New Pa. wines to hit state-store shelves
Nearly 40 new Pennsylvania-made wines will make their state-store debut this summer as a result of a new program by the Liquor Control Board.
With hints of peach, cherry, chocolate and jalapeno, the offerings from 11 wineries across the state were approved by the LCB and will likely hit store shelves in about a month. The wines range in price from $8.99 to $29.99.
The program allows wineries with a PA Preferred designation from the state Department of Agriculture to submit as many of 10 varieties to the LCB for placement in up to 10 stores surrounding the winery. PA Preferred products are grown and/or made in Pennsylvania.
“We really see this as a first step and a first effort,” said Jennifer Eckinger, executive director of the Pennsylvania Winery Association, which partnered with the LCB on the program. “In this exciting time of people being more interested in consuming local, it's nice to be able to show we do have local wines here in Pennsylvania.”
Paul Difuccia, chief executive officer of Courtyard Wineries in Erie County, said his winery sold about 7,300 gallons of wine last year and isn't big enough to supply stores statewide.
“We're a small winery and only 4 years old, so people outside our general area didn't know who we were,” Difuccia said. “This (program) allows us to start with a microcosm of 10 key locations. If we see movement, we can expand in a logical fashion.”
Four of the winery's Barjo Bons (or “crazy friends”) wines were accepted: Rouge, Dazzle, First Kiss and Chocopelli, a red wine infused with dark chocolate.
Customers will find Carnegie-based Michael Stephen Kavic Winery's Riesling in state stores for $14.99. The winery did not return a call or email seeking comment.
The LCB offers nearly 100 Pennsylvania wines in state stores. The agency has not yet identified where PA Preferred wines will be displayed in stores, but there will likely be signs identifying them, said Stacy Kriedeman, spokeswoman for the LCB.
After six months, the agency will evaluate how well the wines are selling and decide how to proceed with the program. At least one case of each wine must be sold each month to remain part of the program, Kriedeman said.
Of the 84 PA Preferred wineries statewide, only 11 applied for the program. Four of the wineries that applied have wines selling in state stores, Kriedeman said.
Susan Lynn, a partner at Greendance, The Winery at Sand Hill, said it didn't make financial sense for the small Mt. Pleasant Township winery, which produces about 12,000 gallons of wine annually, to participate in the program.
Lynn said she'd have to sell to the LCB at below cost so that when the LCB applied its markups and taxes, the wine's retail price would be the same in state stores as it is at the winery.
Though she could raise her prices, she worries that that would drive customers away.
“They should value the Pennsylvania label because we are a local company and we are supporting the local economy, but I don't think when it comes to dollars and cents the consumer would value it as much as they should,” Lynn said.
Janet Miller, owner of C.T. Miller Vineyards in Avella in Washington County, said that her winery, which produces 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of wine a year, is too small to supply the volume needed to sell in state stores.
Jamie Williams, vice president of The Winery At Wilcox, about two hours north of Indiana, said the “sweet spot” is probably wineries producing 15,000 to 25,000 gallons annually because they can handle the volume of supplying 10 state stores and can sell to the LCB and still make money.
Williams said he chose not to participate in the program because his strong-selling wines are in state stores, in addition to satellite locations in the Settlers Ridge shopping center in Robinson and in State College and DuBois.
“I wanted to take a wait-and-see approach,” Williams said. “If it's successful with these ... wineries that submitted wines, I sure would think about it again.”
Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Kari Andren to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ethics panel: It’s OK for Westmoreland commissioner to do business with municipalities
- More charged filed against Derry Township man who allegedly held woman at knifepoint
- Penn Township teen allegedly drunk at time of police chase, crash
- Friends of Homeless Felines marks 10 years in Scottdale
- Police: Westmoreland women stole thousands to pay for dog show hobby
- Father, son killed in East Huntingdon crash
- Consent decree that limits weddings at Foxley Farms ruled valid
- YouTube campaign by Latrobe 4-year-old aids Alzheimer’s Association
- Adelphoi resident charged as adult in Latrobe assault
- Penn Township man seeking gun permit accused of bringing heroin to courthouse
- Sewickley Township man got food stamps, $206K in gas well royalties, investigators say