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9440 W Main Rd
North East
PA, 16428
United States
(814) 725-1314
(814) 725-2092
Randall Branch

Presque Isle Wine Cellars

We are family owned and have been in the business of supplying the equipment and raw material needs of amateur winemakers and small commercial wineries since 1964 and are one of the oldest such firms in the country. In 1968 we opened one of the first commercial wineries in Pennsylvania allowed under the newly created Pennsylvania Limited Wineries Act, producing award-winning wines from locally grown native, hybrid and vitis viniferagrapes.  We believe we have the most comprehensive inventory of supplies and equipment in the business and look forward to meeting all your needs.  Our relationship with our customers is of central importance to us and the goodwill of our customers has been a key to our success over the years.  Our staff is dedicated to providing courteous, responsive service and to helping you make the best wine possible.

Our wines are available at our North East, PA location, in Pennsylvania State Liquor Stores, and at select retail outlets in Pennsylvania.  Several fine restaurants serve our wine as well.  We can also accept orders to ship our wines within Pennsylvania and we are pleased to announce we can now ship to several other states as well.

We also have a wide variety of fresh grapes and juice available during the fall harvest season from the finest local and regional growers.

Retail Catalog Available at

Both the choice of equipment and the vocabulary of winemaking may seem confusing to the beginner. Reading our catalogue will help with your vocabulary while the following checklist may help you choose from among those items which are necessary, those which are desirable and finally, those which are just nice-to-haves.

Basic Equipment:If you start with your own fruit you will need a crusher and press. Try to borrow or rent one until you are sure you are in winemaking to stay since they are expensive. We rent these items to those close enough to come to the winery and provide them free of charge to those who purchase grapes from us. You won't need either item if you purchase juice or concentrate. A filter is convenient, but never necessary. Other essential items are covered below.

Containers: Five gallon glass water bottles (carboys) are the preferred container. They are easy to clean and don't deteriorate in storage or interact chemically with the wine. You will also be able to observe the fermentation. Three, six and seven gallon jugs are alternatives. One gallon jugs require more care because of the risk of oxidation. Beer kegs make good containers. Plastic containers should be used only for short term storage because of their permeability to air. Barrels offer mostly problems; they often leak; evaporation losses may be 10% per year and with small barrels the surface area to volume ration is too high. Avoid barrels unless you can take the time to care for them properly. The use of Oak-mor or oak chips is a quite reasonable alternative to aging in small barrels.

Air Locks: These devices let gas escape from your fermenting container, but shield it from atmospheric oxygen. They work like a sink trap. They should be used with a rubber bung to fit the opening of your container. Tapered corks or rubber caps may also be used with them. There are also screw cap lids for gallon jugs which will hold an air lock.

Chemicals: Few chemicals are needed with grape wines. A source of sulfur dioxide (either potassium metabisulfite or campden tablets) will be of great value. Tartaric acid is needed with some low acid grapes form California and calcium carbonate (chalk) or potassium bicarbonate will help when you have high acidity. Potassium sorbate inhibits fermentation in sweet wines, but must be used with sufficient SO2 to avoid the risk of developing an off 'geranium' odor. Most other fruits will need pectic enzymes and yeast nutrients or yeast ghosts. Tannin or a fining agent may be needed if the wine doesn't clear properly on it's own.

Yeast: Wine yeast cultures offer several advantages over the wild yeasts normally found on the fruit, namely the ability to ferment at cooler temperatures, greater alcohol efficiency and more compact less easily disturbed lees. Several different strains with similar, but slightly differing characteristics are stocked. They are quite inexpensive.

Cleaning and Sterilizing: Sal Soda (washing soda) is as good as anything. We stock it now that you can no longer get unscented material in a grocery store. Wineries often use proprietary alkaline cleaners based on sal soda and tri-sodium phosphate. The use of regular detergents is ok, but you may have a lot of suds. Brushes such as we sell are good for reaching into odd corners to reach difficult soils. Sodium hypochlorite (laundry bleach) can be used to sterilize inert materials, but a solution of potassium metabisulfite in water is better to use before bottling.

Instruments: If you purchase juice or concentrate from us we will provide you with sugar and acid readings so you won't have to purchase any instruments. Otherwise you will need a hydrometer and often an acid test kit. A free SO2 test kit will be quite helpful. Other instruments provide interesting data, but aren't as critical in helping you make better wine.

Transferring Wine: To prevent unnecessary agitation and aeration, wine should be siphoned, not poured. You will need about five or six feet of food grade plastic tubing or a PIWC Bottling Siphon or similar apparatus.

Bottling and Storage: Our PIWC Bottling Siphon is handy, but a plain piece of tubing will do, with or without a valve. Gallon jugs can be used if your family consumes a lot of wine, but most will find the 750ml bottle more practical. Avoid using bottles with bastard threads or with flared necks too short to properly seat a cork. Use corks if more than a year of bottle aging is likely, otherwise you can use 28 mm screw caps or plastic top corks (T-corks). You will need a corker to insert the regular wine bottle corks.

 Ideal Cellar Conditions: Ideal conditions include cool and even temperatures, protection from direct sunlight, fairly high humidity and free from foul odors. The perfect facility is hard to come by, but it will pay you to try and come as close as you can. If nothing else insulate a corner of your cellar and try to avoid areas where temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Presque Press: Australian Juices are Here!

Announcing the arrival of our 2019 Australian Juice Pails!

Our 2019 Australian Juices are here and ready for pick up or orders. Since we have already sold out of our 51.5 gallon drums we suggest that you hurry up and order, mate!

All of our Australian Juices are aseptically packaged and enzymed with no yeast added. They are kept at just above freezing temperature from the time the juice was crushed until it is purchased or shipped. With the aseptic packaging, the juices will be fresh and stable for months - but why wait to make some great wine! In fact, you might like to try our award winning Ripper Red which is a blend of Australian Shiraz and our local Nioret - it's good!

7 Amazing Australian Juices
This year we are featuring 7 Fresh Australian Juices in 20 liter (5.3 gallons) aseptic pails.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Shiraz
  • Petit Verdot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chenin Blanc

Price is just $75 per pail. Supplies are limited. Order yours now.

We can ship Australian Juices
We have successfully shipped these juices around the country so don't miss this chance to create some awesome Down Under wine. See our typical shipping costs.
Australian Juices sell out quickly so don't wait to order!

News Archive

Barrels, Tanks, and Carboys Galore!
14 November, 2019

With this year's harvest coming to a close, it's time to think about how you are going to ferment, age, and store your new wines. Fortunately, we have all the answers you need with our wide assortment of carboys, tanks, and barrels.

Your Wine Deserves Barrel Aging
Oak aging your wine adds a touch of refinement and class. The oak imparts flavor and aroma while also affecting color, tannin profile, and texture of the wine. We offer premium French and American Oak barrels from our partners at Tonnellerie Ô.

French Oak Barrels - $1,000
American Oak Barrels - $550

Smaller Format American Oak Barrels
We also offer smaller Minnesota Oak barrels in sizes from 5 gallons to 30 gallons. Prices starting at $280

Variable Capacity Stainless Steel Tanks
If you are not quite ready for oak barrels or already have some, our stainless steel tanks are your answer for fermenting, storage, and bottling.
Our tanks are available in sizes from 100L (13 gallons) up to 2000L (528 gallons). Tanks are 18 gauge stainless steel and include:

  • Stainless lid with pneumatic vinyl gasket allowing lid adjustment to fit volume of tank.
  • Gasket air pump and system accessories
  • Tri-Clamp bottom opening with Tri-Clamp fitting and butterfly valve with tanks 800L and larger
  • Bulkhead bottom opening with screw in Ghidi valve spigot on tanks 600L and smaller. Tri-Clamp fittings available as optional add-on
  • Fermentation Lock
    Prices starting at $439.

Glass Carboys
Our carboys are available in 3-5-6 gal sizes.
Quality, Durable, and Sanitary - our glass carboys are the perfect container for the home winemaker.

One Piece of Equipment for (almost) Everything
If you're looking for winemaking equipment that can do more than one thing we'd like to introduce you to the Blichmann WineEasy.

The versatile WineEasy is a press, a transferring system, and an aging container. They are available in 10, 30, and 55-gallon sizes. There are even leg extensions for the 20 and 30-gallon models. Check one out here.


American & French Oak Barrels in Stock
16 April, 2019

Presque Isle Wine Cellars proudly introduces our new barrel line from Tonnellerie Ô. With Tonnellerie Ô barrels, Old World tradition and generations of oak forestry, selection, and milling knowledge meet New World innovation.


Tonnellerie Ô sources its oak from the finest French and American forests, working exclusively with pedigreed family-owned stave mills to select and season the oak and fashion it into rough stave blanks with complete traceabillty back to the source.  


The seasoned stave blanks are shipped efficiently and at low cost to Tonnellerie Ô’s California cooperage facility where its master coopers hand shape the staves and hand create, hand toast, and hand finish these exquisite barrels aided by state of the art cooperage machinery and a state of the art technical laboratory to analyze and verify the quality of the oak at each step.



This innovative approach allows Tonnellerie Ô to produce premium artisanal quality barrels at a non-artisanal price.

If you would like additional information or literature or for a custom quotation, please contact Randy Branch @ 814.725.1314 ext. 209 or via email at

Get Ready for Oak Aging!
11 March, 2019

Give your wines from the wonderful 2018 vintage the treatment they deserve with oak aging! We've got everything you need - for winery and home winemaker alike!

Barrel Racks   We have a great selection of new and barrel racks at great prices to organize your cellar and make the most of your space. Perfect for cideries, breweries, and distilleries using barrel aging as well as for wineries.

Oak Alternatives   A fast and economical way to give oak character to your wine.  We have a great selection of Oak ChipsGranulated Oak, and Oak Spirals.  Made from premium French and American Oak.  Multiple size and toast options available to suit both the home and commercial winemaker. 

American Oak Barrels   A great selection of affordable barrels made from premium American White Oak. Available in 5 to 59 gallon sizes. Perfect for winemakers, brewers, and distillers looking to take their creations to the next level.

Premium French Oak Barrels

An amazing affordable barrel line from Tonnellerie Ô that gives supreme results without supreme cost. Our best wines go into these barrels and so should yours!  Special Order so call us today! We have several exquisite 59 gal medium and medium plus toast barrels in stock and ready to go. Call us for pricing!

Silicon Barrel Bungs   FDA approved #11 silicone bungs to fit standard barrel holes. Solid or Bored for use with air locks. 



Additive of the Week!

We have the most complete line ofwinemaking chemicals and additives in the business in the perfect range of sizes for both commercial and home winemakers. 



Need some instant wine inventory? 

Put our award winning winemakers to work for you! Contact Randy Branch about our available high-quality bulk wines.

Premium Oak Barrels from Tonnellerie Ô in Stock
21 January, 2019


Presque Isle Wine Cellars proudly introduces our new barrel line from Tonnellerie Ô. With Tonnellerie Ô barrels, Old World tradition and generations of oak forestry, selection, and milling knowledge meet New World innovation.


Tonnellerie Ô sources its oak from the finest French and American forests, working exclusively with pedigreed family-owned stave mills to select and season the oak and fashion it into rough stave blanks with complete traceabillty back to the source.  


The seasoned stave blanks are shipped efficiently and at low cost to Tonnellerie Ô’s California cooperage facility where its master coopers hand shape the staves and hand create, hand toast, and hand finish these exquisite barrels aided by state of the art cooperage machinery and a state of the art technical laboratory to analyze and verify the quality of the oak at each step.  



This innovative approach allows Tonnellerie Ô to produce premium artisanal quality barrels at a non-artisanal price. Take a virtual tour of Tonnellerie Ô and see Tonnellerie Ô at work in the video below.



Experience The Presque Isle – Tonnellerie Ô-vantage


It’s about Family – like Presque Isle, Tonnellerie Ô works exclusively with long established family-operated stave mills for whom quality and craftsmanship are marks of family honor.  


It’s about Quality– like Presque Isle, Tonnellerie Ô is relentless about using only the finest quality oak and the finest quality cooperage artisans and equipment in their product.


It’s about Value– Tonnellerie Ô’s innovative process results in a compelling Price to Value ratio – artisanal quality without the artisanal price.


It’s about Harmony– the quality of the wood and toasting and the range of barrel selections and toast options available make it possible to create the right barrel to work in harmony with your intended wine style and its local terroir.  These barrels enhance without overpowering, respecting your wine’s essential qualities.


It’s about Experience and Trust– Presque Isle’s master winemakers and Tonnellerie Ô’s master coopers each have over a century of combined experience. That experience is at your service to help you select the right barrel design to enhance your wine.


It’s about Having the Best of Both Worlds – Europe and America, Old and New, Quality and Value, Tradition and Innovation


If you would like additional information or literature or for a custom quotation, please contact Randy Branch @ 814.725.1314 ext. 209 or via email at

2018 Harvest Update: October 6th
08 October, 2018

Planning for harvest began many weeks ago: reviewing past sales and predicting future sales; taking stock of existing inventory and grower crop estimates; and matching that to sales and predictions of future sales. There are also considerations of the quality of the crop as it appears (and as we hope as it appears to be developing. These are all moving parts, some subject to rapid change, but they are important to take into account and are the basis for making decisions not only for how much of each variety to take in (fruit-wise), but how we put it to use.

We’re now well past the midpoint of harvest, and while we can’t ignore what is happening in the vineyards, we are also increasingly focusing more on what’s happening in the winery. For the most part, we have had a good harvest, both in terms of quantity and quality. It’s not perfect, of course, and as we move through the season, the warm and humid weather is starting to take its toll on the fruit, with conditions more susceptible to rots showing up and potentially reducing yields and quality. Growers sometimes overestimate the tonnage (it’s not always easy to estimate) in a vineyard and deliver less than anticipated. The well-laid plans from earlier in the season may now have to be tweaked a bit as conditions and information change to ensure that the absolute best quality is realized for each wine produced, and that we meet our production goals for each wine.

So, now the focus is shifting. We’re still in communication with growers, and still checking on grapes still hanging. But as we bring in more grapes, tanks are getting filled up, and space is becoming more of a premium. We’re starting fermentations in new juices, monitoring existing fermentations, and racking fermented young wines to storage tanks and barrels. Successful winemaking requires flexibility and adaptability, and this is where we are now, adapting the plan to the reality of the harvest, as it’s happening.

In some cases, decisions need to be made with regard to a wine’s style. For example, a Cabernet Franc vineyard might need to be harvested earlier than we would like, but this will make it good candidate for our (new!) dry rosé in the upcoming year. This will allow us to minimize contact with the skins, which at this point have an abundance of less-than-ripe tannins, and would result in a coarse, overly astringent red wine if we were to make it in that style. Luckily, we have other vineyards with Cabernet Franc that are holding up better for later harvest, and these will be better candidates for our classic Cab Franc traditional red wine and our new Scarlet Kisses ice-style wine.

Looking ahead, the first Vidal will be harvested this week, followed by Catawba. After that it’s mostly reds—the Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmine), Teroldego and Chambourcin—to finish up the year. Stay tuned!

Bob Green

PIWC Executive Winemaker

For more harvest updates, check out our blog here!

2018 Harvest Update: September 21st
25 September, 2018

With harvest in full swing now, we’re starting to see how the quality is playing out. A big concern earlier this week was how much rain we would get from Hurricane Florence. On Monday, a big band of rain from the storm headed our way, drenching everything in its path. It got to the southern edge of the Lake Erie Region, dropped a few sprinkles on our heads, and then disappeared. We totally escaped this one!

Lake Erie Pinot Noir grapes being harvested. This was good for our Pinot Noir and Vignoles, both of which were nearing the desired picking time, and were on the edge for having severe Botrytis infections. Had the rain from Florence hit us, it may have been enough for the mold to take over, requiring that we either pick earlier than we would have liked to minimize the damage, or if we couldn’t get the fruit off in time, that sour rot (a secondary bacterial/mold infection resulting from the initial damage to the berries by the Botrytis) would set in. This is the knife-edge that we tread—wait for ripeness or pick for safety.

This year we were lucky. The pinot noir was harvested clean and ripe. It is from a new vineyard for us tended by Courtney Semelka, who also provides us with Seyval Blanc. In addition to the Pinot Noir from this vineyard, we’ll be taking in Teroldego, a northern Italian red wine variety suited to cool-climate viticulture, and Zweigelt, a red German grape developed in the 1920’s, also a champion in cool-climate regions like ours. Courtney is a stellar grower, and the vineyard is picture perfect as are the grapes he harvests from it.

We’ve finished processing the early native varieties, Niagara and Fredonia, the hybrids Cayuga and Seyval Blanc, and the red vinifera Dornfelder. Quality of the fruit is top-notch, with lower than normal acid levels, and nice sugar. More importantly, the conditions have been favorable for developing flavor, the one thing that the winemaker cannot successfully add. Valvin Muscat, Steuben and Chardonnay are in the wings, and will be harvested early next week.

Of course, with this much activity on the press pad, there is an equal amount of activity in the winery. The cellar crew are busy getting the wines fermented properly and making sure that we have tank space for the new juices and wines ready. The trucks are on the road making deliveries of our juices to other wineries, and winemakers are making the trek to North East to pick up their grapes, juices, and supplies. It’s a busy time, but one of the most exciting and rewarding times of the year as well. The entire year’s winemaking begins during this short period of harvest.

For more harvest updates, check out our blog here!

Choosing the Best Yeast Strain for Your Wine
21 March, 2018

Yeast selection is one of the most important decisions in the winemaking process. The yeast strain you use will determine the style of wine you create, as well as the characteristics that the wine may take on. To determine the best yeast to be used, you should match the yeast strain with the grape or fruit juice variety, consider the desired style of wine, and identify the environmental conditions that the yeast will work under. 

Presque Isle Wine Cellars' Yeast Selection Chart is a great place to start in determining which yeast strain you should use to achieve the desired style and quality of wine. If you still have questions on which yeast strain to use, please contact us, and we will be more than happy to help you to choose a strain that will be most likely to help you create the wine you have in mind. 


Testing Your Wine: Don’t Overlook These 3 Steps
17 January, 2018

You have crushed and de-stemmed your grapes, added necessary ingredients, fermented your wine and racked it. You are on your way to becoming a seasoned winemaker.

There are 3 important steps often overlooked in home winemaking: cold stabilization, filtering and added sugar. If you have been through a couple of fermentations, here are a few good tips to keep in mind! I will be discussing some of the necessary steps you need to take when testing your wine.

 “My wine is murky! What do I do?!”

First and foremost, your wine should be clear and stable for bottling. Clarity is a very crucial part of the aesthetics when presenting your wine to family, friends or entering it into wine competitions.

Heat stabilization is a tool used to rid your wine of murkiness. Red wines are heat stable, while whites are not. You want to make sure your white wines are heat stable so that it will not become murky when warmed or aged. Adding bentonite, a clarifying agent, to the juice directly before or immediately after fermentation will yield clearer looking wine.  When bentonite is directly  after the wine has reached dryness, it is cleaner and allows it more time to settle in order for the flavors in the wine to be prominent.  After you let your wine sit for a few weeks, the bentonite will fall to the bottom, along with the protein that can cause the murkiness.

Small amounts of sediment will naturally appear at the bottom of the bottle, but you do not want your wine to look murky.  Most home winemakers fine and filter wines before bottling. The purpose of fining and filtering is to clarify the wine and reduce the cloudiness you are seeing.  Through fining and filtering, you are removing yeast, bacteria, or other microscopic particles depending on the size and type of filter you are using.

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

It is crucial to make sure that your wine is fully fermented to dryness before bottling, unless you want a sweet wine.  As home winemakers, we need to stabilize the wine so that residual sugar does not referment in the bottle, which could cause corks blowing off in the cellar! I have been there, and it’s no fun to clean up. A hydrometer reading below – 1° Brix or .98sg means that the wine is nearly dry. After your wine has reached this point, and you receive the same reading over a three day period, you can assume it is finished.  If you decide to sweeten your wine, you will want to stabilize it with the proper amounts of Potassium Metabisulfite and Potassium Sorbate, as stated on the bottles.

Potassium Metabisulfite powder is a wine additive used to kill wild yeast and bacteria, and it acts as a potent antioxidant, protecting both the color and flavors of wine. Potassium Sorbate is a yeast inhibitor used to prevent further fermentation in wines with residual sugar. It doesn’t kill yeast, but prevents them from dividing to produce new yeast cells.

All in all remember the 3 important steps:

1. Cold Stabilization

2. Filtering

3. Sugar

If you can remember to do these three things, you will be on your way to creating a perfect wine.

Harvest 2017 Update from Presque Isle Wine Cellars
20 October, 2017

The continued warm and relatively dry weather is giving us something that we don’t always have in our harvest—the ability to let fruit hang and ripen under full sun and heat. This time of the year we usually have to start considering trade-offs – carefully watching fruit quality and health of the leaves and often having to harvest before we would really like to beat the onset of deterioration from mold or disease. Right now, with the conditions we have been seeing, disease just isn’t a problem and we are free to let the fruit continue to develop sugar, burn up acid, and start tasting really good.


In one of the early Harvest Notes, I commented on the early onset in veraison in one of our grower’s Cabernet Franc vineyard. At that time, it was promising but too early to tell the ultimate effect this might have on final fruit quality and whether it would lead to accelerated development and an earlier harvest. Based on past experience I was betting “no” on early harvest. Most often when grapes are ahead of schedule coming into harvest, it always seems to even out by the end, and harvest ends up being at the normal time. So it was a bit of a surprise and a testament to this season’s great conditions when we tested the Cabernet Franc earlier this week and found that everything was indicating a fully mature crop. We harvested on October 2, and the grapes are now in the fermenter, on their way to becoming what looks to be a phenomenal example of this phenomenal variety.


Speaking of red wines, we pressed off the fermenting Chancellor, one of the earlier red varieties and the resulting young wine was deeply colored with nice berry-like aromas and full tannins. The Dornfelder has also completed fermentation and will soon be barreled for aging. Starting next week, we’ll be bringing in more of the late-season varieties, starting with Blaufränkisch and Carmine.


Another variety that is worth mentioning is Chardonnay. This year’s fruit was clean and ripe when delivered, with a nice balance in of sugar and acid. Last year’s Chardonnay was aged in 500L (132 gal) French oak puncheons, and this will be taken out of barrel in the coming week for bottling and to make room for the new vintage. These are special barrels—the size, just over twice the size of a normal barrel, changes the volume to surface area ratio and gives a more subtle and nuanced extraction of oak from the barrel. The result is a more elegant expression of fruit with a fine oak structure. Given the degree of perfection of the 2017 fruit, fermentation in these barrels should yield a truly spectacular wine.  Stay tuned for release in 2019!


Bob Green
PIWC Executive Winemaker

Harvest 2017 Update from Presque Isle Wine Cellars
27 September, 2017

The Lake Erie Region is well-known for its abundance of Concord and Niagara—the workhorse grapes of the juice and jelly industry epitomized by Welch Foods. Of course, those who are more familiar with the wines of the region also know that there are excellent local vineyards of standard wine varieties like RieslingChardonnay, and Cabernet Franc, to name but a few. Presque Isle also prides itself on making wines from European wine varieties that don’t have as much name recognition, but which can and do produce world-class wines – varieties like Dornfelder, BlaufrânkischCarmine, and Pinot Blanc.

Dornfelder Grapes

Moorhead Farms Dornfelder

Of course, these grapes don’t plant and tend themselves, and for that we rely on our growers. And when it comes to growing the most interesting non-standard wine varieties, one grower family stands out: John and Cindy Moorhead, and their son, Mike. Since the 1960’s they have been growing premium wine grapes—native varieties, French-American and Cornell-developed hybrids, and European Vitis vinifera. They currently have 22 different wine varieties planted, some in large quantities and others as a one-row experiment. The farm is constantly evolving as John, Cindy and Mike strive to find the best varieties—many have been tried and rejected—for our local conditions and the best way to grow them.

In the coming week we’ll be harvesting Dornfelder and Pinot Blanc. They make reliably good wines in Germany and France (and other places), and have made some excellent wines here in our region. Our Dornfelder, for example, has won several gold medals and has been among Pennsylvania’s Top Ten Wines in recent years. Dornfelder is the result of a German grape breeding program that was striving for an early ripening, dark-skinned red wine grape. The cross, first made in 1955 and released as a named variety in 1979, is now mostly grown in Württemberg in southern Germany. Under the Moorheads’ care in the Lake Erie Region, it expresses with red wines that are deep in color, medium bodied, with a nice tannic balance. The last several weeks have been hot and sunny—more summerlike than the actual summer was—making up for the overall cool temperatures earlier in the summer and this is really helping the vines to produce fruit that has a nice sugar level, low acid and ripe tannins. As a result, we are looking for big things from this year’s Dornfelder – excellent ripeness along with deep and intense aromas that balance the soft tannins and full mouthfeel.

Pinot Blanc Grape

Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc is a mutation of Pinot Noir (as is Pinot Gris) that is grown in many parts of Europe, most notably Alsace and Northern Italy (as Pinot Bianco, of course). It is also grown in Austria and Germany where it goes by the name Weissburgunder. It may not have the reputation of other fine white Burgundys, but it produces a really nice everyday white wine, pleasant and easy to drink. Pinot Gris has also really benefited from the heat and sun of the past weeks in even more ways than just superior ripening. This varietal has thin skin that can be susceptible to damage and molds and mildews close to harvest but this will not be a concern this year with the little amount of rain that we have experienced lately.

There will be more about John, Cindy and Mike as we continue to bring grapes in from their farm. They are true pioneers in the region, and the quality and diversity of the varieties they grow is noteworthy.

Bob Green
PIWC Executive Winemaker

Make Them Last: Barrel Use & Care
18 August, 2017

Barrel Preparation

Before filling the barrel, do one of the following:

  • Fill the barrel with 3-5 gallons of hot water (potable without chlorine). Place the bung in the bunghole and rotate the barrel from side to side, wetting the interior of the barrel. Allow the barrel to sit, with the bung in place until cool. If there are no leaks present and there is a vacuum when the bung is removed, the barrel should be liquid tight. If possible, allow the water to remain in the barrel at least 8 hrs or overnight to completely rehydrate the barrel. Repeat the process if there is not a vacuum present. Empty the water from the barrel and fill with wine.
  • Fill the barrel completely with water and allow it to soak for 24 hrs. If you find any leaks, let the barrel soak for an additional 24 hrs.

Avoiding Pressure Buildup

After filling barrels with wine, seepage can occur due to pressure inside the barrel. To prevent seepage caused by pressure:OB15.jpg

  • Allow the wine to reach the temperature of the room in which the barrel will be stored. If you add cold wine, it expands as it warms, creating pressure inside the barrel.
  • Use an airlock in a barrel filled with wine that is not dry or has not undergone malo-lactic fermentation.

Barrel Cleaning and Storage

After emptying wine from a barrel, the barrel must be cleaned and immediately refilled or prepared for storage. To clean the barrel:

  • Completely drain the wine from the barrel
  • Rinse the barrel with clear water. If possible, support the barrel with the bung on the bottom in such a way that as you spray up into the barrel, the rinse water can drain as you spray. Alternatively, add 3-5 gallons of clear water and roll the barrel to rinse off any sediment. Drain this completely from the barrel.
  • Add 3-5 gallons of a hot water solution of either B-Brite (sodium percarbonate) or soda ash. Roll this around for several minutes to completely wash the inside. Drain completely. Do not use a chlorine based sanitizer.
  • Rinse with clear water, as before.
  • Add 3-5 gallons of cold water containing 1-2 Tbsp citric acid. Roll the barrel to completely wet the inside of the barrel. This is done to neutralize any alkali from the cleaning agent.
  • Rinse with clear water, as before.
  • Do one of the following: Fill with wine, Burn a sulfur wick or disk in the barrel, using a tight-fitting bung. Burn a new wick or disk every 60 days or Fill with a strong (1200-1500 ppm) sulfite solution, containing citric acid to keep the solution acidic. Replace every 30 days.

Click here for more information. 

Cleaning & Sanitizing for the Winemaker
17 July, 2017

As you get ready to bottle your wines, don’t forget to clean and sanitize. As wine is a food product, good cleanliness and sanitization practices are a must for health and safety. Also, if you’ve ever heard of winemakers complaining about their wine smelling or tasting “off”, it can often be traced back to poor cleaning and sanitizing practices. The bottom line: poor cleaning and sanitizing practices can lead to poor wine quality. Taking the time to clean and sanitize requires a few extra minutes, but it is a preventative measure that can help you avoid unnecessary wine faults. We offer a wide range of cleaning and sanitation products. Some require you to combine chemicals, while others are formulated for convenience.


How do I clean and sanitize?

This is a 2-step process. The first step is to remove materials. The second is to kill germs and bacteria that can affect your final product.

  1. Choose a cleaning method and pay attention to crevices and hidden spots. Use a brush with your cleaner and scrub away gunk and debris and then rinse well with clean water.
  2. Sanitize your equipment according to the instructions that go along with the method you chose. Some of these will require you to rinse. Other sanitizing methods are a rinse in themselves, requiring no rinsing at all.

Wine Bottle Draining Rack for cleaning and sanitizing: fits 45 bottles | Winemaking SuppliesAlways allow your equipment and bottles to air dry to avoid attracting bugs, bacteria, mold and mildew.

What should I clean and sanitize?

Everything that touches your wine supply. This means all wine making equipment: anything that you will submerge in wine, pass wine through and use for storing wine. This includes hosing and tubing, wine bottles, carboys and jugs, fermenters, etc. 

When should I clean and sanitize?

Sanitizing is a cyclical process. Good practices save you time in the long run. Always rinse after using your wine making equipment. This cuts down on the elbow grease when it comes to cleaning. The cycle is as follow: clean, sanitize, use, rinse, clean, sanitize, air dry and store. 

What products are available for cleaning and sanitizing?

Presque Isle Wine Cellars offers a wide range of cleaning and sanitizing products for a variety of options. Most products can be used on all wine making equipment and wine bottles. Caustic soda is an exception, and is not the best option for home winemakers.

Cleaning and Sanitizing:

One Step- An oxygen cleaner free of chlorine, bisulfites, organic compounds or phosphates. Only 1 tablespoon is needed per gallon and rinsing is not necessary. 



B-Brite- An active oxygen and sodium carbonate base makes this cleaner ideal for cleaning barrels. Can be used for equipment and wine bottles as well. An 8 oz container will make 15 gallons of cleaner (One tablespoon per gallon). Rinsing and sanitizing is recommended.

Caustic Soda- Pure sodium hydroxide used to clean tartrates off of stainless steel tanks and some filter cartridges. This is a commercial method of cleaning that can be dangerous if contact is made with the user’s skin or eyes. Follow cleaning instructions very carefully when using this product and wear protective gear.

PBW: Professional Brewery Wash – This non-caustic, buffered alkaline detergent is safe for use on stainless steel, glass, brass and plastic. Use it to remove tartrate crystals without the dangers associated with caustic soda. Use 2 oz per 5 gallons of water for a cleaning method that rinses off easily.Professional Brewery Wash Cleaning Agent for Wine and Beer making Equipment | Winemaking Supplies

Pro Foam Plus VF41 – This chlorinated alkaline foam cleaner will cling to surfaces for deep cleaning. It may be brushed on surfaces.

Sal Soda (Soda Ash) – An unscented, inexpensive alkaline cleaning agent that works well to remove grape stains. Use about ¼ cup per gallon of hot water for equipment, barrels and bottles.



Campden Tablets – This method is preferred by some due to its long shelf life. Rinsing is not necessary, but keep in mind that the tablets need to be crushed using a mortar & pestle. The tablets contain the same active ingredient as potassium metabisulite.

Potassium Metabisulfite and Citric Acid – We often recommend this method to our customers. It creates a cost-effective sanitizing rinse, meaning no additional rinsing with clean water. Potassium metabisulfate has a strong odor and those allergic to sulfites may be aggravated by its potency. Measure carefully. In a gallon of water, add 2 teaspoons of potassium metabisulfite and 1 tablespoon of citric acid. Use it as a rinse. If you’re rinsing bottles, just go from bottle to bottle. You can reuse the rinse until you notice it losing its odor. Just mix up another gallon and pick up where you left off. Drain bottles and air dry. You can use this method for your equipment as well.

PIWC also offers products such as brushes, scrubbers, rinsers, draining racks and a stainless steel cleaner. See all our cleaning and sanitizing products

Clarifying Your Wine – Fining and Filtration
30 June, 2017

Clarifying your wine to produce a clearer, brighter, more impressive finished wine can be accomplished through fining of your wine using wine clarifiers or through wine filtration.

Fining is a chemical method in which a clarifier, also known as a fining agent, is added to the wine to attract and settle out suspended particles. Fining requires more time and may not achieve the level of clarity that filtration can, but it will produce a significantly clearer and more polished final product. It is an economical clarifying method that makes sense for most home winemakers and is much faster than waiting for natural settling to complete. It can also be used for initial clarification of a wine before first filtering to settle larger particulates and make more economical use of filter media.

Filtration is a mechanical means of clarifying where the wine is pumped through a filter medium that catches particulates. Filtering is a very fast, efficient and highly effective, but more expensive, method of clarification that can produce wines of striking clarity and brilliance. Filtration can clarify a large volume of wine in a very short time and is a better method for most commercial winemakers; it can make sense for certain home winemakers as well.

Fining Agents

There are several types of fining agents available to the winemaker which are simple to use, and are fairly specific in their effect on a wine. Fining differs from filtration by being able to alter the chemical stability of a wine at the molecular level, allowing in addition to basic clarification, the removal of elements that are causing a haze or instability in the wine. These elements may be too small to be trapped by even the tightest wine filter, and are therefore not always removable by filtration. Fining agents are usually added to a wine in the form of a slurry or liquid to allow them to be evenly and quickly dispersed. Once this occurs, two things start to happen: they adsorb, or react with, components of the wine (causing other molecules to stick to them); and they then begin to settle out of solution. The first action—adsorption reactions—often begins immediately upon addition. The second action—settling out—can take up to a week. The chemical and physical nature of each fining agent is different, making them selective in what they interact with in the wine. This allows the winemaker to select fining agents to control what components are removed, whether for stability, clarity or flavor modification. Here are some common fining agents, their properties, and uses:

Fining can also be an effective way to minimize the amount of filtration that is required to produce a brilliant wine, thus reducing the costs of filtration. Both bentonite and Sparkolloid remove suspended particulates from the wine, reducing the size and amount of particles needing to be removed by the filter. Fining for this purpose is generally done at the first racking when most of the heavy solids have settled out after fermentation.

It may sound like fining agents are magical additives that will quickly give you brilliantly clear wines, but care must be exercised when using them. Adding too much may strip desirable flavor components from the wine; adding too little may not give you the desired result. For this reason, it is recommended that you always run a bench test—a trial on small samples of wine using different rates of addition of the fining agent—to determine the best quantity to use without adversely affecting wine quality. 

Wine Filtration

Filtration is used by many winemakers to produce wines with brilliant clarity. Most wine will clarify quite nicely on its own if given enough time, but that can be too long for many winemakers. Filtering wine is typically more important to the commercial producer than to the amateur because of time, volume, and marketing demands. In addition, the initial investment in a filter unit can be substantial. Contrary to some popular notions, since filtration is a mechanical rather than a chemical process, little or no flavor or color is lost or gained using filtration. Keep in mind that filtration of any type will not necessarily prevent future instabilities or the later precipitation of color pigments in red wines. It should also be noted that filtration most likely won’t improve the inherent quality of the wine, although the attractiveness of a brilliantly clear wine can add to one’s appreciation of it and to better commercial marketability.

Wine filtration systems consist of two parts – filter unit and filter media. Filter units consist of the hardware components - motor, pump, media housings, fittings, hoses & stand - that direct and push the wine through the filter media. The filter media (in the form of pads or cartridges) is that material which the wine passes through to have suspended particles trapped and taken out of the wine. Filter media come in various tightnesses, or porosities, which indicate the smallest particle size that will typically be stopped by the filter. Refer to our Filter Media Explained page for more detailed information about filter media. 

Filter Units (hardware):

Filter units are designed and configured to use either cartridge or pad filter media. Cartridge type units are typically more cost effective for annual production levels up to around 10,000 to 15,000 gallons and Plate & Frame or Cross Flow units, which use pads, can be more economical for larger production operations. Plate & Frame and Cross Flow units are very expensive but the pad filter media can be less expensive per piece than cartridges and they generally filter faster. Even for larger operations, having a cartridge unit may still be desirable to use for finishing/polishing filtration using an absolute membrane cartridge. We do not sell Plate & Frame or Cross Flow filter units but we do carry filter pad media for use with many of those systems.

We now offer three options for filter units for our customers:

1. Buon Vino Jet Filters – These are small units with their own size of pad media. These units are suitable for smaller volumes only - up to around 20 gallon batch sizes - and are a good option for home winemakers who want to try filtration affordably. We offer the Buon Vino Mini-Jet, which is good for 5-10 gallon batch sizes and the Buon Vino Super-Jet Filter, which is better for batch sizes in the 12-20 gallon range. The units tend to leak a little, but they are an economical filtration option and we have many satisfied amateur winemakers who use them.

2. Enolmatic Filter – The Enolmatic Vacuum Bottle Filler (VBF) is an excellent and convenient bottle filler for the home winemaker or small-scale commercial winery. A vacuum pump automatically starts a siphon and automatically shuts off when the bottle is filled. Since the wine is moved by vacuum created suction rather than being pumped, there is less potential oxygen exposure for your wine. The Enolmatic operates on a continuous duty cycle with a fast, adjustable fill rate that can bottle up to around 180 bottles per hour. In addition to bottling, the VBF can be set up to function as a transfer pump for racking. The Enolmatic VBF system allows addition of an optional in-line filter housing (VBF-FH) that can be purchased separately and added to the unit in front of the fill spout, allowing the wine to be filtered as it is bottled or racked. The Enolmatic filter unit is a cartridge unit that uses 10” M6 style single open end (SOE) filter cartridges.

3. PIWC Cartridge Filter Unit – Presque Isle Wine Cellars’ in-house designed and fabricated filter units are a simple, economical, durable, and time-tested filtration unit that will get the job done for many small and medium production commercial operations and can even be suitable for some high volume home winemakers as well. These complete units come with motor, pump, and filter housing on a convenient platform and use cartridge type filters. We also carry a wide range of cartridge filter media for use with these units. See our Filter Media Explained page and our Filter Cartridge selection table for help in selecting cartridges. We have been making and using these units for over 45 years and have many satisfied customers. We stock several popular configurations but the units are customizable to suit your needs – pump and motor size, housing size, housing type, housing material, number of housings, etc. If you need something other than our stock units, please call us (814-725-1314) and let our technical experts help you configure the right custom unit for you. We assemble these units ourselves from component parts we purchase. The units are very rugged and are suitable for commercial wineries or enthusiastic amateurs producing up to 10,000 to 15,000 gallons per year and typical batch sizes of 500 gallons or less. The PIWC unit consists of a positive displacement self-priming pump with either an internal or external pre-screen, carbonator motor, cartridge housing, stand, hoses, and connectors. They are ready to use as soon as a filter cartridge is inserted. See our PIWC Filter Unit Instructions page for more information on how to best use your filter.

See all available PIWC Cartridge Filter Units here.

Configuring Your PIWC Cartridge Filter Unit

To configure your unit you will need to decide on the pump size and on your housing and fittings configuration. Pump selection is pretty straightforward. Housing configuration selection is a bit more complicated.

Filter Pumps

Two pump sizes are available. The FP100 is brass only and must be the choice with a 10” housing/cartridge. Its throughput is 100 gallons per hour (1.67 gal/minute). Any faster than that could compromise the integrity of 10” cartridges. The FP100 can be used with 20” housings/cartridges but is rather slow. The 240 gallon per hour (4 gal/minute) pump is available in both brass (FP240) or stainless steel (FP240SS) and is recommended for use with 20” cartridges. This bigger pump is probably not cost effective until your production reaches around 2,000-3,000 gallons annually. If the juice or wine is relatively clean and clear of large particles, these pumps can be used as simple transfer pumps by bypassing the cartridge. Freshly pressed juices likely will have larger particles that will very quickly and constantly clog the strainer screen creating a frustratingly slow transfer. Even the slow speed in clean liquids can be a frustration. These pumps should never be used without the strainer screen in place as that could allow abrasive particles to damage the pump. Failure to have the screen in place would void any warranty.

For more information, click here


2016 Harvest Update: October 2
07 October, 2016

This week has been another great week of weather and pressing. This week we processed Vignoles, Valvin Muscat, Cayuga, Steuben, Chambourcin, Gewurztraminer and Riesling. Many of these varieties are available to purchase as juice for our winemakers- click here to learn more. Customers are busy making their own wine as they come in for juice with containers as small as 6 gallons and as large as 60 gallon drums. No matter what your needs are we are here to help you with your wine making- call us with any questions you may have, we would love to talk wine with you! 814-725-1314.

See all the winemaking supplies we have available here.

Fresh Australian Juice for Winemaking - Order Today!
06 September, 2016

About Our Fresh Australian Juice for Wine Making

The Aussies have done it again! For the second year, fresh Australian juice will be imported to provide yet another option for your 2016 wine making needs. We are super excited about this opportunity and so happy we are able to offer this option to you. We have expanded our offerings and will be selling five different varieties this year:

Shiraz (Red) - This wine has aromatic complexity and incredible fruit with a tannin driven mouth feel. This grape does well alone or blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for a big bodied fruit bomb. The Shiraz is sourced from the Coleridge Vineyards in the Riverland Region, and Grande Junction Vineyards in the Murray Darling Region of south west New South Wales. 

Cabernet Sauvignon (Red) - This wine is superbly easy drinking. A soft fruity red with ripe berry fruit and gentle spicy flavors. This can be bottled straight or blended with the Shirax to blend a delicious wine! This juice is sourced from Coleridge Vineyards in the Riverland Region, and the Grande Junction Vineyards in the Murray Darling Region of south west New South Wales. 

Chardonnay (White) - The most widely planted white wine grape in the world and with the cooler climate of Australia- this is sure to be a winner! Use some oak and allow for some time to age. Sourced from Coleridge Vineyards in the Riverland Region, and Balranald Vineyards in the Murray Darling Region of south west New South Wales. 

Muscat (White) - Sourced from the Grande Junction Vineyards in the Murray Darling Region of south west New South Wales. 

Sauvignon Blanc (White) - Sourced from the Coleridge Vineyards in the Riverland Region, and the Grande Junction Vineyards in Murray Darling Region of south west New South Wales. 

New this year, our Australian juice will be available in 20 Liter (5.3 gallon) pails, or in the 200 Liter drums.

Our Australian Juice Sale is back!

The Australian juice is aseptically packed and enzymed with no yeast added. It is kept at just above freezing from harvest until it is sold. Thanks to the aseptic packaging and temperature control the juice will maintain freshness and stability for months on end.

Shipping of this product may be available with restrictions. Contact us at (814)725-1314 for more details and a quote. 

Please Pre-order ASAP to confirm your juice variety and quantity.

Commercial Customers: Volume discounts are available. Please contact our Commercial Sales Manager Randy at (814)725-1314 ext. 209 or for more details - we have many options available to meet your needs.

Click here to order now!


Fresh California Juices for Winemaking
18 August, 2016

Winemakers, our fresh California juice pails are now available for pre-order with a pickup date of early September! Make sure to order before our deadline of Sept 1st to ensure your choice of variety and quantity will be available.

Testing Your Wine: Don’t Overlook These 3 Steps
09 June, 2016

You have crushed and de-stemmed your grapes, added necessary ingredients, fermented your wine and racked it. You are on your way to becoming a seasoned winemaker

There are 3 important steps often overlooked in home winemaking:cold stabilization, filtering and added sugar. If you have been through a couple of fermentations, here are a few good tips to keep in mind! I will be discussing some of the necessary steps you need to take when testing your wine.

 “My wine is murky! What do I do?!”

First and foremost, your wine should be clear and stable for bottling. Clarity is a very crucial part of the aesthetics when presenting your wine to family, friends or entering it into wine competitions.

Heat stabilization is a tool used to rid your wine of murkiness. Red wines are heat stable, while whites are not. You want to make sure your white wines are heat stable so that it will not become murky when warmed or aged. Adding bentonite, a clarifying agent, to the juice directly before or immediately after fermentation will yield clearer looking wine.  When bentonite is directly  after the wine has reached dryness, it is cleaner and allows it more time to settle in order for the flavors in the wine to be prominent.  After you let your wine sit for a few weeks, the bentonite will fall to the bottom, along with the protein that can cause the murkiness.

Small amounts of sediment will naturally appear at the bottom of the bottle, but you do not want your wine to look murky.  Most home winemakers fine and filterwines before bottling. The purpose of fining and filtering is to clarify the wine and reduce the cloudiness you are seeing. Through fining and filtering, you are removing yeast, bacteria, or other microscopic particles depending on the size and type of filter you are using.

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

It is crucial to make sure that your wine is fully fermented to dryness beforebottling, unless you want a sweet wine.  As home winemakers, we need to stabilize the wine so that residual sugar does not referment in the bottle, which could cause corks blowing off in the cellar! I have been there, and it’s no fun to clean up. A hydrometer reading below – 1° Brix or .98sg means that the wine is nearly dry. After your wine has reached this point, and you receive the same reading over a three day period, you can assume it is finished.  If you decide to sweeten your wine, you will want to stabilize itwith the proper amounts of Potassium Metabisulfite and Potassium Sorbate, as stated on the bottles.

Potassium Metabisulfite powder is a wine additive used to kill wild yeast and bacteria, and it acts as a potent antioxidant, protecting both the color and flavors of wine. Potassium Sorbate is a yeast inhibitor used to prevent further fermentation in wines with residual sugar. It doesn’t kill yeast, but prevents them from dividing to produce new yeast cells.

All in all remember the 3 important steps:

1. Cold Stabilization
2. Filtering
3. Sugar

If you can remember to do these three things, you will be on your way to creating a perfect wine.


Until later,

Dan Wolfe


PIWC Associate Winemaker

Last Chance for our Filtration Sale! Ends April 12th
07 April, 2016

Shop our filtration sale now! 10% off all filtration products plus FREE shipping! Use code FILTER16 at checkout.


Presque Isle Wine Cellars
  View Our SpecialsShop Australian Juices
Filtration Special Continues, with FREE Shipping!

Filtration SALE, Get 10% OFF Filtration Products

Our Filtration special continues this week. Take advantage of FREE Shipping on orders of $59 or more. Now is the time to shop our new line of filtration products.

Shop our very own line of PIWC filter cartridges and housings. Our new PIWC filter cartridges are FDA compliant, deliver exceptional performance and are value priced! Learn more about filtration methods and options with our filtration guide.

Our new value line of filtration products now makes professional quality filtration affordable for the home winemaker and small winery.

Whether you filter or fine your wine, we have everything you need to achieve a brilliant clear finish. If you need help just ask us!
Vacuum Bottle Filler
Vacuum Bottle Filler and Filter Unit
Buon Vino Mini Jet
Buon Vino Mini Jet Filter Unit
PIWC Filter Unit
PIWC Wine Filter 10" (100gph)
Wine Filter Cartridges
Wine Filter Cartridges
Wine Filter Pads
Wine Filter Pads
Wine Fining Agents
Wine Fining Agents

Filtration Sale Coupon FILTER16 good on all filtration products including filter cartridges, filter units and housings, filter pads, fining agents and filter parts and accessories.
Presque Isle Wine Cellars is all about having everything our customers need and sharing our winemaking expertise to help you make great wine. We take pride in our unparalleled customer service which lets you talk with real winemakers who are using the exact same products you are. Let's make some wine together!

Presque Isle Wine Cellars

Fresh Juices for Spring and Summer Winemaking!
07 March, 2016

We have fresh Chilean juices for spring winemaking and delicious Australian juices for the summer season! Order now to secure your supply!


Presque Isle Wine Cellars
Fresh Juices for Spring and Summer!

We believe in expanding your winemaking opportunities for year round winemaking fun. We do this by importing fresh juices from the world's best Southern Hemisphere wine regions. This lets you make wine in the spring and summer as well as the traditional fall harvest season. This year we are featuring imported Chilean juices for Spring winemaking and imported Australian juices for the summer season.

We order juices based on the orders we receive so make sure you don't miss out! Quantities are limited and these amazing juices are only available from PIWC.

OrderChilean   AustralianJuices

We need to place our Aussie order in two weeks to secure our supply and get it here by the end of May, so now is trigger time, mate!

Chilean Juices for Spring

Our 5th Annual Chilean juice sale is underway. We are importing 14 varieties of Chilean Juice – all from the renowned Curico Valley in Central Chile.

Available Varieties are:

  • Barbera
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Carmenere
  • Chardonnay
  • Malbec
  • Merlot
  • Muscatel Alejandra
  • Petit Sirah
  • Pinot Noir
  • Sangiovese
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Syrah
  • Zinfandel

Our Chilean Juices are packaged in 6-gallon pails or 58-gallon drums. Theses juices are perfect for both first time and experienced winemakers. They are an excellent alternative for those of you who have been using juice concentrates and are interested in trying fresh juice.
These juices have no yeast added which keeps them stable and will allow you to customize your wine in your own style. Our winemakers have selected specialty yeasts optimized for each specific variety or you can select your own. The specialty yeasts are packaged in convenient fermentation packets that are perfect for juice pails.

Order Deadline is March 25. Pick up date is April 1st.

Order Chilean Juices

Australian Juices for Summer Winemaking

Australian juices are sourced from the Murray Darling and Riverland regions in New South Wales – the home of Australia's finest grapes. The juices are non-yeasted and aseptically packaged for stability. These fantastic Australian juices are temperature controlled at just above freezing throughout shipping and distribution and will remain fresh and stable for months. These juices are of exceptional quality:
  • Bright and clear with great color
  • Distinctive fruit character and flavors
  • Well-balanced chemistry

Our 2016 Aussie Juices available in the US only from PIWC:

AussieWinesAustralian Reds
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinot Noir
  • Shiraz
Australian Whites
  • Chardonnay
  • Muscat
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Our Australian Juices are aseptically packaged and are available in:
    • 20 liter (5.3 gallon) pails
    • 200 liter (52.8 gallons) drums

Order Deadline is March 15. Pick up date is TBD but around June 1st.
Order Australian Juices

Cheers Mates and Amigos!
Presque Isle Wine Cellars
Presque Isle Wine Cellars
Order Filter Cartridges
Click To See Our Chilean Carboy Special
Order Your Australian Deluxe Wine Making Kit
Visit us at Booth #50 at The Eastern Winery Exposition Booth
Get Free Shipping with Purchases Over $59!

Come to our FREE Winemaking Seminar!
29 January, 2016

Presque Isle Wine Cellars

Attend our 5th Annual Wine Making Seminar

Ever wondered how you could improve your wine? Our 5th Annual Wine Making Seminar is your opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the winemaking process, and gain insider knowledge. Come learn how to make better wine at our FREE Seminar!

Presque Isle Wine CellarsJoin us Saturday, February 13th, 2016 from 9:00am to 12:30pm.

Luther Memorial Church in Downtown Erie, 225 West 10th Street, Erie, PA 16501.


(Space is limited)

Topics will include:

Sanitation in a Home or Commercial Winery. Learn how to keep your equipment clean and sanitized to prevent contamination of your wine. 

Home Winemaking with Juice Pails. Hear from a fellow winemaker about his experiences with making wines from juice pails. 

Notorious Flaws and Faults. An investigation of the most common sensory defects found in wines with a discussion of how they originate, how to prevent them, and how to correct them, if possible. 

Australian Juices. Learn about our most recent offering (returning in 2016), and sample wines Doug Moorhead made with the 2015 Australian Juices. 

Participant Q&A. Ask any member of our expert panel questions you may have, and let us know what you would like to see us carry in terms of winemaking products. 

Share your wine: Bring your latest wine to share – good, bad or extraordinary and get some great feedback from your fellow winemakers. 

Best of all, you will have the opportunity to mingle and participate in our wine tasting.

Call us at (814) 725-1314 to register and reserve your seat for this event, or register online.

Chilean Juices Are Now Available

For the 5th year we are proud to offer a complete range of Fresh Chilean Juices. These exceptional juices create a "second harvest" and let you make wine with juices from one of the worlds premier wine regions. These exceptional juices come from the Curicó Valley, located in the south end of the central valley of Chile. We have 14 varieties to choose from along with specialized fermentation packets.

Take advantage of this exclusive opportunity by ordering your Fresh Chilean Juices Today.

Got a Question about our Chilean Juice or anything wine related? – Ask Doug!

Free Shipping for Wine Purchases over $59
18 December, 2015

Presque Isle Wine Cellars is pleased to offer our award winning wines in special holiday packages that include FREE shipping to our Pennsylvania customers. We will also include FREE Shipping on any order over $59.00. More info below.

PA's Oldest Winery – The Finest Wines Since 1968
Presque Isle Wine Cellars
FREE Shipping for Wine Purchases over $59

Presque Isle Wine Cellars is pleased to offer our award winning wines in special holiday packages that include FREE shipping to our Pennsylvania customers. We will also include FREE Shipping on any order over $59.00. We have created an assortment of Holiday Wine Packages that will be sure to please the palate of any wine lover. Get some for gifts, share some with friends and family and don't forget some for you!
The Three Kings Package

The Three Kings is a group of our most popular classic dry red wines that are sure to enhance your Holiday entertaining. The group includes:
  • 2 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 bottle of Syrah
  • 1 bottle of Carmine
Cabernet Sauvignon: This is the first of the Big Reds from the extraordinary 2012 vintage to be released. This dry red wine expresses hints of plums and wild berry aromas, supported by a fine elegant tannin structure. It was aged in French and American oak barrels for 10 months. It is the perfect crown for a sumptuous Holiday gathering.

Syrah: This full-bodied, dry red spent 20 months in French barrels to achieve a robust, medium oak intensity. Elegantly rich in varietal character, this Syrah expresses notes of blackberry and tomato leaf, finishing in spicy flavors of pepper and the sweetness of cherry cola. Soft balancing tannins help create fine pairings with grilled meats, sausage, roasted game and casseroles.

Carmine: One of our unique varietal offerings, Carmine is a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carignan. Aged in American Oak, this deeply colored, cool climate red is light on the palate with hints of lemongrass, sassafras and mint. Finishing with notes of dark fruit and chocolate, it pairs nicely with grilled beef, pork or roast poultry and with Cajun or Creole fare.

Enjoy The Three Kings for Just $87.95

Holiday Kisses Wine Specials

Our award-winning Eskimo Kisses and Hot Kisses are perfect complements to Holiday dining and entertaining. 

These are our signature dessert wines made from Vidal Blanc grapes in the classic ice wine style.

Both wines have a beautiful rich golden amber color and exude aromas of honey and dried tropical fruit.

Try both for just $61.95 or 
get 4 kisses for $123.95.

Hot or Cold – We Have The Perfect "Kiss" For You
Eskimo Kisses
Enjoy a full sensory experience with its beautiful golden amber color, rich aromas of honey and tropical fruits and a luxurious finish that crowns and elevates your holiday meal.

Hot Kisses
Find dessert wines a bit too sweet or looking for a new taste adventure? Try our Hot Kisses which adds a single red Thai Pepper to our Eskimo Kisses to create just the right combination of sweetness and heat. A completely unique taste experience that can start or finish your holiday meal with panache. Also a great partner for seafood, light meats or fine chocolate.

Don't miss any of our Holiday Specials –
Add us to your Safe Senders list.

Presque Isle Wine Cellars Has Arrived in Erie!
13 November, 2015

Enjoy this sneak peak at the new store, and be sure to visit us during our Grand Opening event on Monday November 16th, more info:

We are offering FREE wine tastings throughout the holiday season and are featuring a variety of wine related specialty products. Take one of our award winning wines home for the Holidays!

Are you a member of our Wine Club? Enjoy your wine club membership discounts and perks at our new location in addition to at the Isle House. 

Not a member of our Wine Club? Sign up now online, at the Isle House, or at our new Colony location, to experience the exclusive discounts and gifts!

Join Our Wine Club

Order Your Italian Juices Today!
02 October, 2015

Presque Isle Wine Cellars is excited to offer 11 varieties of grape juice fresh from the Italian harvest. This is whole juice with no concentrate or water added. Best of all we are making it easy to make Italian wine:

  • Pails are balanced and ready for you to ferment upon pick up
  • We have custom fermentation packets available with our recommended yeast and additives for each juice
  • Juice specifications and step by step instructions are included with each variety of juice
  • Unlimited help from our expert winemakers

Make sure you place a reserve order to guarantee you get the varieties you want. Juices will be available in 6-gallon pails or 58-gallon drums. This is your chance to make great Italian wine to share with your friends and family. Order Italian Juices Online or call us at 814-725-1314.

Italian Juice Varieties

  • Amarone
  • Barolo
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chianti
  • Dolcetto
  • Lambrusco
  • Montepulciano
  • Sangiovese
  • Valpolicella
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Vermentino

Don't Forget to reserve your Italian Juice today!


Ordering deadline is October 21, 2015
Pick Up date is November 6, 2015 

Only the Best Juices from Around the World, Plus All Your Local Harvest Needs!
08 September, 2015

Presque Isle Wine Cellars

Harvest Is Upon Us & We're Excited!

The first of September signifies the beginning of our fall Harvest. We’re gearing up for a great season and would like to share a reminder with you about what Harvest means at Presque Isle Wine Cellars.

Presque Isle Wine Cellars

At PIWC, you can count on the best selection of local and regional grapes always picked at the height of ripeness, as well as premium grapes from the West Coast. We will also offer a great selection of juices and young wine from local, West Coast  and international sources. Our juices are just that, juice – always 100% natural juice with no water or sugar added. To see what varieties are available, where they are from and to get pricing, ordering and pick up details, just check our Available Now page. 

See all 2015 Grapes and Juices

Presque Isle Wine Cellars

Improvements for our Customers in 2015

We listened to you last year and have eliminated all minimum gallonage requirements for fresh juice pre-orders. This year, and every year, we will take pre-orders of any size, large or small, so go ahead and order exactly how much you want. We have also changed our West Coast grape supplier who will assure your grapes arrive on time and in top condition. Our new supplier also gives us access to grapes and juices from premium California and Washington vineyards.

2015 Harvest Updates

As we move through the Harvest season we want to make sure you know about all the grapes, juices, and young wine we will be offering. To accomplish this we will be sending periodic updates about what is coming up for sale so you can get your orders in to guarantee your selection. Beginning Friday, September 11 we will also be sending out a weekly email detailing what products are available for pick-up and walk-in sales. Please do not hesitate to contact us at the winery if you have any questions. You can reach us at or call us at 814.725.1314.

All Your Harvest Needs, All at PIWC!

Not only are we your source for the freshest and best grapes and juices but for all your winemaking supplies as well. PIWC has over 50 years of experience creating award-winning wines using the exact same supplies we sell to you. We gladly share our experience and expertise to help you make better wine. We have everything you need for home winemaking including yeast, nutrients, malo-lactic cultures, oak barrels, bottles and all other essentials. Everything is in stock and ready for pick up or shipment to get your winemaking in full swing. The best part is, we now offer FREE SHIPPING for all qualifying (and almost everything qualifies) supplies purchases over $59. 

Only the Best Juices from Around the World Plus Local Harvest!

Photo: Australian Juice Varieties

Even before the local harvest starts, Presque Isle Wine Cellars has the most diverse selection of juices from around the worldAustralian Juices are newly arrived and available for order now, including the sumptuous Cabernet Sauvignon, the renowned Shiraz and the elegant Chardonnay. We are also offering grapes and juices from Washington and California that you can order right now! Watch for details about our fresh Italian Juices as well

Happy Harvest!

Presque Isle Wine Cellars


Latest Grapes & Juices Availability

Presque Isle Wine Cellars

FREE SHIPPING on Orders $59 and up!


Presque Isle Wine Cellars

Tell friends about Presque Isle Wine!


Presque Isle Wine Cellars
Presque Isle Wine Cellars

Australian Juices are here! Supplies limited.
24 August, 2015

Fresh Australian Juices have just arrived and they were worth the wait! We've dipped in, the quality is excellent and the color and clarity are beautiful. Choose from Chardonnay, Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. These juices are ready to make incredible wine and are only available from Presque Isle Wine Cellars.  Can't decide between the fresh fruit flavors of the Chardonnay or the sumptuous Reds - then try all three. These juices will go fast so order yours today!

Also, California Juices Coming Soon! Last Chance to Pre-Order!


*Presque Isle Wine Cellars is the only place to get fresh juices from premier growing regions around the world as well as the best of the local Harvest. We are working our network hard to find every last berry of scarce local grapes we can but recommend that you consider these fresh juice options as a supplement and make sure your cellar is full.  For more information visit us here


Pre-Order Your Winemaking Juices Now!
05 August, 2015

Australian and California Juices Now Available for Pre-Order!


New this year! Presque Isle Wine Cellars is importing three fresh Australian juices: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and always popular Shiraz. These juices will arrive ready to ferment, having been stored and shipped just above freezing to maintain freshness and stability. Supplies are limited and these amazing imports will sell out quickly. So pre-order your fresh Aussie Juice NOW for pick-up near the end of August. 




Fresh California Central Valley Juice Pails are also available for pre-order now through August 21st. Only PIWC offers these California juice pails and drums non pre-yeasted, allowing you to choose the best yeast for each variety of juice. We make this easy by offering custom fermentation packets for each variety containing the yeast specially selected by our Winemaker. Many of these special yeasts are not normally sold in retail sized quantities, so be sure take advantage of this unique opportunity.


 Presque Isle Wine Cellars has long been your home for California Central Valley Grapes and Young Wine, but this year we are expanding your options and offering other West Coast Grapes and Juices as well. These will include premium California grapes and juices from Napa and other prime growing areas, as well as a limited selection of grapes and juices from Oregon and Washington. To allow us time to reserve our order quantities at the best price with our supplier, please pre-order these grapes and juices now by calling Debbie at 814.725.1314 ext. 202.

Supplies and selection for many varieties of our Local Grapes and Juices will be somewhat limited this year due to yet another cruel winter so consider any or all of these exciting options to help fill out your cellar!




Free Shipping

We are now including free shipping on most supplies orders over $59, so check out our new catalog and visit our updated website to learn more!

Fitness Classes and a Wine Tasting. Brilliant?
23 June, 2015

A new trend has wineries scheduling yoga classes within their vineyards, followed by lunch and a bottle of wine. 

A small group of women walked through Merlot grape vines on a breezy morning last week headed to a sprawling lawn for one of Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s newest offerings—yoga.

Wölffer, based in Sagaponack, N.Y., has been best known for the annual run on its rosé at Hamptons wine stores during beach season. The winery started offering a few on-site yoga and boot camp classes last summer, and they were so popular that it increased the number of fitness sessions to six per week this year. “Sundays on the Terrace” with pastries and Bellinis coincides with the ‘Morning Flow’ class...

See the full WSJ article here or visit our facebook page!





Last Chance to Purchase! Save time and make better wine with these high quality Italian juice pails and Drums!
29 October, 2014

Last chance to purchase fresh Italian juice pails or drums! Save time and make better wine with these high quality juice pails. Choose between 11 varieties


There are 11 varieties of fresh Italian Juice available this year. See our full list of available varieties of juice, and details of the sale on our Fresh Italian Juice page. These juices will be sold in 6 gallon pails or 58 gallon drums for our customers requiring larger quantities. 


By customer request, we have added Italian Cabernet Sauvignon to the varieties we are offering this year.


Prices for all juice pails are as follows. Note that the quantity discount does not appear on the form. The discount for buying larger quantities will appear in your shopping cart once they are added.


Orders can be placed using the ONLINE FORM below, or via PHONE or FAX using our paper ordering form.


Quantity Price
1-9 Pails $  64.00
10-35 Pails $  60.00
36+ Pails

$  57.00

58 Gallon Drum: Red Variety $ 515.00
58 Gallon Drum: White Variety $ 505.00

All Italian Juice Pails and Drums must be PICKED UP AT WINERY on November 7th and 8th. However, all other carboy specials and fermentation packets can be shipped to you or picked up with your juice- choose your desired action at checkout.


Ordering Deadline: Morning of October 31st, 2014

Hanna Instruments Edge pH/DO/EC Meters or Formal Titrator Now Available!
20 March, 2014

Introducing the world's most innovative pH meter, The Hanna Instruments Edge.  This thin, lightweight product has the ability to measure pH, conductivity and dissolved oxygen through its unique digital electrodes.  The Edge can be set on your lab bench or even mounted on the wall. The Edge simplifies measurement, configuration, calibration, and diagnostics, logging and transferring the data to a computer or a USB drive. This device would be a great addition for the beginner or professional winemaker.

The Formal Titrator is an easy to use, fast and affordable mini automatic titrator designed for the rapid and accurate determination of formol number in wines or fruit juices.  This new generation of mini automatic titrator improves upon the titrant delivery system and measuring ranges for increased accuracy compared to previous models.  This meter reflects Hanna's years of experience as a manufacturer of analytical instruments.

At Presque Isle Wine Cellars, we offer an extensive line of Hanna products. For more information about our new offerings, email us at or call us toll-free at 1-(800)-488-7492

Now Carrying Vinmetrica Analyzer Kits
05 February, 2013

Vinmetrica SC-100 SO2 Analyer

  • Puts you in control of your wine sulfite analysis.
  • Highly accurate and sensitive titration system alerts you visually and audibly when the endpoint is detected by its electrode.
  • Eliminates guesswork in Ripper sulfite tests (especially in red wines), since it doesn't rely on color change.

Vinmetrica SC-200 pH/TA Analyzer

  • Gives accurate pH and TA (Titratable Acidity) values.
  • Kit includes everything to perform about 30 tests: electrode, all reagents, pipettes, syringe and beaker

Vinmetrica SC-300 SO2 & pH/TA Analyzer

  • The Ultimate Winemaker's Companion
  • Combines the SO2 detection of the SC-100 and the pH/TA analysis of the SC-200 into one power-packed instrument.
  • Audible buzzer and visual stop light automatically let you know when testing is done.

Refill reagents available for all models. Order online at or call toll-free 1(800) 488-7492.

New Hanna Products Available
05 February, 2013

At Presque Isle Wine Cellars, we offer an extensive line of Hanna products. For more information about our new offerings, email us at or call us toll-free at 1-(800)-488-7492.

Clearance Section on Presque Isle Wine Cellars' Website
05 February, 2013

We now have a Clearance Section at Check out our newly discounted items, updated daily.

Making Wine from Concentrates
15 May, 2011

For refreshing, summertime wine, consider making a fruit concentrate.  It's sweet and fruity, perfect to enjoy wth friends by the pool or on your deck.

Each concentrate comes with yeast, clarifying agents and nutrient.  It makes a six gallon batch of wine which will yield 30 750ml bottles and just takes four weeks from start to finish!

We have many exciting varieties in stock such as, Peach Chardonnay, Tropical Fruit Riesling, Blackberry Malbec, Sangria Zinfandel Blush and Wildberry White Zinfandel just to name a few.

Give us a call for more detals.  These concentrates ship UPS so get your 6 gallon carboy ready or order one from us and get your summer started!

Mercier French Oak Barrels
20 April, 2011

PIWC is now the eastern USA distributor for high quality French oak barrels and other oak products from Tonnellerie Mercier (TM), Barbezieux Charente), France, a small town located between Cognac & Bordeaux.  Mercier manufactures a broad line of barrels, tanks, vats and oak alternatives (chips etc.)  There are numerous barrel configurations.  The 225 liter (59+ gal) Bordeaux Transport and 228 liter (60+ gal) Bourgogne (Burgundy) Transport style barrels will be stocked. Other smaller & larger sizes may be in stock and can be ordered.  See the chart following or call for more details as to what can be available.  Sizes include 28, 55, 110, 300, 350, 400, 500 & 600 liter.  A 10 liter vinegar barrel is also manufactured.  The Bordeaux is longer and smaller in girth than the Burgundy style.  TM has its own stave mill and can guarantee origin.  Forests utilized include Allier (medium grain), Jupille (extra tight grain), Limosan (course grain), Nevers (tight & medium grain), Troncais (tight grain), Vosges (tight & medium grain and Center of France (mix of regions with tight to mostly medium grain).

Stave thickness impacts the penetration of oxygen with 22 mm allowing more penetration than thicker staves.

Most of the stocked barrels are 24 month, air seasoned and fire bent.  Some ‘specific’ barrels have 36 month seasoning and water bent staves.  One ‘specific’ barrel is the F de Mercier (fine grain, 36 month) for longer aging of big powerful wines and to give the structure more finesse, mid-palate body, aromatic complexity and longer finish.  A second ‘specific’ barrel is the Delicate Pinot(fine grain, water bent) allowing extraction of rounder tannins and respect for the integrity & elegance of the fruit.  The third ‘specific’ offering is the Delicate White (medium grain, water bent) to enhance freshness, minerality & roundness of white varieties.  The toasting on the ‘Delicate’ barrels is for a longer time at lower temperature which allows longer aging.  Untoasted heads which results in wine having more fruit character come as standard.  Toasted heads , which will give more intense toasty characters, are optional at no extra charge.  The surface area of the two heads accounts for about 25% of a barrels total surface area.

Mercier also makes a range of oak alternatives (chips etc), tanks and vats including vats with a removable stainless steel pneumatic lid to give access to punch down the fermenting batch.  Numerous options can be included on tanks/vats to meet customer’s special needs.  Typical lead times on these containers is five to six months.  Inquire for more information if interested.

Barrel toast levels are different for wine than for spirits. Toast levels may include Light (L); Medium (M); Medium Plus (M+) and Heavy (H).  Heavy (charred) may be more suitable for spirits.  Medium and Medium Plus are the most common and usually the toast level on stocked barrels.  As mentioned above, Mercier offers toasted heads as an option.

Custom laser branding is available from Mercier at no extra cost on special pre-orders of barrels.

Most small barrels take a number 9 stopper and 30 gal and larger take a number 11 stopper found on page 37 and page 41. Barrels usually can be shipped via UPS or FedEx Ground anywhere in the USA but good planning should consider the best way to ship an order.

Other manufacturers whose barrels are handled may include The Barrel Mill (TBM), Keystone Cooperage (KC) and World Cooperage (WC)


Title Name Email Phone
Business Manager John Machuga 814-725-1314
Winemaker Kris Kane 814-725-1314
Commercial Sales Manager Randall Branch 814-725-1314 Ext (209)
Owner Douglas Moorhead 814-725-1314
Account Manager Sue Bauer 814-725-1314
Sales/Technical Support Debbie Lam 814-725-1314
Sales Kelly Chylinski 814-725-1314
Purchasing Joseph Luebbert 814-725-1314
WIne Sales/Gift Shop Manager Sheila DiGilio 814-217-9848