Joseph Carroll and the Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery

Joe and Betty Carroll

The Mount Nittany Conservancy mourns the death of Joseph Louis Carroll, the founder of Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery, who died last November, shortly after the winery’s 31st anniversary.

Joe had been an amateur winemaker for years before starting construction on his business in 1987 in the shadows of Mount Nittany’s southern slope. What began as a six-acre plot grew into one of the region’s leading hospitality businesses, where the thirsty came from around the world to sample Joe’s wines along the beautiful mountainside property.

The story of Mount Nittany is best told through those who have loved it, and few have loved it more than Joe and his family.

From his obituary:

Joe grew up in Knightstown, Indiana and graduated from Westtown School, Westtown, PA. He earned a B.S degree in Mechanical Engineering from Swarthmore College in 1953, and a masters and doctorate degrees in Business Administration from Indiana University. He served in the Navy during the Korean War, as a Lieutenant on a destroyer in the Pacific.

In 1955, he married Elizabeth Ann Johnson, who survives. Joe came to Penn State in 1965 as an associate professor of business logistics. In July, 1969, he served as head of the transportation systems division of the Pennsylvania Transportation and Traffic Safety Center. He became a professor of business administration in 1976 and retired emeritus after 26 years of service in 1992.

Joe was a true Renaissance man. In addition to being a scholar, he was an outstanding athlete, having played soccer, baseball, and basketball at Swarthmore College; he is still on record for basketball as being one of their all-time top scorers. A civic-minded man, he was a biddy league soccer coach, school board member, township supervisor, and community activist who also had his private pilot’s license. His talents included music and he played the baritone in the Little German Band. He had an impressive assortment of musical instruments in his home, including recorders, ukulele, guitars, harmonicas, an accordion, organ, and piano.

While still working at the University, Joe honed his winemaking skills, making wine in the basement of his Park Avenue home before moving to the 60-acre property on Mount Nittany that would become his and Betty’s home for the next 30 years – and the location of Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery. They operated the winery until 2016 when they turned the operations over to their daughter, Linda, and her husband, Steve.

Joe was a much-admired man who was not afraid to take a stance for something he believed in. He will be very much missed by his family and friends.

The Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery, 300 Houser Rd in Centre Hall.
The Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery, 300 Houser Rd in Centre Hall.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home and expected to take place this spring.