Briana Malaska

Morgan County set to have first winery

by Briana Malaska on January 11, 2017 at 11:12 pm

MCCONNELSVILLE, Ohio- Morgan County is getting closer to gaining something they’ve never had before.

Rick Shriver, Owner of Willis Hill Farm, is taking his great-great grandfathers barn and repurposing it into something the county does not have; a winery.

Shriver said the barn was built in 1890 and the main purpose in the restoration was to preserve something that has been in his family for such a long time.

“For me this project is about making this a working farm again, preserving this piece of history and this piece of our culture,” said Shriver.

The barn, when completed, will have a functional winery featuring tastings, a retail shop to sell local Amish works and a performance area for live music.

“I grew up here and I’m the fifth generation to live on this farm. There are a lot of stories here to be told, once we have everything displayed,” said Shriver.

Shriver said he’s been making wine for over 35 years. The fruit for his natural wine comes from heirloom vines that are cultivated naturally. Shriver said he prides his product on its lack of additives, pesticides and inorganic fertilizers.

He is hoping to have the barn restored and open by this summer, but is asking for some assistance from the community.

Shriver said he has launched a Kickstarter campaign to complete his project.

“I can do it better if I have a little bit of help, and I think, I hope there are people out there who want to feel like they are a part of it and feel invested in it,” said Shriver.

For more information about Willis Hill Farm or to donate to the fund visit their website at www.willishillfarm.com.