10 Things You Didn't Know About Penns Woods' President & Winemaker, Gino Razzi
Gino Razzi is a larger-than-life figure in the wine industry. His love for great Pennsylvania wine is changing the way wine lovers think about locally crafted wines—and that’s just how he likes it.
Read on and learn more about the father, president and winemaker at Penns Woods Winery!
1. Gino immigrated here from Italy in 1962.
The authentic Italian-style wines produced by Penns Woods come from Gino’s heritage. He was born and raised in Abruzzo in southern Italy and brought that inspiration to the United States when he settled in Delaware County.
2. Gino served our country.
Italy shares a place in Gino’s heart with his home for the last five decades, the United States of America. After settling here, he proudly served four years in the United States Marine Corps.
3. Gino’s first venture was Viva Vino Imports.
In 1970, he embarked on a path that would lead to stellar, imported wines for all. Gino started traveling back and forth to Italy to find just the right wines to bring to the United States via his importing company, Viva Vino. The business was an instant hit.
4. Gino expanded to WinesU.
As a way to honor his growing commitment to bringing great wines to America, Gino and his partners renamed Viva Vino WinesU. The U stands for unlimited in quality, creativity, knowledge, experience, possibilities, opportunities, customer services and access to the best distribution network.
5. Gino’s first wine rocked Wine Spectator.
Two decades ago, he began using his considerable experience and storied heritage to pursue winemaking. Gino’s first commercially released wine, Symposium, received rave reviews from Wine Spectator magazine, which awarded the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 95 points and then later featured it in a retrospective, “Italy’s Golden Vintage—the 1997 Harvest.”
6. Gino studied under a master enologist.
He perfected his craft by learning at the side of old friend Concezio Marulli of Cantina Zaccignini. Symposium was his first effort from this tutelage, and Gino didn’t stop there. It inspired him to begin using Pennsylvania-grown grapes to create Italian-focused wines.
7. Gino bought the old Smithbridge Winery.
Impressed by Smithbridge’s 25-year-old vines and location, he bought the vineyard in 2004. He renamed it Penns Woods in homage to his long-time Keystone State home and began the process of masterfully tending to grapes and crafting fine wines.
8. Gino believes in Pennsylvania wines.
Penns Woods Winery is his way of changing the perception of Pennsylvania wines. Gino’s award-winning vintages are tasty confirmation that proper cultivation, handling and care will produce outstanding Pennsylvania grapes and spectacular wines.
9. Gino is investing in Pennsylvania.
He puts his money where his mouth is: Gino donates $1 from the proceeds of each bottle sold to further wine and grape research in the Commonwealth. This investment underscores his confidence in the growing demand for locally sourced wines.
10. Gino has made Penns Woods Winery a family affair.
In 2010, Gino hired his daughter, Carley Razzi Mack, as marketing manager to oversee the tasting room, marketing and events. His brother, Nino Razzi, is a regional manager with WinesU and lends a hand with Penns Woods’ restaurant sales. You’ll also find friends of the family throughout his organization, giving it a welcoming, we’re-glad-you-came feel. And that’s just how Gino wants it.
Gino can frequently be found at the tasting room, but we can guarantee you one way to meet him: join our wine club. Estate Club members plus three guests enjoy a tour of the vineyard with the winemaker; Grand Cru Club members and five guests delight in a private tour of the vineyard and winery, plus light appetizers, with the winemaker. And that’s just one benefit (and probably the best benefit!) of our wine clubs.
Penns Woods Winery is a family-run Pennsylvania winery. With more than 40 years of experience in the wine business, winemaker Gino Razzi and his daughter, Carley Mack, produce award-winning wines from Pennsylvania-grown grapes. Penns Woods wines can be found in restaurants throughout Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs. Stop in to your local state store and pick from a limited selection of wines, or visit our tasting room for the full offering. The tasting room in Chadds Ford provides an all-around vineyard experience and hosts live music, food and wine pairings and other exciting events each weekend. Score Penns Woods Winery news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter today!
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Go behind the scenes with the Penns Woods Winery team in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.