PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When you think grape vineyards, most think California.
But this vineyard is just one of 170 in Pennsylvania, including 17 in southwestern Pa., the fastest growing part of the state for wineries.
Now the state’s Liquor Control Board wants to make it easier to buy Pa. wines.
“We have approximately 100 different wines in our system,” says Stacy Kriedeman of the LCB.
Those 100 Pennsylvania wines are about to grow 40 percent under a program just approved by the LCB.
“These 40 products represent approximately 11 different wineries,” notes Kriedeman. “These wineries are part of the PA Preferred Program.”
One of the wineries — and the only local one is Kavic Winery — founded by a retired surgeon, Dr. Michael Kavic.
Under the program his local wine will be sold in three nearby wine and spirits stores including the one at Robinson Town Centre.
If all goes according to plan, Dr. Kavic’s Riesling wine — just like this one from Presque Isle in Erie — will be on the shelves in 30 to 60 days.
But in order to stay on the shelves, he needs to sell more than a case a month, another good reason for everyone to patronize Pennsylvania’s wines.
Selling Pennsylvania wines is not always a quick sale.
“I prefer California and French wines,” says one customer.
“I’m not much of a wine drinker,” notes another.
But more customers are sampling them — as more Pennsylvania wines show up on the shelves.
“I don’t see any problem with them. They’re good,” says a customer.
The Pennsylvania Winery Association says Pa. wines have an economic impact of $2.3 billion, and says more people than ever are giving Pa. wine a try.
“I live in Pennsylvania, so I buy in Pennsylvania,” adds another Pa. wine buyer.