Our Grandfather, Melvin Dale, bought the farm where the vineyards are planted and where the winery sits in the 1950s. He tried some of the conventional routes of farming in the Midwest- pigs, horses, hay etc. Through the years hay turned out to be the most viable option and his kids and subsequent grandkids can still remember bucking square bales with Grandpa Melvin. This is where the Dale Hollow story began.
On a total of around 50 acres, he was never going to be operating a massive operation, but he and his boys enjoyed working the land. One of those boys is our dad, Kenny Phillip, son of Melvin Phillip, grandson of Elmer Phillip. The namesake has been passed to two more generations now for 5 total generations of “Phillip”, including Kenny’s son Asher Phillip, and Asher’s young son. As the label depicts, you could say we “flipped” the purpose of the land. Going from hay to grapes is not the most conventional path in our area. Here are some before and after pics, showing the aforementioned hay and the transformation to vineyard and winery:
One day while fishing with Grandpa Melvin, one of these grandkids told him about all his big plans in life: graduate college, move to the city, travel on the fastest planes and the biggest boats enjoying the finest foods. A modern day George Bailey. Melvin looked at this ambitious lad quite seriously and said, “Why would you want to leave Stover? What can you find out there that you can’t find here?” Both Asher and Jesse did leave Stover for a few years, to cities and coasts, and both came back with wives, heeding those words of our grandfather and believing him wholeheartedly.
The pics above show Grandpa Melvin doing a few things he loved best: spending time with grand and great-grandkids at Christmastime and at the lake, at one of his favorite places in the world, his fishing hole. The picture on the right shows him with another of his grandsons, Gregg. Gregg is our cousin who helped finish out the majority of the inside of the winery and maybe most importantly, built the bar that we all know and love!
Grandpa never would have guessed in a million years his old farmland would be used for vineyards and a winery. However, he was still here when we planted the first vines and he was absolutely thrilled about the idea and was able to watch as his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids planted the first 1000 vines on his old hay field.
The pictures below were taken on the day that our Grandpa Melvin passed away, one view from the east and the other from the west. The brilliance of the sun shining through the clouds to show a beautiful rainbow. A reminder that his story didn’t end that day.
We now work side-by-side with our father, toiling away at growing grapes and making wine instead of bucking bales. Pretty soon we will start convincing Asher’s kids that working in the vineyard is fun and they will also have memories working on the very same land with their grandpa. Dad still drives the tractor depicted on the label that our grandpa took for many rounds “back in the day”.
In this day in age, this all may seem a bit “flipped”, so I guess Phillip has been an appropriate middle name all along. While many of our labels depict the town and surrounding areas, this one captures the fullness of our own tale, unfolding one chapter at a time, Storybook Red. A sweet wine for a sweet story.
Profile: Sweet red blend
Tasting Notes: Bright and crisp fruit flavors, medium bodied, full of character