An Inside look at the Winery at Wilcox

Wilcox, Elk County, Pa. - Twenty three years ago where the Winery at Wilcox now stands was once a butcher shop. The winery became a vision Jamie William's father had visiting wineries in Germany while serving in the military.

"When he asked them how long they'd be open,they'd say like 1000 years or 700 years. He thought that'd be pretty good for job security," says owner of the Winery at Wilcox, Jamie Williams. 

When he returned, Williams' father's passion for the drink blossomed. "He had been making wine in our basement some of it was really bad," laughs Williams. 

Then, a batch of wine at Williams' sister's wedding changed it all.  The wine recipe has transformed into one of the shop's best sellers 'Wedding White'. "We opened up and never looked back."  

Williams has now taken over the Elk County location for his parents who now reside in Ohio. He brought WTAJ inside to take a look at how the wine is made. 

"Right now all the wine that's in here is rough," Williams says while walking into the back of the store. The wine starts out with 160 tons of grapes imported from 8 different growers throughout the state. "That's how we got started, to promote Pennsylvania agriculture. We want them putting grapes in the ground in Pennsylvania. " 

Then they're pressed and clarified in large vats, and that's when the fermentation process begins. Once it's filtered and the process is completed, the mixture is bottled and ready to hit the shelves.  Williams says batches in the last few weeks will be ready to buy by the holidays. "Some of those products that we got for this years harvest will be on the shelf already. The sweeter varieties will be on the shelf by Christmas."
 
Of course, there's a certain way to drink Wilcox's wines. Williams calls it the "five S's."Sight to check clarity. Swirl then sniff, which William advises to "get your beak right in there."

The last steps are to sip and savor. "It looks pretentious, but there's a reason you're trying to pull air through the wine," says Williams.  

The winery allows you to try before you buy. They have multiple locations in DuBois, Pittsburgh, and the most recent in Harrisburg. Their wines are carried in state stores and some local Pennsylvania breweries. 

Williams says it's their mission to keep prices competitively low, "the local people here have been supporting us forever, I don't want go and charge too much so it's not attainable for a regular person." 


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