World Trade Center leader, her family opening winery in Cumberland County
The leader of a midstate trade promotion group is joining the craft alcohol movement, which continues to bubble up in the form of new wineries, breweries and distilleries.
The Weyants, who have owned a 13-acre farm on McClures Gap Road in Lower Frankford Township for about nine years, plan to open a tasting room this summer on the property to begin selling their farm-produced wines. The farm is just north of Carlisle and at the base of North Mountain.
"We're hoping to be open by July 4," Weyant said.
The Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. recently awarded a $74,550 grant to help support the tasting room project, which will cover about 375 square feet and include a 400-square-foot deck. The tasting room and production area, which is about 1,500 square feet, are housed in a renovated stone and wood barn that dates back to the early 1800s.
The Weyants are required to pay a 25 matching contribution as part of the CAEDC grant. Ahead of the tasting room project, Weyant estimates that more than $100,000 has already been spent on the vineyard and other barn remodeling work to prepare for production.
All of the grapes and most of the fruit used to make the family's wine are grown on the premises. The Weyants have planted more than five acres of blackberries and wine grapes, along with other fruits and vegetables.
Tina and Jeff met in an agronomy class at Penn State and have bachelor's degrees in agriculture. Winemaking has long been a family hobby, she said, along with homebrewing. Opening a farm winery with estate-grown and bottled wine, a first for Cumberland County, seemed like the next logical step, she said.
Two of the couple's five children have nearby farms that, combined, have about six acres of grape vines.
Weyant, who will continue in her full-time role with the World Trade Center, said she expects the winery will initially be open Friday through Sunday, with tastings by appointment.
The Winery at the Long Shot Farm will start with a wine selection that includes Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, Chardonel and Concord varietals. The winery also will sell two different kinds of rosé wines, a few blended wines, two blackberry wines and apple wines.
Over time, the hours of operation and wine selection could grow. The barn also could be renovated further if the Weyants decide to expand into the events business.
"We're not ready for events yet," Tina Weyant said.