Blog

Dream Big ~ Rosie and Gerry Wilson, Wilson Creek Winery

December 19th, 2014

Check in every month where we feature a new interview with a Temecula Valley winery owner. You’ll learn where they came from, why they chose Temecula – and what keeps them passionate about the sometimes not-so-glamorous life of a winery owner.

gerry_rosie_wilson

When the motivating factor for starting a winery was “togetherness”, you must know that we’re talking to Gerry and Rosie Wilson, owners of Wilson Creek Winery!

 So, how did this all start?
Our family had spread out, Bill was working in San Diego, Mick was in Sacramento and Libby was in Solvang.  We were trying to figure out where to retire to when Bill came up with the idea of starting up a small family business where we could all come together to live and work as a family.  We thought it sounded fun; our friends thought we were nuts! But we came together as a family, scraped up every dime we could find and each chipped in what we could to make it happen.  And it’s been a blessing since day one.

Why Temecula?
For us, it was – and is – all about the lifestyle.  We’d visited Temecula many, many times over the years as a weekend golf getaway from our Pasadena home and we’d always loved the area. Where else do you get to wake up to balloons flying overhead and go to sleep with hundreds of stars in the sky?  Or walk down from our home with our dogs to go to work each day?  And I can’t think of any place on earth where a call for a “sunset alert” is a common occurrence.

What keeps you going?
In the beginning, it was a LOT of work.  We did as much of the manual labor as possible ourselves.  We dug the ditches for pipes, ran wires for the electrical, planted trees and roses and anything else we could to save money.  Thank goodness we were all younger then!  We used to laugh and say we all worked half days; which 12 hour shift we worked was up to us!  But we were committed to support four families – and we did.  We ate lots of peanut butter sandwiches back then, but they taste great with wine.

Wilson Creek Winery is known for its philanthropic efforts throughout the valley, why is that so important to you and your family?
We really never really thought about it in the beginning, that’s just the way we’ve always been.  When you don’t have a lot of money, but you have a product that people love, it’s a great fit.  We could always go and pour wine and in doing so, it really helped us to build our brand.  We believe that when you give, what you get in return comes in spades. And now that we have such a beautiful place, it would be a shame not to share it when we can with those in need.

It seems that “niceness” around here starts at the top…
We’re just so darn lucky!  We have a wonderful team of people working with us that we just love.  From our winemaker to our vineyard manager and from our chef and restaurant staff to our tasting room staff; they’re all just such a pleasure to be around every day.  We consider ourselves one big, happy family.

 

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