Thursday, October 22, 2009

Clemente Museum & Winery??!!!

I had an opportunity to see a really interesting, off the beaten path venue recently, the Roberto Clemente Museum. The museum, which is located in a former firehouse in Doughboy Square in Lawrenceville, is the brainchild of noted photographer Duane Rieder. Rieder first acquired the space for his photo studio, but later decided to use the first floor former garage to display his ample and varied collection of Roberto Clemente (Hall of Fame right fielder for the Pirates)memorabilia. Highlights include a variety of original documents relating to Clemente's career, including his contract for his glove sponsorship with Rawlings and letters relating to his service in the U.S. Army. Here is a slideshow of the museum and a Post-Gazette story regarding it from last year.

The museum is open by appointment only, and tours are available most Saturdays. Call (412)621-1268 for more information. It is located at 3339 Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville.

What is really offbeat is that in the basement of the Firehouse, Rieder has located a winery. Rieder imports grapes from Napa and Sonoma valleys in California, and then presses, ferments and ages them into wine right in the basement. He offers many collector labels, including quite a few with Pittsburgh Penguin and Steeler themes. The thing about the wine is, though -- it's excellent. One would be shocked that such a good product could be made in a basement in Lawrenceville, but it is. The wine is well worth a try.

Here is a story from the Pittsburgh Business Times on the project.

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