The Goshen Chamber of Commerce featured Fruit Hills Winery in their June, 2010 magazine. Here is what they had to say,

Winery a Dream Come True

Dave and Michele Muir have a simple recipe for making a dream come true. Start with a century old family orchard. Mix in a little doctor’s advice. Add a dash of necessity created by a sluggish economy. Then stir in plenty of planning before slow cooking with the Small Business Develop- ment Center.

What you get is the Fruit Hills Winery and Orchard, which has started construc- tion on the Judson Fruit Farm site just south of Bristol. If all goes according to plan, area residents could be tasting and purchasing a wide array of fruit wines by fall.

“My doctor recommended drink- ing wine for the health benefits,” Dave explains. “I’ve been making wine since then for myself, my family and my friends. Since we grow apples, I’ve made apple wine in a number of styles over the years.”

Muir says he toyed with the idea of turn- ing his hobby into a business, but always believed it would take too much time and too much money to get a small business off the ground. After being laid off, however, Muir says the dream became a necessity.

“We visited a very small winery during a trip to Florida,” Muir remembers. “The idea for a winery was rekindled. We origi- nally thought we would look for a small space to lease in Bristol but we talked about it and we decided the best location would be on the farm itself.”

So, the Muirs began the process of converting the farm – in the family since

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1851 and producing fruit since 1898 – into a destination for wine lovers. This is where Alan Steele and the SBDC enter the picture.

“Alan listened to what we had in mind and advised us on what it would take to make it a reality. He supplied us with a template for a financial spreadsheet for a business plan and we went to work putting one together. We met about every other week to discuss progress on the plan and how to improve it.”

It is a success story Steele hopes to du- plicate again and again. He maintains an office inside the Goshen Chamber of Com- merce and is available for appointments on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. It is a free service available to cur- rent businesses and prospective entrepre- neurs alike. You can make an appointment by calling the Chamber offices at 533-2102.

Construction is already under way and Muir hopes Fruit Hills Winery and Orchard will be open for business before the end of summer. Retail wines should be available by fall and the Muirs could begin making their own product by next sum- mer. It will be a win-win for the neighbor- hood.

“We believe we can create a destination that local residents and visitors to our county will enjoy,” Muir says. “The visi- tors will bring dollars that we hope will be spent not only at our business, but at many more of the local businesses.”