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Wine on the rocks

Melissa Topey • Sep 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM

The winery takes its name from the hill it sits on, and from the land where an active quarry operated decades ago.

When space got tight during busy weekends in peak season, winery owners Mac McLelland and Bill Gammie took a walk. “Most of the stone for the pavilion came from that quarry,” McLelland said of the expanded pavilion. “We were walking and came across these stones which were left behind, whether they were imperfect or the quarry went out of business, but they were sitting there.”


Like master vintners squeezing sweet libation out of a simple grape, they turned the old stone into something beautiful. They hired contractor Bill Votruba, owner of BVC Erosion Control, to excavate multi-ton boulders from the earth. They then wrestled the stones into a new home at the Quarry Hill Winery, creating an open area where people can sit and talk as they sip on wine.  


The lush rolling hills, the vineyard and the views of Lake Erie inspired Votruba.


“They wanted a path to the pavilion,” he said. “I told them, ‘Let me do what I want to do, and I will make this place look like a Quarry Hill.’”


He did not disappoint. Looking down from the New England-waterfront-style winery, the stone work melds into the natural setting of the place. Visitors can continue along the stone path to the covered pavilion, where they can then sit at one of several tables.


A natural breeze seems to roll right down the stone path, providing respite on warm summer days. On a cool, fall night, guests can grab a spot by a fire pit surrounded by a gorgeous Compass Rose that points true north. 


The project was a cakewalk for Votruba, who knows that people are simply looking to come out and enjoy themselves.


“I know how to do that,” he said. “I know how to make something beautiful, make it so they get that ‘wow’ factor.”


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