Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center

This 40-acre facility, located about 15 miles east of Erie, serves the grape-processing industry, which has a strong presence along the Lake Erie coastline in Pennsylvania and New York.

The farm grows 23 acres of Concord grapes, the purple processing grape, and 5 acres of Niagara grapes, a white processing variety. The farm also grows a number of varieties of wine grapes as well as table grapes.  The only non-grape crops are a half acre divided between haskaps and hardy kiwi.

In 2008 a wine variety trial was established at the North East facility. The project is part of the NE 1020 project. This trial will evaluate the viticultural characteristics and wine quality potential of grape cultivars and clones of economic significance throughout the eastern USA. This project is being funded by USDA Viticultural Consortium East funds. Nineteen varieties were planted at the Grape Research Station.

The Erie facility is part of a cooperative effort between Penn State and Cornell University. Each university maintains separate facilities—Cornell operates a vineyard laboratory in Portland, New York—but they cooperate on extension education programs and field days for local growers.