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Erie, PA Wine Trail Musts?

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I am planning a bachelorette party for the Erie Wine Trail in July. I am hoping to get a list of the tope 3-5 wineries that must be visited, since there are so many on the trail and we only have one day! I am planning to start the bash with lunch at either Pie in the Sky, Freeport Restaurant, Smugglers Wharf or Pufferbelly. Your thoughts on that are welcome too!

Thanks!

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Freeport Restaurant
# 89, North East, PA 16428

Pufferbelly Restaurant & Bar
414 French St, Erie, PA 16507

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  1. Where is your origination point and where is your finishing point? My reason is that, imo, there are some better and more fun wineries in the Geneva-on-the-Lake area of OH. I suspect that you can have fun in either place, and there aren't really that many wineries in the Erie area, unless you cross into NY. Here is a link to the map of the North East wineries, some of which have some good juice, http://www.pennsylvaniawine.com/map-p... .
    It is a nice drive along the lake and there are a few watering holes, including a nice bar/restaurant at the North East Marina, right on the lake. As for restaurants in Erie, I personally like Smuggler's Wharf for dinner, and you may want to consider the Sloppy Duck, which has good bar food and may be more suitable for a party.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MrKotter

      We plan to start with lunch in Erie (most likely Pie in the Sky or Freeport). We want to end up at Presque Isle. We will only have a few hours all together, so I think keeping it in close proximity to Erie area is ideal.

      Looks like Geneva-on-the-Lake is about an hour from Erie. If there are must see wineries along the way, that would help break up the drive. If you know of a few good wineries though, throw them out there. Our itinerary is still very flexible!

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      Freeport Restaurant
      # 89, North East, PA 16428

      1. re: marcia131

        sorry if this is after the fact, but I was on vacation. If your time is limited, you may want to stick with the Erie/North East area wineres. They are not as good as the OH wineries in general, but I think you will hve a good time without a lot of driving. If you do choose to go he OH route, stop by Markko along the way. If you can find it, they have some of the best wines in the entire area, especially chardonnays, an their reds are quite good for the area.

        1. re: MrKotter

          Thanks Mr. Kotter! I think we will stick with the NE Erie wineries, but I will put Markko on my list and when I am back in Erie visiting my newly married friend (and I am no longer pregnant!) we will check it out.

    2. It has been a few year since we have been to Erie (our son graduated college) but I remember breakfast at the Freeport being very good. They smoke their own bacon, etc. Smugglers Wharf was always my wife's favorite place to eat in Erie (there are restaurants from a CH perspective that might be better but it is good). As for wineries, we made it to several. One or two were better than others but that's what makes for a fun tour. I think there are only five and they are all near each other.

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      Freeport Restaurant
      # 89, North East, PA 16428

      1. When I served as a judge at the PA wine competition in 2000, we gave our highest marks of the day to Presque Isle Vineyard for their merlot. I'd put it up against anyone's so I'd say Presque Isle is a must.

        CP