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Pa. wine production ranks 5th in the nation - abc27 WHTM

Pa. wine production ranks 5th in the nation

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BIGLERVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) -

There is some sweet news for Midstate vino lovers. Pennsylvania's wine industry is growing. There are now more than 170 wineries in the state, many of them in our area.

Pennsylvania is the fifth largest wine producer in the country. According to the Pennsylvania Winery Association, the number of wineries in the state has more than doubled over the past decade.

"One thing about PA is no matter where you are in the state, you are only 45 minutes away from a winery," said Jonathan Patrono, President of the PA Winery Association.

In fact, over the past 10 years, the number of wineries has spiked from 64 wineries in 2000 to 171 in 2011. Part of the reason is because Pennsylvania's environment is a sweet spot for grape growing.

"They're all making different wine whether it's the French hybrids or more the Niagras and the American native grapes. It'd be good to get out and try all the different types we make," Patrono said.

No matter what type of wine you like, wine maker Stephen Rigby of Hauser Estate Winery in Biglerville said this year's vintage will be particularly tasty.

"This could be our year to really show the potential of really fine wine making here in this area," he said.

He said it's because the weather this year was a little dry.

"Just essentially perfect weather all year long. Sunshine very few rains and when we did get the rains they were a good time for the grapes, good times for the vines," Rigby said. "The sugars were higher and the acids were strong."

It's something Midstate wine makers are toasting to.

"We know that the potential for wines that are literally of world quality, international standard quality are here in our hands if we just do our job well," Rigby said. "Get a break from Mother Nature and get it done."

William Penn was the first person to plant wine grapes in Pennsylvania.

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