A report on the Pennsylvania wine industry by a Pitt-Bradford faculty and former faculty member assesses the state of the
industry and found that it has capacity for growth.
The report by Dr. Shailendra Gajanan, associate professor
of economics, and Dr. James Dombrosky, a former member of the hospitality
management faculty at Pitt-Bradford, notes that Pennsylvania’s wine industry
currently operates at only 76 percent of its current capacity and that it could
achieve economies of scale by increasing its production.
The report was commissioned by the Center for RuralPennsylvania, a state legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural
policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Legal Tastings – A Wine Law Blog reviewed the report and
called it “chock full of interesting facts, cogent analysis (that) should be
required reading for anyone interested in wineries located in Pennsylvania.”
“Winemaking is a big
industry in Pennsylvania,” said Gajanan, noting that the state ranks seventh
nationally in wine production. “The question is, can it get bigger and can the
government do something to help it get bigger?”
As part of the study, Gajanan and
Dombrosky compared practices, results, funding streams, regulations and
marketing efforts with those in Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and
The researchers found that one of
the great limitations to growth, however, are the current laws and policies
that limit the amount of Pennsylvania wines sold by the Pennsylvania Liquor
Control Board state-run liquor stores. The authors noted that it is uncertain
how the possible privatization of liquor sales in Pennsylvania would affect the
wine industry, but lifting a prohibition against shipping wine to Pennsylvania
would also allow wineries to ship out of Pennsylvania. Currently, researchers
said, a shocking 81 percent of all Pennsylvania wine is sold directly by
wineries to wine outlets and tourists.
Gajanan and Dombrosky recommended
that the state consider designating any revenues from shipping wine out of
state to wine research and marketing; encouraging increased signage for wine
trails and regions; enacting policies to facilitate increased sales of local
wines at state-run liquor stores; and providing incentives for wineries to use
The full report is available at www.rural.palegislature.us/documents/reports/pa_wine_industry_2013.pdf.