Winfield Winery is a hidden gem in Cabot
Combining heritage with hobby is the concept behind Winfield Winery in Cabot.
Italian winemaker John Ricchuito opened his rural winery on the grounds of his Winfield Township home he shares with wife, Linda, in 2006.
“I read a lot, learned things off of the internet and decided I was going to open up a winery,” Ricchuito, 63, says. “My friends were tasting my wines and saying they were very good I had a gut feeling that told me I needed to build the winery. The first competition we entered in 2006 after being open five months — we won an award.”
He added on to their existing home and two years later built a patio for patrons.
“I go from my home to my winery and I can keep an eye on things,” Ricchuito says.
Ricchuito created each unique wine blend and says he isn’t revealing any trade secrets.
He makes his wine in silence below the tasting room surrounded by 36 stainless steel tanks imported from Italy.
The wines ferment for a minimum of one to two years.
“We don’t use any artificial colors or flavorings in our wine. It’s a true fruit wine, made with whole fruit,” Ricchuito says.
Winfield Winery has snagged more than 90 awards including Best American Variety Wine at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg for their Winfield Country Red.
In 2014, the winery was awarded Double Gold, Best of the Show and The Governor’s Cup at the same show for their Blackberry Wine.
“That was a very, very exciting moment for me — a very proud moment for me. I was really surprised, especially winning the Governor’s Cup because that’s always been one of my goals,” Ricchuito says.
Customers may sample wines in the tasting room, attached to the couple’s home or out on the covered patio.
Choose from more than 32 red, white, blush and fruit wines, all produced on site using Pennsylvania grapes and nosh on complimentary smoked mozzarella colby jack and cheddar cheeses — from Ricchuito’s smokehouse.
In a nod to his Italian roots, Ricchuito offers his customers free Soppressata- salami samples featuring a leaner pork version too.
“The customers love it and when the weather is warm I will bring out a plate. They really enjoy it and say it’s kind and generous. We offer snacks just to be nice — that’s what we do here.”
Self-described winery guru Tyler George of Madison saw the Winfield sign while after a day working on location and couldn’t resist stopping by.
“We were thirsty after a day of working and happened upon it. I like to try out wineries and have visited about 40 Pennsylvania wineries,” George says while tasting and then purchasing multiple wines for his return home. “I like chilled sweet wines.”
Linda says the feedback from customers often revolves around price.
“People are really surprised at how good the wines are and the prices are really cheaper,” Linda says. “That, and they say we are a very friendly winery.”
Bottle prices range from $11.50 to $15.95.
Top sellers from the sweet, semi-sweet, dry and semi-dry wines include the Black Raspberry, Winfield Country Red, Fredonia, Eye of the Storm, Raspberry Moon Delight, Pink Catawba and Yellow Raspberry.
“It takes 100 pounds of raspberries procured from a local farm in Butler County to produce 32 gallons of wine,” Linda Ricchuito says.
For John Ricchuito, the hobby-turned-business is rewarding.
“It’s nice to see people enjoying my wine — it brings me great gratification. Winemaking takes time and it teaches me some patience,” he says.
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.