Pennsylvania is one of the few American states where alcohol is controlled by the state, therefore there are no private wineries, but rather a big chain of shops controlled by Harrisburg. Like all monopolies, they have good points and bad points: on the one hand secure earnings and control over the products, on the other hand 20% higher prices and difficulty in finding a wide selection of wines.
It made me very happy to be selected by the PLCB (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board) for their annual event for luxury wines. Only 200 wineries in the whole world were invited, 100 of which were American. The others came from the rest of the world, of which around 20 were Italian. The event started in Pittsburgh, in the stadium of the Steelers, the next day in Hershey at the automobile museum, and the grand finale in Philadelphia.
You can see our chosen wines in the photo below:
I was pleased to see wine lovers visibly appreciative that I had come from Italy specifically to introduce the wines of Piedmont; for us it seems like a normal thing, but some of them were very proud of this fact.
From East to West, six hours by car crossing the wide state of Pennsylvania with expanses of immense fields between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, two completely different places: the first is more frantic and metropolitan, typical of the East coast, while the second is calmer, at the doors of the American Midwest, with a very big development margin, especially for the world of food and wine. Between these two great cities you can find the state capital, Harrisburg, and Hershey, famous for its chocolate Kisses. These last two laid-back cities immersed in the deep American countryside.
Below in the photo with Paul Zientek, owner of Vintage Imports, my representative in PA, NJ, DE who helped me out on this pleasing trip. Paul was the first person who believed in me and in my wines more than 13 years ago. I will always be grateful. Good luck on your Italian education. You’re on the right track!