Friday, July 30, 2010


Racing legend Mario Andretti to serve as toastmaster; public contest and vote will determine toast to be read during event

HARRISBURG, Pa. — After years of record growth, the Pennsylvania wine industry is taking aim at another milestone, this time with a little help from the Guinness Book of World Records. On August 14, 2010, the state’s wineries will attempt to break the record for the world’s largest wine tasting in an event being hailed as “The Great Pennsylvania Wine Toast.”

Echoing the Pennsylvania wine industry’s recent fast track to success, the Pennsylvania Winery Association (PWA) has enlisted the help of a man who knows a thing or two about speed and wine – auto racing legend, Mario Andretti. Andretti, a native and resident of Nazareth, Pa.
and the owner of a California winery, will serve as the event’s toastmaster. The toast will be delivered simultaneously via video to all participating wineries.

The toast Andretti will deliver will be chosen in a contest held on the PWA website, Now through June 21, wine lovers are being asked to submit their best 100-word ode to Pennsylvania wines. Five finalists will be chosen, and an online vote will determine the winner. The author of the winning toast will receive “The Ultimate Pennsylvania Wine Getaway,” which includes a two-night stay at a bed & breakfast in the Pennsylvania wine region of their choice, a behind-the-scenes tour of a winery and a private dinner with a winemaker.

· On August 14, Pennsylvania wineries will attempt to set a world
record for the largest wine tasting in an event called “The Great
Pennsylvania Wine Toast.”

· Race car legend Mario Andretti will serve as the event’s toastmaster.
Proceeds will go toward his charity

· A contest is being held to select the toast that will be recited by Andretti during the event. \

· Toasts can be submitted at now through June 21.

“A lot of hard work has gone into growing the Pennsylvania wine industry over the past several
years, and this is our chance to recognize that effort and have a little fun at the same time,” said PWA President Sam Landis. Since 2005, the number of wineries in Pennsylvania has grown from 80 to more than 130, while traffic has increased from half a million winery visitors per year to more than one million in 2009.

All charitable proceeds from the Great Pennsylvania Wine Toast will benefit The Fund to
Benefit Children & Youth (, whose mission is to provide abused, neglected and at-risk children with the items and services they cannot receive from traditional sources.

In addition to gatherings at Pennsylvania wineries, the record-setting attempt will be joined by
attendees of the 18th annual Food & Wine Festival at Seven Springs, also held on August 14. The
current record for the world’s largest wine tasting at multiple venues is 17,540 people, set at more than 400 pubs across the United Kingdom on May 21, 2008. For details about the Great Pennsylvania Wine Toast or to find a winery near you, visit the PWA website at

or contact:
Jennifer Eckinger (PWA)

David Shoffner 717-234-8886