By Kim Lux
Community members are invited to come raise a glass and celebrate Penn Shore Winery & Vineyards’ 50th anniversary.
The event will take place at the winery, 10225 E. Lake Road, on Saturday, Sept. 14, and run from 2 to 6 p.m.
Penn Shore is also known as Pennsylvania’s oldest winery. It opened in 1969.
The family-run winery has been owned by Jeff and Cheryl Ore for the past 15 years. They continue to run the business with their children Jenny Sholtis and Jeremy Ore.
“Penn Shore Winery & Vineyards was started by three local farmers — George Luke, George Sceiford and Blair McCord,” Jeff Ore said. “They were the first winery to open after the Limited Winery Act was passed.
“Our license actually says No.2 because No.1 was given to someone in the middle of the state, but their winery never came to fruition,” he added.
Ore said he decided to purchase the winery after coming back to his hometown of North East. He added his family has fully enjoyed operating the winery for the past 15 years.
“I kept getting transferred for work, and it was so bad that my kids ended up attending five different school districts in three and a half years,” he said. “My wife and I wanted to put down roots, and we’re both from North East, so we decided to come back.
“It seemed like a perfect business opportunity,” Ore added. “Since I took over ownership 15 years ago, the number of wineries in the area has nearly tripled.”
Over the past 50 years, Ore said Penn Shore has continued to expand by offering more wines and giving more tours.
“When the winery first opened, they had seven types of wine,” he said. “Now, we have 23 different varieties. We were also the first winery to produce champagne in the state.”
The event on Sept. 14 is a way to thank the community for its continued support and celebrate North East’s rich history in the wine industry, Ore said.
“We welcome everyone to come enjoy the winery as much as we do, and learn about Penn-Shore’s history and how it’s helped shape Pennsylvania’s wine industry,” Ore said.
The winery will be giving out commemorative wine glasses to the first 200 people through the door starting at 2 p.m., there will also be multiple large giveaways and sales.
Penn Shore will be partnering with Project Love of North East. Attendees are encouraged to bring a toy to donate and in return get their samples for free. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will be out back serving up menu items starting at 2 p.m., and The Riffriders Lite will be playing music on the patio starting at 3 p.m.
Just like with their summer concerts, lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged to enjoy the music and festivities out back. Children and leashed pets are always welcome.
“During one of our normal concert events, we see about 1,000 people,” he said. “We’re hoping for a good crowd.
“We just wanted to have a nice party to celebrate this milestone,” Ore added. “It will be similar to our Music in the Vineyards series, but a little bigger and held earlier in the day.”
More details about event can be found on the winery’s website under latest news and on Facebook.