions. The modern downtown Erie venue is a Regional Folk Art Support Center and actively involved in downtown development at old Erie center.
Presque Isle State Park is 4 miles west of Erie and offers hiking, boating, fishing, surfing, picnicking, swimming and a sandy beach to relax. A half-hour further is Chautauqua Institution (chq.org), a road trip of its own right with lodging on-site, events, seminars, dining, recreation and more.
In the heart of North East, Grape Arbor Bed & Breakfast’s rooms are named after grape varieties and the charming suites boast modern amenities (814-725-0048). For a hotel stay, Holiday Inn Express in North East on Old Station Road offers the features you’d expect — a pool, workout room — and free breakfast to get your day going. (ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/north-east/neapa/hoteldetail)
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