Wines of Gibsonia to feature Mazzotta Winery at Northern Tier Library

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 | 12:01 AM


When Northern Tier Library Director Diane Illis stepped into the Mazzotta Winery, she was initially scouting a potential location for a book club outing.

After speaking with owner Frank Mazzotta, she decided to bring the Richland Township winery to the library for a “Wines of Gibsonia” tasting event that will serve as a fundraiser. September is Love Your Library month, so the library will receive a pro-rated portion of a match pool from the Jack Buncher Foundation to increase the fundraising opportunity even more.

“We’ve had wine tastings here in the past, but this is going to be a little different because it’s local,” said Illis, who chose a Sunday when the Steelers are off to host the event. “He’s right down the road making these wines, and that’s just cool.”

Mazzotta learned to make wine as a boy from his father, but didn’t start making it himself until the 1990s as a hobby. After Pennsylvania changed many of its more restrictive laws surrounding alcohol and alcohol production, and Richland Township changed its zoning laws, Mazzotta decided it was time to open his own winery on Route 910 near the intersection with Route 8. Mazzotta’s family also owns Adrian’s Pizza in the same location.

Mazzotta Winery specializes in small batch, handcrafted wines. That translates into roughly 275 bottles of wine per batch, compared to larger wineries that will produce roughly 1,300 bottles per batch or more.

Mazzotti gets all of his grapes from California and the Erie region, and decides to make his varieties based on the best grapes available at the time. He doesn’t do much blending, he said, so his wines are usually a cabernet, pinot grigio, pinot noir, etc. He also makes fruit wines, but rather than making a light wine then adding the flavor of fruit and sugar like some wineries, he makes his from fruit juice and doesn’t use grapes, which makes them very different, he said.

The wines available at the library event will be cabernet, pinot grigio, Niagara (a silver medal winner at the Great American International Wine Competition), mango (a gold medal winner at the Great American International Wine Competition) and marionberry.

Anyone who comes to the tasting will get to sample all the varieties then have two glasses of their choosing. There will also be complimentary appetizers and bottles available for purchase.

“I’ll give them a short overview of my wine making and then tell them what goes with what and why we pair things together,” Mazzotta said. “But mostly it’s about them enjoying the evening and having some wine and hors d’oeuvres.”