New wine commemorates Kent State’s centennial

Allison Smith

There are lots of obvious events that come with a centennial celebration such as parades, performances and parties, but alumnus Jim Facciuto had something else in mind — wine.

Facciuto owned a label company and is also involved with a wine distribution company that distributes to the Professional Golfers Association.

Steve Sokany, associate vice president of institutional advancement, said Facciuto introduced the idea because he wanted to donate a gift to the university.

“As we were discussing the university’s upcoming centennial, he said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we did a centennial wine program for the university as an added way to commemorate?’” Sokany said.

Sokany said when people first tasted the centennial wine they were surprised because they thought it was going to be an Ohio wine, but were amazed that the wine came from California.

“When we did the centennial kickoff in October, the public launch of the campaign, we had two of the varietals, a white and a red, at the kickoff,” Sokany said. “At the Homecoming festivities on that Saturday, in the tailgate alley we had a little area set up where we were doing wine tasting.”

Sokany said the university is responsible for marketing the wine and ushering people to the Web site where bottles of wine can be purchased.

“We’re still waiting to get our report from them because they are supposed to give us a report at the end of the calendar year,” Sokany said. “It’s my understanding that there has been a lot of activity, but we haven’t seen the actual results yet.”

There are five wines to choose from: merlot, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, old vine zinfandel and sauvignon blanc. Each bottle of wine costs $18 and a 2-bottle gift box for $46. All of the profits will go to a scholarship fund.    

Tony Carlucci, enologist and instructor for the class Geography of Wine, gave advice on what kind of food to eat with the centennial wine.

Contact features reporter Allison Smith at