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Vines to bines: Second life for vineyard in Wayne County

A vineyard in Wayne County found a new purpose a couple of years ago. it no longer has vines. It has climbing bines of hops.
Credit: WNEP

MILANVILLE, Pa. — For the past couple of years, Scott Kurtain has been working hard at Second District Vineyard and Hop Farm, tucked away in northern Wayne County.

The vineyard was purchased back in 2015 by Scott's boss John Longacre who wanted to grow hops for his brewery, Second District Brewing, in Philadelphia, but there's been so much happening since then.

"It's been a ton of work pretty much nonstop for the last four years, 70 acres; we're farming about seven of it. And so, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears," Kurtain said.

The hop farm sits on 70 acres of land. The previous owner had an airplane and an airstrip, and now the tasting room is exactly where that plane sat.

"The previous owner of the property had a 1946 Piper Cub that he built this for and stored in here before he opened up the vineyard in 2002, and he converted it into the original variation of the tasting room."

In the tasting room, you'll be able to taste the hops grown on the farm in beer form, along with some local treats. There are meats from the Alpine and cheese from Calkins Creamery, aged in the former wine cellar. There are also plenty of areas to enjoy it all.

"With all the restrictions and everything that we've had for the last year, there's a lot of open space here. People can spread out, enjoy the sunshine, not have to worry about being too crammed in."

There are still some grapes growing, along with berries and some vegetables. The hope is to have an expanded menu with more drink options.

"We've been reestablishing the grapevines for the last few years," Kurtain said. "It takes a while. Hopefully, we'll get a decent crop of grapes this year and maybe have some wine going for the next season."

Second District holds private events all year round, but the tasting room will be open to the public every weekend through the end of the summer.