Mount Hope Estate and Winery is reviving its agriculture business in Lancaster County.
The Rapho Township-based winery purchased 20 acres of land just south of the estate across Mountain Road, according to a news release.
It plans to start growing grapes and apple trees as well as start bee-keeping operations on the new property.
Although the winery is currently using locally grown produce, the produce is not grown on-site like it once was, according to Candace Smith, director of sales and communications.
“The biggest impact the land purchase will have on the winery is to bring wine production back to the facility as it was back in 1980,” Smith said.
A vision of viticulture
By expanding on its own agriculture operations, Mount Hope will be able to supplement the locally grown products it is currently using.
“The purchase of this tract of land will open doors to us to forward the agricultural operations of the business, enabling us to cultivate ingredients we can use in our hand-crafted products,” Smith said.
Apples will be used for hard apple cider, which Mount Hope started producing earlier this year, and it will grow Riesling, Vidal, and Chambourcin grapes as well as other native Pennsylvania grapes.
The bee-keeping operation will provide honey for mead and cider, as well as provide crop pollination, Smith said.
The land was purchased by the winery on March 14 for $755,000 through an auction.
The property was previously the site of Shimer Landscape Inc., which merged with Lancaster-based Tomlinson Bomberger Lawn Care, Landscape and Pest Control in December 2015.
Mount Hope currently owns approximately 120 acres.
In addition to the new land, the 120 acres includes the Mount Hope Estate and the Divine Swine In Out BBQ, which is located across the street from the estate.
A new winery
In addition to the land purchase, Mount Hope is moving forward with plans to build a new facility on its current property for wine production, educational tours, sampling and retail sales, Smith said.
The new winery is expected to be complete within the next 16 months, according to a news release.
The winery expansion will create eight full-time positions and five part-time positions.
Mount Hope currently employs 40 full-time employees and an additional 225 seasonal employees during the festival season.
Approximately 40 acres of the estate’s property is used for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire as well as other outdoor events, including Brewfest, Flavorfest and the Celtic Fling.