Our family is deeply rooted in the Lake Erie AVA, but our origins trace back to Calabria, Italy, where our family first began farming figs, chestnuts, and (you guessed it!) grapes.
In the mid-1950’s, Joseph Mazza, moved his family across the ocean to the U.S., eventually settling in Harborcreek off of Lake Erie. In 1962, he purchased the vineyard that would become Mazza Vineyards. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Mazza Vineyards is officially incorporated by brothers Robert & Frank Mazza, and Helmut Kranich, graduate of the world-famous school of enology at Geisenheim, is tapped to become Mazza Vineyards’ first winemaker. This marks the first in a long line of international winemakers to bring their talents to the shores of Lake Erie from their homes in Portugal, Argentina, and beyond.
Co-founder Frank Mazza begins his first of two terms serving as the president of the Pennsylvania Grape Industry Association (currently called the Pennsylvania Winery Association). This marks the beginning of a long and continuing legacy of leadership within the industry which continues today. Following this post, Robert Mazza served three terms as president of the Pennsylvania Winery Association beginning in 1988, was appointed to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Commission in 1998, and chaired the first-ever Wine Marketing Research Board in 2002.
Mazza wine production surpasses 100,000 gallons. By 2022, that number will quadruple to approach 500,000 gallons, making Mazza the largest wine producer in Pennsylvania by volume. This increased capacity to produce a consistent quality product leads to expanded distribution into Ohio, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
A long-awaited expansion across state borders into New York State is realized with the ground-breaking for Mazza Chautauqua Cellars in Mayville, NY. In addition to a wine list that reflects and celebrates the unique terroir of the region, Mazza Chautauqua Cellars also produces the family’s first distilled products, including Eaux de Vie, grappa, and spirits for fortified wines. The winery opens in 2006.
The Mazza family purchases, restores, and reopens the historic South Shore Wine Company, the region’s first commercial winery. The winery is locally known for its Civil War era stone cavern tasting room as well as its extensive collection of sparkling and emerging wine varietals.
Building on a forty-year legacy of winemaking expertise, the Mazza family launches Five & 20 Spirits. The distillery shares a home with Mazza Chautauqua Cellars at a new and expanded facility in Westfield, New York. In 2015, Five & 20 Brewing joins the operation, making this location New York state’s first-ever combination winery, distillery, and brewery.
Mazza raises a glass to fifty years in the Lake Erie AVA well positioned for the next fifty to come.