June 18, 2008

Blairsville-Area Winery Plans Grand Opening Celebration

By Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.

Jun. 18--Wine lovers will get a chance to taste the fruit of the vine, plus enjoy live entertainment, prizes and appetizers from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the grand opening of the Walnut Hill Winery in Burrell Township in Indiana County.

The wine sold at Walnut Hill Winery is produced at its site near Blairsville from raw juice purchased from wineries in the Erie area, then trucked down in 500-gallon totes, said Samantha Crissman, president of the company. She owns the winery along with her brother, Albert McClinton, company treasurer, and his wife, Kathie McClinton, secretary, who live in Derry.

The process of making red wines, white wines and blushes takes about four months before they are is ready for bottling, said Crissman, who lives at the property where the wine is made. The process is labor-intensive, she noted.

The idea to put a winery near Blairsville evolved out of Albert McClinton's love of wine making over the past several years, Crissman said. They got the ball rolling in July 2006, but gaining the necessary state and federal permits to operate a winery took most of 2007, she said.

The business opened in November and December for the holiday season but really "opened the doors in March," Crissman said. Business has been good, especially since most of its "advertisement" has been by word of mouth, she said.

Crissman anticipates production of about 5,000 gallons a year. The company does not intend to grow its own grapes, she said.

Monroeville group donates computers in Latrobe

A Latrobe organization that supplies free computers and instruction to senior citizens has received a big boost from a Monroeville company, which donated personal computers, monitors and speakers.

Chorus Call Inc. of Monroeville has donated the computers and equipment to Senior Computer Associates of Latrobe, which will refurbish the computers and make them available free to qualifying senior citizens and other applicants in the Latrobe area, said John Senko, co-director of Senior Computer Associates.

The donated items will go to senior citizens who might not otherwise have access to the technology, said Sabrina Coraluppi, Chorus Call director of operations.

Senior Computer Associates, an association of retired people, has taught more than 750 senior citizens an introductory computer course in the past nine years. Chorus Call is a teleconferencing service provider with global offices.

Connellsville massage therapist moves business

A Connellsville massage therapist, John A. Whalen, owner of A Healthy Place Massage Therapy, recently moved his business to 110 S. Arch St. in the downtown from Chestnut Street.

Whalen, who has been in business for 25 years, combines his experience as an occupational therapist with massage techniques to customize a massage therapy plan for each client.

Appointment times are available, as well as walk-in hours from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. For more information, contact Whalen at 724-557-2474.


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