The newest winery in Pennsylvania is the Hauser Estate Winery near Gettysburg. It opened on July 22, 2008 after three years of planning and construction. The fact is that Brenda and I didn’t even know it was there and just happened to pass the driveway as we wandered around last Saturday. As we drove up the hill toward he parking lot, we could see a very young vineyard on our left and a brand new building on our right. The grapevines were definitely too young to have produced their first crop. In fact, if it wasn’t for the cars in the parking log, I wouldn’t have been sure that the winery had opened yet. I really didn’t know what to expect as we got out of the car and went inside.
Judging by the number of people in the tasting room, word of Hauser Estate was spreading quickly. We were lucky because tasting room manager Melisa Patrono was there and ageed to spend a few minutes with us. Melisa said that opening a winery has been a long time dream of her husband Jonathan and it was clear to me that she shared that dream. She made a special point mentioning that the winery would never have opened without the support of grandma Helen Hauser.
With advice from vineyard consultant Lucy Morton, Hauser Estate planted about eight acres of Chambourcin, Vidal, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes on the site and are expecting their first harvest in 2009. In the meantime they’re purchasing their grapes from other Pennsylvania growers.
Hauser Estate’s most popular wine is the Devil’s Den Red which is named after an outcropping of rocks where Union soldiers came under Confederate sniper fire on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. The wine itself is very smooth and somewhat on the sweet side. Melisa’s personal favorite is the Jennie Wade White. Jennie Wade was a 20 year old seamstress who was the only civilian to die in the Battle of Gettysburg. The wine that bears her name is sweet white with a a crisp, clean finish. Brenda really liked enjoyed the Apple wine and at $6.00 per bottle, it was a great bargain.
Stay tuned for part II of this report where I’ll talk about the beautiful deck and the special events that the winery hosts.
The Hauser Estate Winery is open Monday through Saturday from from 11:00 to 5:00 and Sunday from noon to 5:00. It’s located at 410 Cashtown Road in Biglerville, PA. When you visit, make sure you bring your wine carrier because you’ll want to take home some of Hauser Estate’s wines.
Map of the surrounding area: