The Avenues Expansion Created for the Mazza Family

Until 2004, Robert Mazza Inc. consisted solely of Mazza Vineyards, which crossed the 100,000-gallon production milestone in 1995.

Though the Pennsylvania winery still remains the company’s legacy brand and produces numerous traditional  and eclectic varietals, Mazza decided to expand in the early 21st century, acquiring new wine brands and properties on the New York side of Lake Erie and then delving into the world of spirits and craft beer.

Having three unique locations gives the Mazzas an avenue for capturing the interest of both die-hard locals and curious tourists interested in exploring the sites, Vice President Mario Mazza said.

“We were wine-focused for the first 35 years, and wine is still a major part of what we do,” Mazza told Vintner Magazine during an interview for the November/December cover story. “It’s going to be a number of years before the other product lines are on par. On the wine side, we’ve continued to evolve where the opportunities are. Our on-site tasting has continued to evolve, especially after the pandemic changed the way people taste wine. They don’t just taste anymore and buy some bottles to take home, they stay and enjoy a flight.”

Mazza opened Chautauqua Cellars in New York in 2006, unveiling its first distilled spirits with fortified wines, Eaux de Vie and Grappa, and acquired and renovated the South Shore Wine Company, which is known for its Civil-War-era cavern tasting room. Numerous varietals are sold under the South Shore label, including three Sparkling Wines (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling) and two Pet Nats (Rose and Riesling).

Chautauqua Cellars shares space with Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing, which ages its whiskeys and craft beers in Mazza’s recently emptied wine barrels, allowing the still-wet staves to impart character into the company’s newest products.

The moves made during the past two decades have been positive developments, Mazza noted.

“You’re seeing more of this everywhere, and I don’t think any of us in the industry are sad to see the old ways go,” Mazza said. “We’ve got on-site growth opportunities because we’re getting to interact with consumers in ways we never did before.”

Read the full cover story about Robert Mazza, Inc. in the November/December issue of Vintner Magazine.

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