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Tell Me About It: From the vine to wine


August 24. 2013 9:54PM
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1. When did you open the Hillside Winery?November of 2007.2. Why did you decide to open the winery?We already had grapes planted and we were going to grow them for another winery. We got to be real good friends with the owners of the other winery and they talked us into opening up a winery.3. What kind of work is involved in opening a winery?You have all your state and federal papers you have to go through and fill out. All the equipment you have to buy. 4. How big is your vineyard?The vineyard is three acres.5. What kind of care does the vineyard require?About nine to ten months out of the year, when they are doormat in the wintertime, you start out in February pruning everything, tying it back up. The crop load the year before sometimes pulls the vines and wires down. We tie them back up. That's the first part. After that you start your dormant spray. Then spray buds before buds break and then right after buds break. Then you are spraying the rest of the summer.6. How are the grapes harvested?By hand. I have a couple friends that like to come out on a Saturday morning and pick one variety of a time. We'll start at 8 o'clock and by noon we're done picking.7. What is done after you harvest the grapes?We take everything to the barn and we have a crusher-destemmer and a press. Depending on what you have, like the red, we just run the crusher-destemmer and you ferment them on the skins. The whites you press them immediately after the crusher-destemmer. You add your sulphites too kill wild yeast, then a day later throw yeast in and start fermentation.8. How long does that take?Usually four or five days. Some take seven days.9. How many bottles do you produce in a month?Probably 40 cases.10. How often do you bottle the wine?Usually the ones we have here that are year-round will be bottled once a month.11. Do you have all of your own grapes for the wine.No. I have to buy a lot of them to make the different wines.12. What are some of the varieties you have here?We have a Frontenac, a red grape white, which we grow. We also have Riesling, which we buy up in Sandusky. Then Quarry Blush and Catawba with a blend in it to give it a blush and other wines.13. What are your hours at the Hillside Winery?We're open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon until 6 p.m.14. Do you have any entertainment at the winery?Usually every Saturday my wife, Lou, will have entertainment from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.15. What is the hardest part about running a winery?There is a lot of work in everything you do here. You have growing the grapes, the fermentation and that takes a year. After you get it into the bottle there is labeling and foil wraps. Washing the bottles off and getting them on the shelf. It's a whole lot of work.16. What do you most enjoy about owning a winery?I like the vineyards myself. That's the part I like.






  1. Tell Me About It: From the vine to wine


  2. Tell Me About It: From the vine to wine


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