#HomeGrownStories – Donna Clark
Donna and Jeff Clark started Old Mason Winery & Vineyard in April 2013. Both grew up in Miami County, as did their families. Their family owned and operated winery began as a hobby that grew into a business. The winery has a tasting room and covered back patio. Guests can enjoy one or two-ounce flights of five different wines. Appetizers like cheese, crackers, and sausage are also available. Local music can also be enjoyed most Saturday evenings.
On the connection she and her husband, Jeff, have to Miami County:
We both grew up in Miami County. Our families have lived in Miami County for approximately 50 years. We knew we would stay in the area because of our close family ties.
About their winery in West Milton, Old Mason Winery & Vineyard:
It began as a hobby with home winemaking. Then we started a personal vineyard and it grew and expanded from that into what we have today.
The winemaking process begins in the vineyard. The quality of the fruit is everything in making wine. We grow six main varieties of grapes. We also grow another nine experimental varieties of grapes. Growing grapes in Miami County is a challenge. We lost approximately 1,200 vines during the Polar Vortex a few year ago. Our main goal is to choose cold-hardy grapes that will withstand our winters. These type of grapes offer a new experience in wine tasting compared with traditional wines.
After we harvest grapes from the vineyard we process them. This includes washing, destemming, crushing, and pressing the grapes. The next step is to have a controlled fermentation of the processed fruit. From this point, there are many detailed steps along the way. In short, the wine is aged, filtered, and bottled over a period of time.
On the community response to Old Mason Winery & Vineyard:
We have a wonderful community who has been very supportive over the last four and a half years.
What she loves about Miami County:
We love Miami County for all the wonderful people and places to visit. It is by far a great wholesome community! We love all the walking paths that are available throughout Miami County. We also love Brukner Nature Center.
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