Meet-the-winemaker events in Philadelphia, Dauphin County and Allegheny County to celebrate local wineries
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) and the Pennsylvania Winery Association (PWA) will kick off October as Pennsylvania Wine Month by hosting meet-the-winemaker events at Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection stores in Philadelphia; Hummelstown, Dauphin County; and Wexford, Allegheny County, on Monday, Oct. 3.
Each event will be held from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM and will feature winemaker-led tastings and an opportunity for attendees to interact with and ask questions of the winemaker.
Meet Paradocx Vineyard and Winery Winemaster Gabriel Rubilar at the Chestnut Street Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection store, 1112 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
Gabriel was born and raised in Argentina and discovered a love of chemistry and agronomy in his teens. After earning degrees in winemaking and oenology, Gabriel worked at a wine co-op in Argentina before participating in an exchange program that brought him to California. Eventually he found his way to the expansive Paradocx vineyard, where he met his wife, began a family, and continues to master growing techniques and fermentation chemistry. Paradocx, which recently added local craft beers to its tasting menus, embraces the artisan wine movement, focusing on quality hand-crafted wines in small quantities.
Gabriel says, “The beauty of creating quality local wines is what brings wine lovers to beautiful Pennsylvania. In other words, if we continue to focus on only the premium crops for our vintages, we will bottle only the best.”
Meet Nissley Winery head winemaker Jennifer Wampler at the Hummelstown Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection store, 1158 Mae St., Hummelstown, PA 17036
A Philadelphia native, Jennifer is one of just a handful of female winemakers in Pennsylvania. Her path to this highly regarded position with Lancaster County-based Nissley Winery has been paved with hard work and a passion for wine. Jennifer enrolled in the viticulture and oenology program at Harrisburg Area Community College while maintaining a full-time job, juggling personal and family life, and working part-time at Nissley. Having made the switch to full-time winemaker, Jennifer is proud of an award-winning Vignoles and excited for the opportunity to develop red blends in coming years as Nissley plants more grapes.
Jennifer says, “My goal is to get people to enjoy. I’m a perfectionist, and I want my name to be linked to making great wine, and that’s my goal.”
The Hummelstown meet-the-winemaker event will be held in conjunction with the grand re-opening of the Premium Collection store following renovations.
Meet Mazza Vineyards head winemaker Carolina Damiano Cores at the Wexford Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection store, 125 Towne Center Dr., Wexford, PA 15090
Carolina is Mazza Vineyard’s first female winemaker, and her path from her home country of Uruguay to Lake Erie wine country has included stops in California, New Zealand, and Chile. She was drawn to Mazza, where she is in her sixth year harvesting, by the potential of Pennsylvania wine country, its hybrid grapes, and unique varietals. Having completed 14 harvests in four countries, she is driven by an interest of wine chemistry dating back to her teens. The colder climate where Mazza is located presents unique opportunities and, despite frigid winters and lots of snow, vinifera flourishes there.
Carolina says, “My favorite part is being in the cellar with my people. It’s fantastic. It’s so awesome, being here in a very unique Pennsylvania wine region and being part of a team and having support.”
In addition to the meet-the-winemaker events on Oct. 3, all Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection stores across Pennsylvania will feature Pennsylvania wines at in-store wine tastings on Friday, Oct. 7, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
In 2015, Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores stocked 217 different Pennsylvania wines, generating nearly $6.5 million in sales from these stores alone. These figures do not account for Pennsylvania wine sold at local wineries, at festivals, or at restaurants that buy directly from the wineries.
For more ways to get involved with PA Wine Month, find Pennsylvania Wines on Facebook, follow @PAWines on Twitter and Instagram, and visit pawinemonth.com. #PAWineMonth
The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates more than 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 beverage alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling $15.1 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit www.lcb.state.pa.us.
The Pennsylvania Winery Association is a trade association representing more than 100 member wineries and an advocate on behalf of the state’s growing multibillion-dollar wine industry. With some of the most fertile grape-growing land on the East Coast, Pennsylvania ranks fifth nationally in the amount of grapes grown, seventh in wine production, and seventh in the number of licensed wineries. To learn more about Pennsylvania wine or to plan a trip, visit PennsylvaniaWine.com
PLCB: Elizabeth Brassell, 717.783.8864
PA Wines: Jessie Tettemer, [email protected], 215.605.8140