October 24, 2011
BROWNSVILLE, Pa. – Drawing a sell-out crowd to its 10th anniversary Taste of Italy, the Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp. awarded 17 trophies to eight regional vintners for their private labels of sweet and dry wines.
Richard Quarzo of Brownsville won the crowd's favor with a red zinfandel to earn the "Last Box Charlie Award," named for the late Charles Britvich, who along with this year's winner was in the Taste of Italy's inaugural group of five winemakers. As part of the anniversary celebration, Quarzo and the remaining original participants – Dr. Alan Sally of Brownsville, Richard Dascenzo of Hiller and John Chan of Grindstone – were presented with a custom T-shirt featuring their winemaker's caricature.
Tom Hultz Jr. of Monongahela did a sweep of sweet juice category, with his "Port" wine, winning the judges' favor for first place. Hultz's "Fredonia" wine drew second place and his "Concord" earned third place.
In the sweet-other fruits category, Hultz took first place with "Chocolate Covered Cherry." Ervin Cross of West Brownsville was the second-place winner with "Peach" while George Kopsack of Richeyville came in third with his "Strawberry" wine.
The dry-crushed grapes category resulted in first and second place going to Quarzo for Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 and Cabernet Sauvignon, respectively. Third place was accorded to Joanne Bailey of Greensburg, Britvich's niece, for her zinfandel entry.
The dry-juice category was won by Dascenzo, with his "Niagara" wine. Quarzo took second place with "Amarone" and Sally placed third with "Montepulciano."
In the dry-other fruits category, Tom Roberts of Claysville won first place for "Yellow Plum" wine. Christian Ruby of California earned a second-place award for "Pina Colada" and Kopsack's "Strawberry" took third place.
The 10th anniversary Taste of Italy attracted more than 220 guests and 15 winemakers to the celebration, held at the Brownville Sons of Italy, Frank Ricco Lodge 731, at 16 Race St. Among the evening's highlights was the auction of a basketful of the participating winemakers' private labels. The winning bidder was Phil Giannetti, owner of Phil Giannetti Motors Inc., 656 National Pike East, Brownsville. BARC's raffle for an overnight stay at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort was won by Bernadette Frazier of Brownsville.
Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp. (BARC) is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to achieve economic development through historic preservation, heritage tourism, outdoor recreation, community stewardship, education, youth advancements and the arts. Contact the BARC office, 724.785.9331, for additional information about programs and upcoming events.