Back to projects Winery Owners Harvest Passion The Winery at The Long Shot Farm 1925 McClures Gap Rd. Carlisle, PA thelongshotfarm.com With over 300 wineries operating across Pennsylvania, the winemaking industry contributes significantly to the state’s economy, attracting more than two million visitors annually and accounting for more than $476 million in tourism revenue, according to PennsylvaniaWine.com. Pennsylvania is 5th in the nation for grape growing, with over 14,000 acres of vineyards producing more than two million gallons of wine annually (source: PennsylvaniaWine.com). One small family-owned farm located on the outskirts of Carlisle is doing its part to contribute to Pennsylvania’s long history of winemaking that reaches back more than 300 years while also providing a must-stop destination for those visiting Cumberland Valley. The Winery at the Long Shot Farm started as a dream of Tina and Jeff Weyant in 2009 and is Cumberland Valley’s only estate winery, with 13 acres of grapevines and fruit crops that are grown on three family-owned farms in the Cumberland Valley American Viticultural Area. The shale soil of this location is better suited for fruit and grape growing than the limestone soil typical of most of the Valley. The family vineyards include the hybrid varietals of Vidal Blanc, Corot Noir, Charmbourcin, Traminette, and Chardonel, and the American varietals of Concord and Niagara grapes. The vineyard reduces its dependence on sprays by focusing on grape varieties that are well-suited to this growing region. The grapes are carefully hand-pruned to allow optimal sunshine and airflow to support disease management further. Judicious use of mulch helps retain water, supply vital nutrients, and suppress weeds. Tina underscores the importance of these sustainable and environmentally-sound practices by noting that sales depend on how many grapes are grown. From 2021 to 2022, the Winery increased grape production by 60%. In 2013, the Weyants obtained a federal license to produce commercial wine. After that, the family worked hard to ramp up production and build inventory culminating in the opening of their tasting room in March 2019. Housed in a renovated stone and wood barn dating back to the early 1800s, the inviting space also offers a large outdoor deck allowing visitors to savor both their wine and picturesque views of the North Mountain. Since opening, the tasting room has expanded, and guests are welcome to enjoy the grassy area near the pond and vineyards. Thanks to a strong and dedicated customer base, the Winery has seen steady growth, welcoming over 10,000 visitors in just under four years. Tina notes that most of their customers are from within a 25-mile radius. Still, the Winery sees visitors from far and wide, thanks partly to the diverse “town and country” setting that characterizes Carlisle and Cumberland Valley. Guests can choose from more than 15 varieties of wine that appeal to all palates, including sweet, semi-sweet, dry, and off-dry varietals of red, white, rose, and fruit wines. Since the beginning, Bow & Arrow has been a bestseller with its combination of Chambourcin and blackberry. While the Winery does not rely on standard advertising, they attend off-site events and local festivals and participate monthly as a vendor at Farmers on the Square in Carlisle. They also host several well-attended events, including paint nights, food and wine pairings, food trucks, live music, and yoga on the grass. For those interested in starting their own business, Tina suggests beginning with a business plan and encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to “talk to people, get some feedback, and explore all resources, such as trade associations.” And while Tina and Jeff’s successful venture can undoubtedly be attributed to several factors, including immersing themselves in all aspects of the winemaking industry, perhaps their greatest strength is a desire to share their passion with others.