LEWISBURG - The vineyards have been in place for several years now, and finally it's time for the harvest.
Fero Vineyards & Winery opened its doors to customer in August and owners Chuck and Daneen Fero are eager to have people sample the fruit of their labors.
Located on more than 12 acres just north of Lewisburg, the winery is the culmination of the couple's dream.
Chuck and Daneen Fero admire grapes at their business, Fero Winery, near Lewisburg, as they ready the seasonal harvest.
"It's sort of a team effort," Chuck said.
It also took a lot of planning.
Chuck, a part-time urologist, noted that some years ago the couple did some plantings and found the soil and the rolling farm land to be excellent for their vineyards.
"We did test plots. We had a business plan," he said.
In 2010, more then 13,000 vines were planted.
Chuck said the climate of central Pennsylvania is conducive to grape growing and is similar to wine regions of Germany, Austria and France.
Still, the fickleness of Mother Nature can pose the biggest challenge for their business.
"After three years, it's nice to finally see people coming in and tasting wine," Daneen said.
Customers can sample any one of the wines in the newly constructed building featuring stained concrete floors, a skylight and rooms affording views of the surrounding rolling hills and vineyards.
Chuck described the interior as a contemporary version of traditional European style.
"Part of the idea is to make this a friendly atmosphere," Chuck said. "We want people to walk away with a good experience."
Daneen noted that the business, located at JPM and Zeigler Roads, sits on the very site of farmland owned by her family for generations.
For many years the crops were corn, wheat, beans and vegetables.
Daneen noted that with development continuing to reach farther north of Lewisburg, it's great to be able to make use of the land in such a way that keeps the suburban sprawl at bay.
The couple had long been interested in wines.
Daneen noted that Chuck's short time living in Europe years ago when he visited wine areas of southern Germany and Austria likely first sparked an interest in the business.
The two are excited about their venture.
"We've been growing for three years," Daneen said. "This is the first full year of production."
The couple are hopeful there will be many more.
The wines include two dry white varieties, Riesling and semi dry Riesling; dry red varieties, Lemberger and red table wine; and three sweet country wines, sweet country white, sweet country red and sweet country blush.
Business hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Sunday.
More information is at www.ferovineyards.com.