Wine tasting benefits West Pittston Library, features ‘Flood Mud’ vintage


By Marcella Kester - For Sunday Dispatch



Ray Bartolai, owner of Bartolai Winery, pours a glass of blush in this May 12, 2011 file photo.



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    WEST PITTSTON — Roughly 100 guests lined the walls of the West Pittston Library on Sunday, Sept. 11, enjoying a light lunch while indulging a variety of fine wines.

    The Friends of the West Pittston Library held its fifth annual wine tasting event, including local wines from Bartolai Winery, hors d’oeuvres, raffles and a Chinese auction.

    Committee co-chairs Barbara Pazdziorko and Marilyn Jacobs said proceeds from the event help aid the library and the numerous programs and events it holds throughout the year. Local community members and businesses donated prizes and gifts for the event.

    Tickets to the event cost $20 per person, or two for $35.

    Plains Township resident Teresa Crossin has been attending the wine tasting for the past four years. She likes getting a chance to have a relaxing day with friends, and give back to the building that’s a center point for activities in the community.

    “We look forward to it every year,” she said as she sampled her wine. “They provide wonderful programs for kids in the community, as well as an adult literacy group.”

    Once guests made their way down a long table full of turkey wraps, fresh tomato and mozzarella, veggie trays and cannoli, they met with Cindy Bloom, of Dallas, who assisted guests in selecting and pouring their wine.

    More than 20 different varieties of wine were available to sample, ranging from classic favorites like cabernet and pinot grigio to local specialities such as Susquehanna Shores and Pennsylvania white.

    Ray Bartolai, owner of Bartolai Winery, said he’s a big believer in small, community libraries and that he shares a special connection with the West Pittston Library: the flood of September 2011.

    “I believe that small-town libraries are the way to connect with kids and get people together,” he said. “We do (the event) every year. We’re a big supporter of them.”

    Bartolai brought a special wine for guests to try at the library Sunday.

    Flood Mud is a sweet, red wine with a French hybrid grape that’s grown in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

    Bartolai said Flood Mud is the first wine he ever produced at the winery. When the flood of 2011 raged through much of West Pittston, the wine was located in his cellar.

    “We had to move move it out of the tanks before the flood hit us to save it,” he said. “When it came time to name it, my son said it had to be called Flood Mud.”

    He said the wine is now a local favorite among patrons, and many of the library’s guests agreed.

    Nancy and Warren Pollard came to the event with Bettie Ann Morgan. Childhood friends and West Pittston natives, Nancy and Morgan said they’ve been coming to the library since they were six years old. The trio said they believe in the various events the library hosts throughout the year, and enjoys supporting a local community landmark.

    “It’s a lovely event,” said Warren, who wore a plaid kilt to the gathering. “We’ve got to support the library.”

    “Of course, it was decimated in the flood, so you just want to support and help a good thing,” Morgan added.

    Ray Bartolai, owner of Bartolai Winery, pours a glass of blush in this May 12, 2011 file photo.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_winery03.jpgRay Bartolai, owner of Bartolai Winery, pours a glass of blush in this May 12, 2011 file photo.

    By Marcella Kester

    For Sunday Dispatch

    Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

    Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

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