When it comes to wineries, American Way is about as different as you can get from your competitors. Not only do they lack vineyards, their wines lack grapes! Every wine is made from fruits or vegetables. If it can be made into a wine, American Way will find a way to do it.
The tasting room is, shall way say, humble – a very non-descript wooden building right off Highway 47. This is strictly a sales room – not a party place. Owner Bill Hill sources his wines from his 15 acres of blackberries, raspberries, apples, pumpkins, strawberries, watermelons, cantaloupe, pear, tomatoes, elderberries and (if that’s not enough) persimmon, making 500-800 gallons of wine a year.
Bill gave me the low-down on his wines as he poured. He started it as a hobby in the 1970s, slowly expanding as he realized he could make a business out of it. Most of his sales comes from festivals, although he takes special orders as well.
18 wines were available for tasting – more than I could possibly try. Instead he guided me through some of his more popular concoctions. A few I tried almost on a dare!
Elderberry: Tart. Cuz your mother was a hamster, and…
Persimmon: Made as an ice-style wine.
Pumpkin: Actually really good; reminded me of a pumpkin donut.
Tomato wine: Yes, really! And it tastes like it sounds.
Sweet plum: Another winner for me.
Sweet blackberry: Very long finish.