Wines and Spirits

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Pennsylvania’s wine industry accounts for some $5.5 million in sales at the state’s wine and spirit stores. To shine a light on the growing industry, state lawmakers have designated October as Pennsylvania Wine Month.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Twenty bushels of apples get dumped onto a conveyor belt at Soergel’s Orchards in Wexford. After a quick wash, they’re ground into a pulp and squeezed under 55 tons of pressure to make 110 gallons of cider.

Larry Voll, one of the owners of Soergel’s Orchards, said the cider is going to Arsenal Cider House in Lawrenceville. The juice that he sells to Arsenal to make into hard cider will one day end up back at the Wexford farm, at the Arsenal tap room, which just opened this summer.

The week leading up to Thanksgiving is always a high volume time for liquor sales, and the action in the Pittsburgh area is always among the heaviest in the state. In fact, PLCB stores in Allegheny County sold more wine and spirits in all of 2012 than any other county in Pennsylvania.

According to the state Liquor Control Board (LCB), the county made up 13.4 percent of state sales, bringing in more than $260 million; Philadelphia was second at $231 million.