Heritage Wine Cellars, North East, PA

While visiting different wineries, I have discovered that many tend to specialize in a particular style. Heritage Wine Cellars in North East, Pennsylvania caters toward the crafting of sweeter wines. During our visit we wanted to explore the full range of offerings, and were curious to try dry varietals that might be available to enjoy as well.

Heritage Wine Cellars opened in 1976 and is located very close to the New York / Pennsylvania borderline. The winery, founded in 1976, is run by the Bostwick family, which has been involved in the grape and wine industry for over 150 years. The tasting room is within an old, but nicely restored 19th century barn. After entering through the barrel shaped door, just walk right up to the tasting bar and start pouring yourself samples. Yes, you read correctly. Here at Heritage they leave out small cups and let you taste whatever you want. Below is the list of wines that we tried on our visit.

Half & Half
  • Half Concord and half Niagara grapes.
  • Super sweet and grapey.
White Riesling
  • Lacking in flavor, a bit flat. Could have been left open too long.
Pinot Grigio
  • I really did not care for this at all. Tastes nothing like any Pinot Grigio I have ever had.
  • Very oaky but not in a pleasant way.
  • Almond extract in wine? Perhaps serve it over ice cream.
Blackberry Reserve
  • Extremely sweet and not what I was expecting.
Chocolate Strawberry
  • Artificial chocolate notes with hints of strawberry.
Dutch Apple Spice
  • Apple wine with cinnamon and clove.
  • Way too much cinnamon in my opinion.
Plum Crazy
  • Honestly, this tasted like cough syrup.
Johnny’s Jack
  • Made with 6 varieties of apples.
  • Definitely not a fan!
Peach Port
  • Big peach flavors and very sweet. This was actually my favorite that we tried.

As you can probably surmise, we weren’t too excited by most of what we sampled. Having the bottles out in the open like they are, I question the freshness of many of them. With over 50 wines available, I also have to wonder if Heritage Wine Cellars is perhaps spreading itself too thin. The winery is most well known for their sweeter wines, which make up over 90% of the wine list. If you love sweet wines, then you may enjoy much of what they have to offer. There are also plenty of fruit wines to choose from, as well as some Ports and Sherries. Their most popular wine is the Half and Half which is composed of Concord and Niagara. As you might assume, it is very sweet and grape like.

Heritage Wine Cellars is clearly geared toward the sweeter end of the wine spectrum. If you prefer that type of wine, then a stop at the winery may be a good one. The wines are all very affordably priced with a selection I have never seen anywhere else. They also have a decent selection of jams, mustards, and hot sauces to try while visiting.

North East, Pennsylvania is, ironically enough, in the State’s northwest corner! It is a town known for producing cherries and grapes. During the summer months, you can check out the annual Cherry Festival. Get there in the fall and you can attend the Wine County Harvest Festival!

Heritage Wine Cellars


Heritage Wine Cellar’s Facebook Page

12160 East Main Street, North East, PA 16428

Visited January 18, 2014

Blog post written by Thomas Andersen.


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