We are very pleased to welcome Mazza Winery as a sponsor at the Cortile again this year! Not only does Bob Mazza make some great wines right here in Pennsylvania but he's also a race driver! Below you can read about the winery and at the bottom you can check out some video of Bob on the track!
Joseph Mazza left his 40 acres of sloping terrain planted with figs, chestnuts and vineyards in Calabria, Italy, in 1954 to make his home in the United States. He sent for his wife, Felecia, daughter Rosina and sons Frank and Robert the following year.
The secret was a young German winemaker named Helmut Kranich, a graduate of the world-famous school of enology at Geisenheim who came to Mazza Vineyards from Henkle and Sekt Co., one of the largest wineries in Germany, known for its champagne. At the age of 23, Kranich had the distinction of being one of the youngest winemakers in the eastern United States.
Mazza wines have evolved over the years. Gary Mosier, who from the beginning studied alongside Helmut, served as winemaker for many years, contributing his own signature wines. Many customers, especially those new to wine drinking, prefer the sweet, fruity taste that comes from the native Niagara, Concord and Catawba grapes. Now that the health benefits of drinking red wine are well known, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin have also become popular selections.
Robert continued to expand the operation in North East after his brother, Frank, left the region in 1979 to help develop another winery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He soon found that blending the ancient art of winemaking with the most modern techniques and equipment often brings exciting results.
Mazza’s wife and children regularly contribute new ideas to the family business. While still in high school, Mario and Vanessa developed a private-label program, which provides customers with a unique way to commemorate special occasions. Mario has now rejoined his father as the company’s general manager and Vice President after training abroad at the University of Adelaide in Australia in enology & viticulture, while Vanessa contributes as creative director.
In the early years, when unfavorable regulatory conditions and a slowing economy threatened to close down many wineries, Mazza pressed on. He credits his wife, Kathie, for her encouragement and support. “We were not willing to give up,” said Robert. “We both wanted to succeed.”
And succeed they have. Mazza wines have greeted the lips of presidents, toasted governors and christened ships, including a limited edition Vidal Blanc reserved for the U.S. Brig Niagara. In addition, Mazza’s Niagara is the top selling Pennsylvania wine in the entire Pennsylvania state store system. Mazza Vineyards continues to earn international recognition for its wines and is one of the largest producers of Pennsylvania-grown wine in the Commonwealth.
Mazza Vineyards, Mazza Chautauqua Cellars / Five & 20 Spirits and the South Shore Wine Company are all part of Lake Erie Wine Country, formerly the Chautauqua - Lake Erie Wine Trail, which hosts a variety of special events throughout the year.
This is a compilation of articles from a variety of sources and contributors. Attrition and sources are always provided at the top and/or the bottom of the posting.