Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Pennsylvania Wine Kiosks Lock Out PA Wine Producers

State wine producers are soured on kiosks
Friday, July 09, 2010
The new wine vending machines that opened last month in two area supermarkets are distinctly Pennsylvania. But the wine in them is not.

None of the products from the 123 wineries that operate in the state is in the machines, which are operated by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

"You would think they would subscribe to the idea to support local industry," said Bob Mazza, who owns Mazza Vineyards near Erie.

PLCB officials said that the selection in the machines isn't set in stone and that the agency hopes to give more attention to local wines in the future.

"We want to make sure we're paying homage to what we have at home," said Stacey Witalec, a PLCB spokeswoman.

That's also the hope of the local wine industry, said Jennifer Eckinger of the Pennsylvania Winery Association.

The first 53 wines selected for the machines were chosen based on best-selling varieties from the Wine & Spirits Shoppes, Witalec said. But the lineup will be changed based on feedback.
A lack of in-state wines was just one of the shortcomings that were identified, she said. Consumers also hoped to see wines from South Africa and kosher varieties.

The two machines -- at Wegmans on the Carlisle Pike in Silver Spring Twp. and the Giant Food Store on Linglestown Road in Susquehanna Twp. -- are part of a test run. If all goes well, the PLCB plans to roll out 98 more machines, starting in the Pittsburgh area and moving eastward.
Witalec said the machines have been doing well. The PLCB has sold more than 1,500 bottles from the machines, amounting to $16,000 in sales, she said.
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