The snow is piled up around the Winery at Wilcox in Elk County. The owner, Jamie Williams says production relies heavily on the weather. “When we had the two winters worth of really Arctic weather, a lot of grapes were lost in Pennsylvania, especially up and around the lake area.”
This year Williams is hoping Punxsutawney Phil won’t see his shadow on Friday. “I’m ready to see spring come around the corner i’m already tired of snow.’
The winery is expecting some good luck from the furry forecaster now that his is image is printed right on the front of their best sellers. The limited edition trio was first created two years ago. Williams says the bottles feature a patriotic theme. “We actually brought it out during the groundhog festival in summer around the 4th of July. That’s actually why they have the red white and blue labels.”
Around 150 gallons of the ‘Phil wine’ will be made to mark groundhog day celebrations. Williams says the entire surrounding area partakes in the holiday. “The little town of Punxsutawney quadruples and quintuples in size during that time. For a lot of people that do business in Punxsutawney, this is a big time of year.”
Two dollars will go back to the groundhog club. However, it’s not an easy task being able to use the name Punxsutawney Phil. Every step needed to be approved by the Inner Circle. Williams says the sales of the groundhog wine peaks every February second. “People are super excited about Phil, so every piece of memorabilia people just eat up. We just love being a part of it.”
Now the winery is packing up- ready to Barclays Square on Friday to meet new customers from both near and far.