A Wrinkle in Wine: The Former Chairman Returns. Sort of.

Posted by Keith Wallace

 Lea 2014 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills
One of Jonathan Newman’s wines currently in the Chairman’s Selection program: the Lea 2014 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills

This is an older article from the Wine School, originally publishing in May, 2018.

Jonathan Newman, the former Chairman of the PLCB is selling wine to Tim Holden, the current PLCB Chairman for the Chairman’s Selections Program that Mr. Newman created when he was Chairman.


It’s been over a decade since Jonathan was pushed out of the PLCB in a political standoff.  It was a blow to all wine drinkers in the state, as Jonathan had spearheaded much of the modernization of the wine stores in PA, and created the Chairman’s Selection program we have all grown to love.

He went on to start his own wine import and distribution company and never looked back. His wines have been the backbone of selections for many major national wine companies, from Wines Til Sold Out to Total Wine & More. Sure, his wines have been available in PA via special order for a few years, but now we have attained full-circle-irony.

It seems like several of the best Chairman Selections in recent memory are being supplied by Newman himself.  These include a Robert Storey Napa Valley Cabernet, the Mockingbird Hill Dry Creek Zin, and (our personal favorite) the Lea Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. For just over $20, that is some serious Pinot.

It’s great having Jonathan back in the mix.

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