When you think of wine-producing regions, what comes to mind? Italy, France—maybe even Napa. What you may not think of is New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Truth is there are great wines being produced throughout the Bright MLS region.
New Jersey: Outer Coastal Plains
New Jersey’s major wine region is known as the Outer Coastal Plains. It covers more than 2.25 million acres in the southeastern portion of the state. Of all the American Viticultural Areas (designated wine regions) in the United States, the Outer Coastal Plains ranks in the top 10 percent by size.
More than 20 wineries make up the region. While there are is a wide range of grape varieties grown in the area, the top 5 you will find in the region are:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cabernet Franc
Pennsylvania: Never more than an hour away
In Pennsylvania, you can find “wine trails,” or groups of wineries that can easily be visited in one area, throughout the state. The fact is, that no matter where you are in Pennsylvania, you are never more than an hour’s drive from a winery.
When it comes to the Bright region, there are 7 distinct wine trails according to Pennsylvania Wine:
- Lehigh Valley
- Berks County
- Bucks County
- Brandywine Valley
- Montgomery County
- Hersey-Harrisburg Wine Country
- Sweet Arrow
Grape growing encompasses around 1,000 acres in the state, according to the Maryland Wineries Association. That’s a lot of wine! Wine has been produced in Maryland dating as far back as 1648, yet the first winery did not open until 1945.
A major wine festival is held the third weekend of September—the Maryland Wine Festival. The festival has been happening since 1985 and visitors can sample more than 200 wines each year!
Virginia: Varied climate means great wines
In Virginia, you have a variety of landscape and climate choices, which makes it an ideal place for making wine, according to Virginia Wine.
Within the Bright MLS region you will find several of Virginia’s wine regions:
- Central Virginia
- Chesapeake Bay
- Eastern Shore
- Northern Virginia
If you are thinking of visiting a Virginia winery, be sure to try Viognier, Cabernet Franc, or Petit Verdot.