When the subject of wine comes up, it usually has to do with grapes grown on the French Riviera, stateside in southern California, or even along route 79 heading towards Erie.
“[State wineries] are a robust part of the economy,” said Stacy Kriedeman, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PCLB). “The commonwealth has more than 150 wineries, according to the Pennsylvania Winery Association, and that infuses more than $2 billion into the economy. So it’s a very valued sector of the agricultural community.”
Beginning this summer, more local wines could be coming to a liquor store near you.
In an effort to support local wineries, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced a partnership with the Pennsylvania Winery Association Thursday allowing local wineries to place a limited number of varietals, or wines grown from a single type of grape, in select state Wine and Spirits stores.
Kriedeman said this partnership is happening now because of a rise in consumer trends toward buying local products.
“We think it’s a great opportunity to give consumers the chance to do just that—to buy local, or give our licsencees the chance to pick up a product—a local product that they can then turn and sell in their restaurant or serve with local grown food,” she said.
Under the program, PA Preferred wineries will be allowed to submit up to 10 varietals to sell at a select number of PA Wine and Spirits stores. In order to participate however, the wineries must be a part of the Department of Agriculture’s PA preferred program.
PA Preferred is the official brand of agricultural products grown or made in Pennsylvania. Currently, there are approximately 75 wineries designated as PA preferred.
As for which state liquor stores will participate, Kriedeman says it’s a little too early to tell.
“Because the program is starting sometime this summer, we still need to work out the details, and the wineries will need to apply—I mean they’ll need to give us a list of varietals as well as, we’ll work with them on selecting the best stores.”