In 1989 Karl and Carolyn Zimmerman converted their Snyder County corn and soybean farm into a vineyard. Since then their four adult children have returned home to join the family business. Karl and sons, Bill and Ben, spend their days in the vines and vats while Carolyn and daughters, Amy and Jenny, staff the tasting rooms. As one can already surmise, "Family" is a huge part of what makes Shade Mountain Winery "work." The Zimmerman Family has "added on" to their brood over the years, and has been blessed with an amazing grouping of inlaws and friends that will drop anything to help the business "soldier on" during festival and holiday seasons. Daughter, Amy, and her husband, Brian, have produced members of the third generation, Carly and Peter. These two little gems are already being thrown into the mix and spend their days at the winery picking grapes during harvest and moving empty boxes during the bottling process. They are the apple (or grape would be more fitting!) of their Pappy and Gammy's eyes and bring much happiness even during the most tiring and stressful times!
Shade Mountain Vineyards encompasses over 68 acres of vineyards that are home to a remarkable array of 40 different grape varieties: among them Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Sangiovese, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Lemberger, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Traminette, Steuben, Niagara, and Concord to name a few. The grapes not used for Shade Mountain's purposes are then sold to other PA wineries! They also boast an entire line of fruit wines ranging in sweetness levels from semi-sweet to sweet. These wines are made from actual Pennsylvania-grown fruit, except for the Cranberry. Our fruit wines include Apple, Raspberry, Elderberry, Blackberry, Cherry, Strawberry, and Peach. Karl enjoys the challenge of growing grapes in the northeast, so he is always looking for new varieties to cultivate successfully. The grapes are his babies and he is particularly proud of controlling the whole process from vine to wine. He is quoted as saying "a great glass of wine starts with the vines".
The winery is housed in a 19th Century converted bank barn and has grown to produce 30,000 gallons of wine annually. In 2006 the barn underwent a renovation and added an event room with expansive decks overlooking the vines. Many events are held throughout the year including the Susquehanna Heartland's Wine Trail March Madness Month every March, Shade Mountain's Annual Fall Festival (where you can actually stomp the grapes!) held every second weekend in October, weddings, birthdays, showers and live music weekends. Carolyn is a food and wine-pairing expert and shares some of her recipes with us now and then.
Please be sure to make Shade Mountain Winery a stop on your next trip through Central Pennsylvania, as we promise you a warm family reception, beautiful and serene views, and most importantly, high quality wine for all to enjoy!
All of our Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail Association members are small, family-owned wineries, operated independently. Each has a unique experience and rich history and provides their own original touches that reflect the many varieties of wine offered. Wineries each host events and are open to the public at varying hours. Some will offer food and entertainment at different times throughout the year. Most, if not all, wineries will participate in our annual events. To ensure you have the best possible experience at each of our wineries during your time in the Susquehanna Heartland, we encourage you to visit each winery’s profile page and individual website. You are also encouraged to call the wineries directly to ask specific questions about winery entertainment, hours, policies and wine selections. We do our best to ensure current and accurate information about all Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail Association participating wineries. But unfortunately, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Thanks for visiting!