Penns Woods Winery

Penns Woods White Merlot

Penns Woods White Merlot

On a recent trip back to the East Coast, I had the opportunity to discover Penns Woods Winery, thanks to a Philadelphia-area blogger, Uncorked Remarks, who has recommended the winery to me for some time and has written about many of their perhaps unconventional pairing events, such as their wine and cupcake pairing eventInternational Bacon Day, and Penns Woods & Righteous Felon Jerky pairings.

Penns Woods Winery was founded by Gino Razzi, an Italian immigrant who had made a name for himself in Pennsylvania as a longtime importer, distributor, and winemaker. After many years in the international and local wine industry, he purchased Smithbridge Winery in 2004, which would become Penns Woods. In 2010, his daughter, Carley, joined the business to market and manage operations at the winery. Penns Woods is a family operation through and through, which is evident upon first visit.

Penns Woods White Merlot and Cheese Plate

Penns Woods White Merlot and Cheese Plate

Not surprisingly, Penns Woods exceeded my expectations in all areas, including the quality of wines produced and the winery’s warm and inviting property. Thanks to Carley’s graciousness, my blogger friend and I had the opportunity to taste through all of their current offerings. The winery produces award-winning wines for every palate, from sweet to dry. For those who prefer dry wines like me, do not sell the off-dry and sweet offerings short, as they are made with the same care and quality as the dry wines.

From the sweeter side of the palate, I especially enjoyed the Bancroft Riesling, a perfect balance of off-dryness and acidity, with aromas and flavors of flowers, citrus, tree fruits, and honey. I was also fond of the Traminette, which is a hybrid grape that offers the aroma and flavor characteristics of one of its parent grapes, Gewurztraminer, which means its floral aromatics and slight sweetness would be the perfect pairing for spicy Asian cuisine. If you are a Moscato lover, you can’t go wrong with their Merlot-based Moscato Rosé or their Moscato. And if you are ready to venture into reds, the Field Blend Red, with its flavors of dark berries and vanilla, would be the perfect entry point into the world of red wines.

Penns Woods Moscato

Penns Woods Moscato

As mentioned previously, I tend to prefer drier wines and all of the Penns Woods offerings were great examples of their varietal grapes. The Sauvignon Blanc was made in a softer, palate-friendly style of tart and sweet fruit flavors. I was very pleased with the Chardonnay, which maintained that fine balance between fruit and oak, with aromas and flavors of apple, baking spices, and vanilla. The White Merlot, a dry, Merlot-based Rosé, was delicate, dry, and mouthwatering, with aromas and flavors of red berries and stone fruits. The two dry red wines we tried, the Proprietor Reserve Bordeaux-style red blend and the Merlot Reserve, were nothing short of fantastic. Both were fruit forward, with firm tannins and lingering finishes.

For those who may visit Penns Woods in the future, please leave any wine biases you may have at the door and refrain from comparing their wines with those from other states and countries. If there’s anything I have learned since I began serious wine tasting, it is that premium wines, regardless of location, will always reflect their terroir, the environment and the climate in which the grapes are produced, as well as the winemaker’s style. What you will find at Penns Woods are exemplary examples of Pennsylvania wines.

About Beth

I am currently a wine club coordinator at a winery in Napa Valley. I was introduced to wine by way of current and former travel clients. I am an independent travel planner with Montrose Travel and owner of C’est Beth Travel Management, which provides customized, virtual travel services for business and leisure clients. My specialties include wine-related business and leisure travel. I speak English, French, and Spanish. I hold Wine & Spirit Education Trust‘s Advanced, Intermediate, and Foundation Awards in Wines and Spirits, a B.S.Ed. in French, an M.A. in French, 30 undergraduate and graduate hours in Spanish, and a D.A. (Doctor of Arts) in Community College and Language Education.
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8 Responses to Penns Woods Winery

  1. Pingback: Penns Woods Winery | Traveling Wine Chick | Which Wine Is Sweet

  2. What a delightful sharing of your Penns Woods experience, Beth! Not only did I enjoy it as an armchair traveler, but I also felt like I was savoring the varieties of wine and enjoying the cheese plate!! Thank you and congratulations to Penns Woods for offering a great destination winery!!

  3. It was a fantastic visit as always, Beth! I’m glad that you had a good time and shared the experience. Salut!

    • Beth says:

      Thank you for introducing me to Penns Woods. I would never have known about it or visited it if it weren’t for you.

  4. Thanks for the awesome writ-up Beth! You are always welcome at Penns Woods! We hope to see you the next time you are in town!

  5. Beth says:

    I will definitely be back, Carley! Cheers!

  6. Pingback: 3rd Annual Brandywine Food & Wine Festival - June 14, 2014 | Uncorked Remarks

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