Groundhog Day with Punxsutawney Phil

February 2. Groundhog Day. The day that cute little rodent pops out of his burrow, and depending on his shadow, forecasts if either more winter is on the way or if we’ll be seeing an early spring. A funny little tradition, brought to North America by the Pennsylvania Dutch and made popular by the most notable of groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

 

The Groundhog Wine Trail — The Longest Wine Trail in Pennsylvania

Now you may be asking yourself, what does any of this have to with wine? Well, not a lot. However, since Pennsylvania is the birth place of Groundhog Day, it is only fitting they have a wine trail named after the furry brown shadow maker. The Groundhog Wine Trail is the longest wine trail in the state, stretching from central Pennsylvania, up through the Allegheny National Forest and connecting with Lake Erie Wine Country in the northwest. The trail includes 16 wineries producing high quality wines made from regionally grown grapes. There’s also a Groundhog Wine Fest, hosted by none other than, Groundhog Winery and typically runs around the same time as Groundhog Day.

 

A Rich History Of Wine In Pennsylvania, USA

While Pennsylvania may not be the first place you think of when you think of wine, it does have a rich history in the state, going all the way back to 1683 when William Penn planted the first vines in Philadelphia. It may surprise you to know that Pennsylvania is the fifth largest producer of wine in the United States, producing over 1.6 million gallons of wine each year. It also has a climate similar to European growing regions, and the terroir allows for French-American hybrids as well as traditional vinifera vines to thrive. Pennsylvania has three recognized American Vitticultural Areas (AVA): Lehigh Valley AVA, Lancaster Valley AVA and Lake Erie AVA, and according to the Pennsylvania Wine website, you’re never more than an hour drive away from a winery.

 


Fun Facts about Groundhog Day

The tradition of Groundhog Day, popular in Canada and the USA, was brought from Europe by the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Germans had a tradition of marking Candlemas as Badger Day. They believed if the badger emerging from his burrow cast a shadow, it signalled 4 more weeks of winter.
Sound familiar?


 

Looking for more USA wine adventures for Groundhog Day or any other day of the year? Check out Chasing Delicious Wines in the Finger Lakes Region of New York