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State Changes Rules For PA Winemakers

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LACKAWANNA COUNTY-- If you check out the shelves at any wine and spirits store in the state, you may find a few Pennsylvania wines.

State officials said they want more Keystone wines on the shelves.

The state Liquor and Control Board just changed pricing rules.

The change essentially means wine makers who sell bottles in state stores can sell those same wines themselves for less.

Before, the state did not allow Pennsylvania wine makers to undercut state prices.

At Maiolatesi Wine Cellars in Scott Township, Lackawanna County, winemaker Sal Maiolatesi said he is thought about selling his wines in state stores for years now.

"I've been toying with it for the last 2 or so years, doing a limited wine that we would put through the state store system but it's very difficult because the discounting we would have to do to get into the state store system was just unrealistic for us," he said.

Maiolatsi said the new rules sound good, but he still does not know whether the system will work for his business.

"This is something new, just read about it today and I'm not certain as far as how it's going to work," he said.

Some people liked the idea of the state's change.

Others did not seem to care.

"Doesn't really affect me. I wouldn't make a point to go to the state store to get the wine there, you can go to the winery if you really want to," said Michele McGovern of Scranton.

"It makes sense to me. I don't really drink wine, occasionally, but I do agree with that. I think it's a good idea," said Marian Gilbride of Scranton.

Maiolatesi plans to research the change in state regulations.

He would like to have his bottles on the shelves in state stores, but says it needs to be profitable for him.

And he has one big question for state officials:

"How much are they going to see it for? How much are they going to mark it up and is it going to push it out of the price range where the wine really belongs?"


  • Claire Moran

    If I were a winemaker, I would negotiate a price with the state stores that would at allow a break even so that I could get the benefit of showcasing my product without having to have an outlet store. I would find a way to make sure the location of my winery was clearly stated on the label and they periodically advertise “specials”. Being allowed to sell at a price less than the State Store would bring return business back to my winery where I can introduce more of my product.

  • Elephant

    The state store has to charge enough to pay for pensions and health benefits on the employees, otherwise all the taxpayers in PA will have to subsidize the liquor industry, whetheer they consume or not.

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