Nissley Vineyards & Winery

About

Winery Tours. Tours of the winery are both fun and educational. The operating winery was built by J. Richard Nissley to reflect the estate’s 18th c. heritage. It is airy and bright while retaining a rustic character. The stainless steel tanks, filters and bottling line are complemented by a large stone fireplace. Wine Shop. Just off the archway, visitors will find the Wine Shop, with a complete selection of Nissley wines and many wine serving accessories. Picnics. Visitors are welcome to bring a carry-in picnic to enjoy with a bottle of chilled Nissley wine on the well groomed lawn, the shaded patios or the banks of the winding Conoy creek. We like to recommend Little Italy, a nearby restaurant with a drive thru window, where you can stop on your way here. Bicycling. Cyclists who enjoy bicycling on quiet country roadways can plan a rest stop at the winery en route. Also, we are just a few miles from Bainbridge access to the newly extended Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. Cyclists are welcome to begin and end their ride at the winery, but the grounds are closed after 5:00 pm. Special Events. These activities are perhaps the most fun of all. Our signature Music in the Vineyards romantic summer evening lawn concerts have been entertaining visitors since 1982. For a quieter experience, come for other events that we host alone or with other wineries on our wine trail throughout the year. Receptions and Parties. We receive many requests to hold weddings, receptions, reunions, rallies and parties. Unfortunately, due to staffing and production limitations, we do not rent our facilities.

Location Description

Located in the heart of Bainbridge, PA

Additional Information

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  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
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History

We are a family of four siblings whose energetic father had a vision of growing grapes and making quality wine. Within a short time, his vision became our own. It began in the early 1970’s when J. Richard Nissley and his son John planted several acres of grapes on farmland near Bainbridge, Lancaster County, PA that had been purchased in prior years as an investment. Their research indicated that the somewhat newly developed varieties of French hybrid grapes would grow well in this soil and climate.

The property included an 18th c. stone mill with its companion miller’s house and stone arch bridge along with a more recent frame tobacco barn. The challenge was to turn the small barn into a grand production facility that would not seem out of place with the older buildings. Hence, the winery was designed with stone arches that appear on many of our wine labels.

At that time there were only a few wineries in the central Pennsylvania area. Being among the first to do anything has never been easy. However, with a great deal of charm, a pioneering spirit and the grit of a native Lancaster countian, our father persevered despite the naysayers who would accept only California or France as the proper places to grow grapes and make wine.

He was instrumental in starting the Pennsylvania Winery Association and was its first President. Our mother Anna Ruth provided encouraging support and gave many of the guided winery tours and tastings in the early days.

Daughter Judith joined the enterprise full-time when the winery opened for visitors in July 1978. Daughter Joyce arrived in October and daughter Mary Lee returned home later to help with the burgeoning business. Judith’s penchant for organizing places and events led to our four extension shops and our Music in the Vineyards summer concert series. Joyce applied her organizational and mathematical abilities to various tasks that included accounting as well as development of our personalized wine service. Mary Lee’s interest in flowers and gardening has been well applied to landscaping the beautiful grounds. John’s college studies in agriculture were a natural beginning for growing grapes and managing the vineyard.

In 1990, the need for a full time winemaker was apparent. Bill Gulvin was engaged to fill that position based on the experience and knowledge that he had gained as a winemaker in New York State.

With this team in place we have been producing an average of 46,000 gallons (19,000 cases) annually. The original seven-acre vineyard has expanded to 50 acres and now includes native-American and vinifera varieties. Although our parents are now deceased, we continue to think of ourselves as the J. Richard Nissley Family, and his name still appears on the label of every bottle of wine that we produce. It also appears for posterity along with our mother’s name Anna Ruth in the date stone on the façade of the winery.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

On 50 acres of carefully tended vines, we grow 14 varieties of grapes. If you visit early in June, you will catch the luscious fragrance of the grape blossoms, with the tender young grape leaves unfurling. Through the spring and summer, the vineyard staff is busy tying the expanding vines onto their arbors and removing unneeded clusters. With Mother Nature's cooperation, the first plump juicy grapes are ready for harvest by early September. The juice that ultimately becomes Nissley estate-bottled wine is pressed from grapes brought into the winery fresh from the vineyards. To complement our own harvest, we purchase select fruits, grapes and juice from other growers in Pennsylvania.

Awards

PENNSYLVANIA FARM SHOW COMPETITION
January 2015

Ten wines were entered. Nine won a medal.

Chambourcin 2013
Silver

Fantasy 2013
Silver

Grapeful Red 2013
Silver

Masquerade 2013
Bronze

Montmorency Cherry 2014
Bronze

Naughty Marietta 2013
Silver

Rhapsody in Blue 2013
Bronze

Seyval Blanc 2013
Silver

Vidal Blanc 2013
Bronze

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Hours

Mon-Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Address

140 Vintage Drive
Bainbridge, Pennsylvania 17502
United States

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