Read the full article from Penn Live – Aging gracefully: A list of Pa.’s longest-produced wines
Published: Jul. 20, 2018, 11:28 a.m.
2018 marks the 50-year anniversary of the passage of the Limited Winery Act, which allowed for the production and sale of wine in Pennsylvania. Legislatively it was called Act 272, introduced in June 1968 and passed after midnight on the final day of that session when the Senate approved the bill by a 36-9 vote. Gov. Raymond P. Shafer made it official with his signature on July 31 and created an industry that today exceeds 250 wineries. This list counts down the wines in the state that have been made the longest, with all of them at least 30 years old. Much of the historical referencing came from “Pennsylvania Wine: A History,” by Hudson Cattrell and Linda Jones McKee, and “Pennsylvania Wineries,” by Linda Jones McKee and Richard Carey.
Age 44: Mazza Vineyards Riesling, Chardonnay
Mazza Vineyards is one of three Lake Erie wineries that have contributed heavily to Pa.’s wine industry. An area that for years was largely used by Welch’s to grow Concord grapes for its juice, the opening of Presque Isle Wine Cellars and Penn Shore Vineyards influenced brothers Bob and Frank Mazza to open a winery. At the time, they already were managing their father’s 20-acre grape farm. According to “Pennsylvania Wineries,” they built their Mediterranean-style winery in 1973 and opened in 1974. One of the biggest, if not the biggest operation now in the state, it grows grapes for a number of wineries in addition to feeding a lengthy wine list and operating Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing in Westfield, New York. Thanks to Vanessa Mazza for putting this photo together of vintages bottles: The Riesling is from 1974, Ice Wine of Vidal Blanc is from 1984 (likely the first vintage), Traminer is from 1973 and Chardonnay from 1974.
Another vintage shot, featuring the following Mazza wines from the early days: (from left) Chardonnay, Chancellor, White Riesling and Baco Noir.