Did you know that resting along the southern shore of Lake Erie is Wine Country? Yep, right here in Western New York and Pennsylvania rests the largest region of wine country on the east side of the Rocky Mountains! One of the best things to do on Lake Erie is the Lake Erie Wine Trail.
Chautauqua County, the most western area of New York, provides 65% of New York State’s total annual wine. They even sell their wine internationally to 35 different countries!
Now, even though there is plenty to do on Lake Erie’s Grape Belt, our 30,000 acres of vineyards takes the cake! They host every type of wine event you can think of.
You can experience farm-to-table dinner pairings to wine clubs and even harvest celebration weekends! The biggest hit on this stretch of the south shore of Lake Erie is the Lake Erie Wine Trail. Grab your (adult) friends and family and explore 53 miles of wineries.
Don’t forget that New York Rental By Owner has properties just minutes from the Lake Erie Grape Belt and will make your stay convenient and comfortable. View all of our Chautauqua Lake Vacation Rentals for your next stay!
Usually the mention of wine country brings your mind to California’s Napa Valley or France. Pennsylvania and New York state are not typically your first thought–but think again! We have a long running heritage of wineries and vineyards on the east coast.
As the second largest wine region in America, second only to California, our rich history of wineries goes all the way back to the Ice Age!
Yeah, you heard me. The Ice Age. Obviously the wineries didn’t begin back then. However, glaciers once moved through the area dragging along Canadian soil, rocks and boulders to create the perfect environment for vineyards.
The wineries themselves came out to play in the 1950’s and are still here. So come enjoy and the Lake Erie Wine trails!
As you might have guessed, the Lake Erie Grape Belt has a huge collection of vineyards. We took the 23 wineries along the Lake Erie Wine Trail and summarized them for you below. Even if you’re picky about wine, the varieties of wines, styles and tastes vary so greatly that I promise there is a winery just for you!
This winery is named for the sweetness of their wines. With a backdrop of the vineyard and cherry orchards you can truly enjoy their vast array of tasty wines and surround yourself with beauty. As a 250 acre vineyard, and third-generation family farm that has been running since the 1950’s, this winery has strong roots! Plus, if you ever struggle to find their winery just look for Ella! The giant pink elephant stands right by the road. You can’t miss her.
As the westernmost winery on the Lake Erie Wine Trail, 6 Mile Cellars is conveniently located just 6 miles from Erie, PA. Upon arrival, you can grab a bottle or a glass and embark on a vineyard tour. You can even have a picnic on this land that has been farmed since 1960. Even their tasting room is cool! It’s in a 100 year old barn that used to house Thoroughbred horses. Their signature wines are aromatic whites, but they have variety too so that the whole party can enjoy visiting 6 Mile Cellars!
Arrowhead Wine Cellars in Pennsylvania prides themselves on growing 14 varieties of European, Native and Hybrid grapes. They have the largest winery gift shop in the area and they own the farmers market adjacent to the winery! They have a huge variety of wines (and some are award winning)!
Arundel Cellars & Brewing Co. have a wide variety of wines ranging from sweet to dry wines. They helped restore the beautiful 19th century barn that resides on the property that was originally used as a cider mill! The “Arundel family” is made up of four separate families, each with their own rich history of making wine. Don’t forget to try out their craft beers while you’re there.
Nestled amidst the scenic beauty of Lake Erie, Burch Farms Country Market and Wine Shop offers a perfect setting to enjoy the picturesque views while savoring their specialty fruit wines. Beyond the wines, you’ll find a delightful array of fresh produce and freshly baked goods available. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore their fruit stand, and if you visit during the summer months, you can even partake in the fun of picking your own strawberries and cherries!
Courtyard Winery is owned by a third-generation fruit farmer with vast knowledge about running a vineyard and winery. Randy met his wife, a California wine grower, and they brought their passion back to Lake Erie in their search for the next great wine. Together they grow, harvest, ferment, barrel-age and bottle all of their wine with spectacular results. Come enjoy their hand-crafted, award-winning wines!
Heritage Wine Cellars was established in 1976 and it is a third-generation owned winery. They’re pride and joy is in their Native-American wines and dry European reds. Their rustic barn is over 200 years old that has a back deck overlooking Lake Erie. They win awards for their delicious wine year after year. So come try some!
Johnson Estate Winery boasts an expansive 300-acre estate, with 115 acres dedicated to vineyards. Cultivating 13 distinct grape varieties, they offer an extensive selection of exquisite wines. Their commitment goes beyond winemaking; they take pride in their stewardship of the land and its surrounding acreage, aiming not only to utilize it but also to protect its natural beauty and inhabitants.
One of their unique offerings is Ice Wine, a rare delicacy that isn’t harvested until mid-winter. The grapes destined for Ice Wine are meticulously hand-picked amidst the winter snow. This freeze-and-thaw process enhances the grapes’ flavors and results in a truly exceptional product. Ice Wine can only be crafted from grapes still on the vine, frozen by the hand of Mother Nature herself.
Lakeview Wine Cellars is a small boutique winery, and believe it or not, has a stunning lake view! Furthermore, they have an abundant variety of both red and white wines that you can bring out to your picnic overlooking Lake Erie Wine Trails.
Situated in Sheridan, New York, Liberty Vineyards & Winery holds a rich heritage, with some portions of the vineyard tracing back to the 1860s. The farm’s legacy extends even further, dating all the way back to 1839, and remarkably, it remains under the ownership of the same family.
When you visit Liberty Vineyards & Winery, you’ll have the opportunity to enhance your tasting experience. In addition to their tasting flights and wines by the glass, you can indulge in delicious crackers, cheeses, and other delectable snacks. Their tasting room exudes a laid-back ambiance, inviting you to explore their gift shop or simply unwind with friends.
Mazza Chautauqua Cellars is a combination winery, distillery and brewery! They were the first distillery in the area and have been focusing on producing small-batch, high-quality craft-distilled products. They even expanded to add on their brewery, Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing which has become a hub for craft beers and spirits! You can also check out the Mazza Vineyard which hosts Pennsylvania’s top selling wine and is internationally recognized!
Merritt Estate Winery is a family-owned and operated winery who has produced award winning wines for the past 42 years. They are famous for their Picnic Pavillion and their Sangria Wine Slush (which has its own food truck)! Come try it out, or let them come to you.
13. Noble Winery
Noble Winery, renowned for its breathtaking views and a diverse selection of wines that cater to even the most discerning palates, offers an array of choices. From dry whites to savory dry reds, semi-sweet and sweet reds, and delightful pinks and whites, they have something for everyone. Additionally, they offer house-made slushies! Whether you prefer to bring your own food or indulge in their cheese and meat selections that pair perfectly with their wines, the choice is yours. And you can savor these delights in the cozy ambiance of their indoor fireplace or the picturesque outdoor setting overlooking the serene Lake Erie.
Established as the oldest and one of the largest vineyards in Pennsylvania, Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards boasts a list of pioneering achievements within the state’s winemaking industry. Among their notable firsts, they proudly introduced Pennsylvania’s first champagne back in 1970.
Adding to their allure, Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards also hosts an engaging concert series on their back deck. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or looking for a memorable day out, immerse yourself in the rich history and entertainment this historic winery has to offer.
Presque Isle Wine Cellars, a family-owned supply store and winery, has been crafting award-winning, distinctive wines for the past 54 years. Their legacy extends even further as they’ve been cultivating grapes along the south shore of Lake Erie for a century.
Exploring their vineyard, nestled amidst lush woods and serene waterfalls, offers a truly enchanting backdrop for your wine tasting experience. With their rich history and scenic surroundings, Presque Isle Wine Cellars is a top choice for wine enthusiasts seeking a beautiful and memorable setting.
16. Quincy Cellars
At Quincy Cellars, you’ll discover a premier winery and a remarkable special event venue with a rich history dating back to the erection of their 130-year-old barn. While the barn has been thoughtfully remodeled, it still retains its original beams, creating a charming blend of old-world charm and modern elegance.
Set amidst a picturesque landscape featuring a tranquil pond, inviting deck, and charming patio, Quincy Cellars provides an idyllic and romantic setting, perfect for hosting a wide range of special occasions. Whether it’s your wedding, anniversary, or birthday celebration, this venue offers an unforgettable backdrop for your cherished moments.
At Sensory Winery & Art Gallery, you’ll discover a dynamic fusion of contemporary art and exclusive, limited-production wines that you won’t encounter elsewhere. With both their art gallery and wine selection constantly evolving, each visit promises a fresh and unique experience.
The concept behind Sensory Winery & Art Gallery revolves around harmonizing all the senses—art, wines, music, and videos—into a seamless and immersive experience. Come and immerse yourself in this one-of-a-kind sensory journey that promises something new and extraordinary every time you visit!
Located at Mazza Vineyards, South Shore Wine Company has found its home within the same vineyards that were originally established by grape-growing pioneers 150 years ago. As one of the oldest wine brands in the Lake Erie region, their historic tasting room is nestled within a stunning stone cavern and cellar. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this captivating space and savor their exceptional wines.
While Sparkling Ponds Winery may have changed ownership, one thing that remains constant is their commitment to preserving the beloved wines that patrons have come to cherish. They have made it a priority to keep the essence of these wines unchanged, ensuring a consistent and enjoyable experience for all. For those seeking a unique experience, they enthusiastically invite you to explore their vineyard during the autumn season. The fall ambiance is truly enchanting, with sweet aromas that are so captivating they might just sweep you off your feet.
Set within a charming 1800’s rustic farmhouse, Willow Creek Winery provides a picturesque setting for wine enthusiasts. Crafting a diverse selection of 20 different wines on-site, their offerings range from the renowned chocolate wines to dry whites, sweet reds, and an array of other delightful options to satisfy your wine cravings.
At Yori Wine Cellars, their dedication to winemaking goes beyond tradition. They not only excel in crafting traditional wines but also embrace innovation to push the boundaries of winemaking.
Moreover, during the summer months, their vineyard offers a delightful slush that’s perfect for refreshing yourself on warm days. When you visit, you’ll be treated to an experience that combines relaxation, delicious flavors, and educational insights.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore their specialty offerings, including the unique Iced Wine and a distinct Pumpkin Wine that’s perfect for enjoying during the fall season.
While Yori Wine Cellars may be one of the newest additions to the region, their commitment to crafting exceptional wines is truly remarkable. They boast an impressive repertoire of 25 top-quality wine varieties, sourced from a diverse selection of 15 grape types cultivated on their family-owned farm, as well as from local vineyards.
Adding to the allure, Yori Wine Cellars is closely connected to a celebrated Italian restaurant with a remarkable 30-year history. When you visit, be sure to pair their specialty wines with some mouthwatering cuisine from this renowned establishment for a complete and unforgettable experience.
Now That We’re a Little Tipsy
At the end of the day, there is plenty of wine to go around. If you didn’t know this hamlet of historic family-owned farms, grape growers and viticulturists then now you know!
Now that you know what you want to do, let’s find you a perfect place to stay! New York Rental By Owner has a myriad of rental properties in Chautauqua county. Come check us out! From lake front cottages, to cabins, to condos we have the property you’re looking for. Many are minutes away from Lake Erie Wine Country. Click here to view all Chautauqua Lake rentals.
Come enjoy our vast variety of great wines, views and vineyards here on the south side of Lake Erie where the climate is perfect for producing delicious wines throughout the year.
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