PA Wine Excellence Awards

Each January the Pennsylvania Wine Society showcases the best Pennsylvania wines made from vinifera grapes, and also hybrids such as Chambourcin, Traminette and Vidal.  The wines are judged by the Board with the able assistance of Gary Pavlis, from Rutgers University who is also a teacher of the wine judging certification course for the American Wine Society. The top scoring wines are presented at the tasting, where we also give our annual award plaque to the winery that has made the top scoring wine. The plaque is proudly displayed at the winery for the rest of the year.

Click here for Penn Live’s coverage of the 2019 PA Wine Excellence Awards

The event is open to the public and attracts numbers of people, so we always recommend that you register early for this exciting unveiling of the best of Pennsylvania.


2019 Wine Ex. XVIII Winner

Mazza Vineyards

– 2018 Vidal Ice Wine

PA EX Waltz 2016 0554

PWS Lifetime Achievement Award

Averill Shepps

The first Lifetime Achievement Award was presented in 2019 to Averill Shepps, Past President, Board Member and 30-year Patron Member of PWS. The award was presented on behalf of the Board by three Past Presidents, Frank Fritsch, Ritner Casey, and Lynne Beeson. Frank Fritsch speaking: Pennsylvania wine excellence started as an idea to honor Pennsylvania winemakers, and has become a world-class event honoring these winemakers for their excellent wines. Much of the credit goes to Averill Shepps and countless loyal PWS members for this wonderful, annual award event.   And so it is a great day to recognize Averill for her devoted and tireless work for the Pennsylvania Wine Society and wine education in general. Her work over the last three decades at PWS is punctuated by holding the presidency more than any other person in the history of the Society. She has devoted countless hours to the Pennsylvania Wine Society. It has paid off! PWS has become a remarkable wine society in the United States.  

Averill has personally and tirelessly worked on countless outstanding events, newsletters, media communications, and leadership and education initiatives. So, it is a great honor for the board of the Pennsylvania Wine Society to recognize Averill Shepps with the Lifetime Achievement Award for wine appreciation and wine education.     PWS thanks Averill Shepps for more than 30 years devotion to loving good wine and sharing the joy through her PWS leadership involvement.  Congratulations Averill!

Averill Shepps (left) accepting Lifetime Achievement Award toast from Lynne Beeson and Rit Casey

Averill Shepps (left) accepting Lifetime Achievement Award with accompanying Champagne toast from Lynne Beeson and Rit Casey


2018 Wine Ex. XVII Winner

Waltz Vineyards

– 2018 Moscato

PA EX Waltz 2016 0554

2017 Wine Ex. XVI Winner

Waltz Vineyards

– 2014 Crow Woods Cabernet Sauvignon

PWS PA EX XIV Winner 1 Mazza vineyards 2-28-2016

 2016   Wine Ex. XV Winner

Waltz Vineyards

 –  Winery Crow Woods Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

PA EX Waltz 2016 0554

2015   Wine Ex. XIV Winner

Mazza Vineyards

 – Vidal Ice Wine 2013

PWS PA EX XIV Winner 1 Mazza vineyards 2-28-2016

Robert Mazza of Mazza Vineyards accepting award from PWS President, Averill Shepps for their Vidal Ice Wine 2013.


2014   Wine Ex. XIII Winner

Penn Woods Winery

 – Bancroft Moscato 2013


2013   Wine Ex. XII Winner

Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery

 – Lemberger 2012


2012   Wine Ex. XI Winner

Crossing Vineyards

 – Merlot 2010


2011   Wine Ex. X Winner

Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery

John Landis, Winemaker

 – Chambourcin Estate Lehigh Valley 2010


Top Scoring Wines of 2011
Winery Wine Vintage
Allegro Cadenza 2007
Allegro Cadenza 2008
Crossing Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2008
Crossing Merlot 2008
Galen Glen Cabernet Franc Lehigh Valley 2009
Manatawny Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Manatawny Creek Syrah 2008
Vynecrest Chambourcin Estate 2010
Vynecrest Cabernet Franc Estate 2010



2010   Wine Ex. IX Winner

Pinnacle Ridge Winery

Brad Knapp, Winemaker

2007 Veritas

Top Scoring Wines of 2010
Winery Wine Vintage
Allegro Bridge 2006
Allegro Bridge 2007
Allegro Cadenza 2007
Allegro Cadenza 2008
Blue Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Manatawny Creek Cabernet Franc 2007
Manatawny Creek Meritage 2007
Manatawny Creek Syrah 2008
Pinnacle Ridge Veritas 2007
Pinnacle Ridge Veritas 2008


2009   Wine Ex. VIII Winner

Chaddsford Winery

Eric Miller, Winemaker

2007 Chambourcin, Miller Estate Vineyard