My Corner, Your Corner: NEPA vino has improved throughout the years

My Corner, Your Corner - Tony Callaio


    Wine lovers take heed: Greater Pittston has now established a chapter of the American Wine Society (AWS).

    Let’s face it — wine has been deeply rooted in Greater Pittston for generations, especially if you come from an Italian background. I recall as a child there was always a gallon of homemade wine on hand.

    Nowadays locals are winning awards for their wine making.

    When I think of making wine, I have a vision of Lucille Ball traipsing around in a vat barefoot squishing the juice out of baskets of grapes. Locals taking part in making vino are high tech. I’ve seen some of the production in the area and it’s very impressive. Producing the nectar of the gods is not cheap proposition.

    According to Ed Perry, vice president of the newly formed Greater Pittston AWS Chapter, both Scranton and Wilkes-Barre have local chapters, so why not Greater Pittston?

    Perry and Jim Powell, a fellow wine enthusiast, belong to both the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre chapters. Scranton’s chapter is one of the largest in the country.

    This past summer, a local group of travelers led by Barbara Bullions participated in a trip to Italy. During one of the day trips, they stopped at a winery in Tuscany. Impressed with what they saw, Bullions invited the winemakers to the United States, which they accepted, and had a wine-tasting afternoon at St. Anthony’s Parish Hall, Exeter. Perry and his wife Monica attended the affair and thought, if 180 people signed up for the event in Exeter; it would really make sense to start a local chapter of the AWS.

    The inaugural meeting of the Greater Pittston AWS Chapter will be on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at Bartolai Winery, Rt. 92, Harding. Cost is $10 per person. Attendees are asked to RSVP by January 16 by emailing Jim Powell at or Ed Perry at Attendees are asked to bring your own glass. “The money will offset the cost of the use of the winery and supplies as well as collecting start up money for the chapter,” Perry said.

    There are three different types of memberships: individual, household and professional. There is even a student membership available as long as the individual is 21.

    The Greater Pittston AWS Chapter will have events planned throughout the year that includes guest speakers, open bottle nights, wine competitions and holiday parties. The group has scheduled meeting each month with a few dates still open agendas. Future members may offer ideas and suggestion for open dates.

    Regular monthly meetings are tentatively scheduled at the St. John’s Lodge Hall, 498 Yatesville Rd., Jenkins Twp., just down the road from Pittston Area High School.

    Currently Powell serves as president and Perry as vice president. They hope to enlist a secretary and treasurer at the inaugural meeting.

    For more information on the national American Wine Society, you can go to

    You may find the Greater Pittston AWS Chapter Facebook by searching Greater Pittston American Wine Society.

    Interesting factoid

    I received a note from Mark Casper after the Penn State/Georgia college bowl game. Georgia’s Terry Goodwin broke a 70-year record by becoming the first player since Charlie Trippi to throw a touchdown pass and receive a touchdown pass in the same game.

    Quote of the week

    “Love is rarer than genius itself. And friendship is rarer than love.” – Charles Peguy, French poet.

    Thought of the week

    “Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.” Margaret Storm Jameson, English journalist.

    Bumper sticker

    “There is no way to peace, peace is the way.” – A.J. Muste, Pacifist and Profit.

    My Corner, Your Corner

    Tony Callaio

    Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at

    Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at

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