In 1998, Betty Jo and Rick were avid wine drinkers and wine makers on an amateur level. Already owning a business zoned property, they decided to explore opening a small business to supplement retirement plans. After four years of planning, they began making naturally-made wines in the 1894 carriage house behind their home on State Route 18 in downtown Converse.
The decision to produce naturally-made wines grew out of both a personal philosophy and customer-driven interest in wines not having the many different chemicals added to wine in the production stage. Visits to several other wineries in the Midwest following this principal convinced the owners it was a viable, and desirable, business strategy.
Teaching customers the differences of naturally-made wines is a challenge, but one Rick and Betty Jo embraced. With free tasting of all their wines as a foundation of the business plan, they felt comfortable creating wines for the public, much less so for the wine expert. Wine you can drink for fun, without concern for aging or etiquette.
Oak Hill wines do taste different because they are naturally-made as well as the effort to market to the average person. The dry wines do not taste, well, as dry as most commercially made wines. Varietal specific wines are the focus, one grape, one flavor, one wine, to allow the expression of that vintage, vineyard, and grower to come forth fully.
Oak Hill Winery