Home Cheap jerseys The road to Detroit goes through… Erie, Pennsylvania?

The road to Detroit goes through… Erie, Pennsylvania?

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The road to Detroit goes through… Erie, Pennsylvania?

This is the case if you are an Erie Seawolf baseball player who wants to play for the Detroit Tigers in the major leagues. Catching a Double-A match in Erie, I completed a travel sweep of Tiger “farm teams” in West Michigan, Toledo and Lakeland. Many fans in the Seawolves stands wore Tiger jerseys at the neighborhood’s charming old ballpark. It’s a little over four hours by car from Detroit, and good seats are always cheap seats.

A man named Joe in the concession stand grilled locally made Smith’s hot dogs “old Tiger Stadium style” with a crispy, charred casing. I said ‘yes’ to a Yuengling from Greg, who was selling mousse at stalls, but the next day I was swirling and sipping in tasting rooms 20 minutes away in the Lake Erie Wine Country neighborhood of the Northeast. .

I learned the road to Mazza Vineyards and its South Shore Wine Company leads through Italy, Germany and Australia. Mario Mazza, general manager, oenologist and heir to the business, told me, as we talked between tanks, that his father Robert was an Italian immigrant from Calabria who grew his father’s grapes with his brother Frank. Robert and Frank decided, when they were 19 years old in 1972, to start making and selling wine in Erie.

“My uncle loved wine and my dad wanted to own a small business,” Mazza explained. “They thought they needed expertise, so they sought out and hired Helmut Kranich, a German winemaker, specializing in Gewurztraminer grapes.”

Years later, Mario came, and so did his turn. “When I was growing up, I went to Adelaide, Australia to study oenology in the Barossa Valley region.”

“Australia was probably a lot of fun for a young American? Why did you come back? I asked.

“My father’s contract was that he would pay for my studies and my trip… on the understanding that I promised to return to the family business.”

Mario returned with skills and a wife – an Australian named Mel. “She stayed with me and tolerated my 80-hour weeks during harvest season at Two Hands Wines, so I knew she was a keeper.”

How did Mel like moving from Down Under to Erie?

“Erie, like Adelaide, benefits from the influence of water on the Great Lakes. Like Adelaide, Erie has easy access to beaches and wine country. I think that aspect is undervalued,” explained Maria.

Instead of having to travel, the world comes to Sam and Becky Best. They own Lakeview Wine Cellars, also in the northeast. Their tasting room, overlooking Lake Erie, showcases sand samples from around the world brought in by customers under glass.

“Here are a few from the finish line of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. And this sand here is from Utah Beach, Normandy, France, with German barbed wire in it,” Sam showed me. Other sand samples came from as far away as Easter Island; a bunker at St. Andrews Links in Scotland; Egypt; Jerusalem; and Mackinac Island.

We toasted, with a glass of Lakeview sparkling wine called “Cavitation”, the decision he and Becky made 14 years ago, after Sam retired from the postal service, to sink his life savings into the ground, while their faithful Irish Setter “Cabernet” posed at their feet.

Traveling up the Great Lakes Seaway Trail downtown, I stayed at the surprisingly posh Hampton Inn Erie Bayfront. Its eighth-floor rooftop restaurant, Oscar’s, offers a bird’s-eye view of the floating replica of the Erie Maritime Museum at US Brig Niagara. The Oscar menu, in homage to Admiral Perry’s historic declaration, pleads “Don’t give up the ‘shrimp!’ »

Across the harbor at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront, you also have a view of the bay and Près Isle State Park – home to all seven miles of Erie beaches, the amusement park, downtown environmental Tom Ridge, boat rentals and trails. The breakfast menu includes Peach Bellini French Toast; lemon poppy seed pancakes; Cajun chicken and waffles…and good luck.

Erie is along Interstate 90 between Cleveland and Buffalo. VisitErie.com to escape.

Contact Michael Patrick Shiels at [email protected] His radio show is available on MiBigShow.com or weekday mornings starting at 9 a.m. on WJIM AM 1240