806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

2018 Wine Tour and Tasting : A Toast to the Central Coast

You may be thinking, “Wait, didn’t I just finish an article about the Christmas tour?” Well, as hard as it is to believe, now is the time to start preparing again for our annual tour and tasting event. This year, we’ll feature California wines, specifically from the Central Coast of California. I lived in San Luis Obispo and is in ‘SLO’ where I was first introduced to these amazing wines and this beautiful region.

Paso Robles, north of San Luis Obispo, is an incredible wine region. The award-winning wines and my fond memories are minor reasons why I’m focusing on this region. The primary reason is the pioneer (Godfather) of Paso wines — Gary Eberle — is a Penn State graduate and Pittsburgh native. Gary co-founded the appellation in Paso and introduced Syrah grape vines into the US, using cuttings he brought over from France. At one point, his vineyard was the only source of US Syrah. His amazing story doesn’t stop there. I’ve included addresses to some articles below. (Or, get the electronic version of the Gazette at our website — — and click on the links.) I just had to share his story, and the indelible connection of Pittsburgh to CA wines.

I’ve been to the Eberle Winery many times, but never met Gary until I went to one of his events in Pittsburgh. He is incredibly personable, and is fascinating to talk with, as he imparts his vast knowledge about what it takes to get the grape to the glass. Listening to Gary talk through the science behind wine-making inspired me to put a twist on the wine tour this year. I’m introducing showcase event that I’m calling “Ground to Glass.” This will be an exclusive event at Holmes Hall, pouring only higher-end Eberle wines. The ticket will also include a lovely food pairing and a host talking with the guests on how the particular wines they’re drinking got from the ground to their glass. Eberle is also providing wine to be served at one of the homes on the tour. Gary will not be able to come to the event, but I’m working with him to ensure guests have a memorable evening.

Details About this Year’s Tour

  • Price and dates: $75 pp, Friday 6/22 5:00–9:00 pm and Saturday 6/23 1:00–5:00 pm and 5:00–9:00 pm.
  • Showcase Event at Holmes Hall: $150 (max 50 tickets available), Saturday 6/23 7:00–9:00 pm.
  • Note that the dates are later in the month than normal due to competing events in Pittsburgh and other calendar conflicts, but good for the gardens to thrive!

How can you help? Please email me directly ( if you are interested in any of the following.

  • Homes: If you would like your home on the tour (focus on the garden). A total of 6 properties needed. The home must have a garden space.
  • Advertising and Social Media: Work with local media outlets, promote through social media and help secure program advertisers.
  • Food Committee: Work with friends to confirm the pairing menu and prep food for the event.
  • Tour Guide Lead: Make sure the docents know the route, their shifts and neighborhood history to lead the guests.
  • Volunteers Lead: Oversight of tour volunteers (help for the homeowners). We will need additional volunteers for the Showcase event.
  • After Party Planners: Always one of the most fun volunteer opportunities!

So many of you made last year exceptional, I hope you’ll consider pitching in again this year. If you haven’t volunteered for a tour before, this is a really great opportunity to join the fun. Looking forward to getting this going and working with you!

Don’t forget to read more about the ‘Godfather of Paso’, Gary Eberle.

Recipes from A Tour & Tasting in Old Allegheny

Thank you to all of our friends, new and old, who joined us for 2017’s A Tour & Tasting in Old Allegheny. Those of you who attended already know that we had wonderful Spanish tapas to pair with a selection of wines from the same locale. Even if you weren’t able to make it, we wanted to share these delectable treats – and information about the wines that greeted visitors to homes and gardens alike.

Emmanuel Church

Dish: Gazpacho
Wine: Jaume Serra Cristallano

Willock House

Dish: Pan con Tomate
Wine: Clos de Nit

Johnson House

Dish: Blue Cheese & Walnut Shortbread
Wine: Bodegas Hesvera

¡Salud! Thank You for a Successful Wine & Garden Tour!

Thank you all for making the 2017 tour and tasting event such a wild success! The weather was perfect and the comments throughout the event were extremely positive! I continue to get requests for the tapas recipes and compliments on the wine pairings. Look for these pairings and recipes on the Allegheny West website soon!

The tour was made extra special this year with the addition of Thaw Mansion and Emmanuel Episcopal Church. The history, lore and beauty of these two properties cannot be overstated and I know the guests really enjoyed learning more! I’m so grateful to the vicar and parishioners at Emmanuel for volunteering, and to the Carusos for their incredible efforts in their home and garden, so lovely. Thank you the Whitmers, Mitchell Schwartz and Elaine Stone, Rob Johnson, and of course John DeSantis for your willingness to open your wonderful homes. I cannot think of a better cross section of homes to demonstrate how wonderfully diverse the properties are in Allegheny West and to show what makes this neighborhood such a gem. I have to say, the homes are why we get tour-goers to visit the neighborhood, but it’s the homeowners who made it such a joy to live in the neighborhood. Thank you!

None of this would have been possible without the efforts of Mary Callison, Deb Kelly, Doug Debelak, Fran Barbush and Nonie Knaus, who collaboratively cooked the food, chose the wine, and are the reason guests are asking for the recipes! It was a ton of work, but executed perfectly! Gene Wilson and Doug Sprague, thank you for corralling the tour guides! Cathy Serventi is the “wizard behind the curtain,” making sure the machine is working: thank you. Trish and John Burton always go above and beyond and this year was no different. Thank you for a perfect ending by opening your home for the after party. The tour guides, you make our history come alive for the guests. (See you on the Christmas tour!) I really enjoyed working with you all. Please share with me any positive and constructive feedback to continue making the Allegheny West tours a ‘must do’ in Pittsburgh

Allegheny West Wine & Garden Tour 2017

We’re still seeking neighbors to help house-sit, run supplies or help with food for this year’s Wine & Garden Tour. The tour will be held Friday, June 2nd, from 5:00–9:00 pm and Saturday, June 3rd, from 1:00–5:00 pm and 5:00–9:00 pm. Contact Carol Gomrick at if you are able to help.

AWCC Membership Meeting Agenda – April 11, 2017

Calvary United Methodist Church, 971 Beech Ave
Tuesday, April 11th at 7:30 pm

  • Visitors
    • Councilwoman Harris’s Office
    • Mayor Peduto’s Office
    • Zone One Police
  • Presentations: A+ Schools 2016 Annual Report, Carnegie Science Center (new signage proposal)
  • New Neighbors & Guests
  • Minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report
    • Finance Committee Volunteers Still Sought
  • Membership
    • Bocce on Wednesday
    • April Mixer
    • AWCC 55th Anniversary Celebration (May 20, 2017)
  • Ways and Means
    • Wine Tour Updates (June 2nd & 3rd)
    • Update on Five Year Plan with Calvary
    • Dates for Other 2017 Events: Alleys, Axles & Ales/Christmas Tour
  • Friends of Allegheny West
    • Green Space
  • Housing and Planning
    • Trucks Through the Neighborhood
    • Stadium Events: Parking and Traffic
    • MCC: Blocks bounded by Western, Allegheny, Ridge, Bridge
    • Western Avenue Revitalization
    • Light of Life: Ridge Avenue Project
    • Film Guidelines
    • Historic District Enforcement Issues
    • Medical Marijuana Dispensary
    • Comprehensive Guidelines for New Construction on Vacant Sites
  • Northside Leadership Conference
  • Other Business (Old & New AW Preservation Award)