A new winery is in the works near New Paris in Preble County, and its co-founder already has some rather pertinent experience on the other side of the nearby Ohio-Indiana border.
Adam Melton is the founder of The Cordial Cork restaurant and wine bar in Richmond, Indiana, and he previously made and bottled wines under the Melton Renzulli Wines brand in Indiana. The new venture that Melton is co-founding is located at Wesler Orchards in Jefferson Twp., Preble County, outside New Paris.
“The state line is four miles away,” Melton said.
Melton applied to the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control for a farm-winery license and a distribution license 10 days ago. Those applications are pending.
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Melton Renzulli Wines was founded in Indiana in 2013, and for nearly five years, Melton made wine out of purchased grapes and juice from other parts of the country and the world. “I haven’t made wine in a year-and-a-half,” Melton said, in part because he opened The Cordial Cork in the historic depot district of Richmond.
When he started looking to get back into winemaking, he chose to partner with the New Paris-area orchard, which happens to have what Melton said were ancient-vine grapevines of Concord, Niagara and Fredonia that were planted in the 1920s.
“I’ve made wine from those grapes,” Melton said. “They’re unbelievable.”
The tentative plan is to plant more grapevines, and there are more plans in the works that Melton said he would reveal in the near future.