GALION- When exploring Uptowne Galion, many will find unique businesses and one that will be sure to draw customers in is the Fox Winery.
This winery is special to the area and those who enter will find it is not like ‘typical’ wineries.
Owner Olivia Fox explained how the family owned business got started.
“My dad is the one who started this place back in 2016-2017. I have been involved from the beginning. My dad had shoulder surgery at the beginning of 2021, so it was at that time that myself and my boyfriend stepped up to start running it,” Fox said.
The doors initially opened in November of 2016. During that time, Fox Winery was waiting on government licenses and permits to sell wine.
“We officially opened the doors in September of 2017. During the beginning, we sold supplies to people who wanted to make their own wine. It was an interesting way to start, but once we got our license we phased out of that,” Fox said.
The first nine months of the business involved just getting things in order, Fox said.
Since September of 2017, Fox explained the winery has a wide variety of wines.
“I have a little bit of everything here. When we first started we had over 30 wines. That is quite a variety and it was a lot to keep up with. So, we are downsizing right now. We are getting rid of our moscato and we are doing that because we have so many other sweet, fruity wines,” Fox said.
Some of those sweet, fruity wines include an elderberry, two raspberries and a strawberry just to name a few.
“When people come in they want to branch out. That is what I would rather sell is something you can’t get everywhere. We had four merlots and we have dropped down to two. We have learned that people just veer towards what they aren’t used to getting,” Fox said.
The most popular wines Fox sells includes those sweet, fruity wines. However, Fox explains that isn’t all they sell.
“We do have the more dry wines as well. We have a cabernet, we have two Italian styles, a malbec and we have some semi sweet whites as well. We will have about 21 wines after we are done downsizing from our original 30,” Fox explained.
Fox continued and shared a unique factor about Fox Winery.
“Ohio isn’t exactly conducive to growing grapes except three months out of the year. Well, when my dad started this he put a vineyard in his back yard. He gets grapes once a year and that is actually what makes up our sweetest wine, Fox Blend. There are people who come in and that is their go to. They love it and they do because they can’t get that wine anywhere else,” Fox said.
Another unique wine at Fox Winery is called Sweet Soul Sisters.
“That was made by a local group of ladies. They are very involved in the theater here in town. Their friend group refers to themselves as the Sweet Soul Sisters. This has been years ago that my dad left a bottle of peach and strawberry wine at a picnic somewhere. One of the ladies told him not to forget his wine. He told them to keep it. They decided to mix the two together and they came in and told him it was delicious. They wanted him to make it, but they wanted him to name it after them,” Fox said.
Another wine that is currently in the works at Fox Winery is a chocolate infused merlot.
“I cannot wait for us to have the stock, but we don’t have it yet,” Fox said.
Fox explained her dad really got into making wine when he moved to Ohio.
“He was born in Germany, he’s an army brat. His family moved all over but they were from Ohio. They settled in Columbus and he met my mom when she worked at Riverside Hospital. My mom is from Galion and when they got married they moved here. The house they bought just happened to have grape vines. He thought it would be fun so he started messing with it about 30-35 years ago,” Fox said.
Fox explained she pushes for people to have fun and to truly enjoy themselves when they are in the winery.
“I can talk to anyone, but if you come in here and you want me to tell you the region of France that something was grown in I can’t do that. The people that I am creating as regulars is based around coming in and having a discussion and enjoying what you get. You’re not here to debate and have it be a high class experience. It’s just wonderful to be in a town where there is no pressure for that. This is not Napa Valley,” Fox said.
Fox Winery has expanded quite a bit since it first opened in 2016.
“That’s what people are experiencing when they come in here. It has opened up a lot and people are experiencing the growth of not only the family, business, and the space but almost growth in themselves. They try something and then they branch out to something else. When they come in there is always something different, you can’t stay the same. I want to do new things for the customers,” Fox said.
In addition to the indoor area, there is also an outdoor patio area where customers can enjoy themselves.
When it comes to food at the winery, Fox explained they partner with Phil’s Deli for charcuterie board items and the other partnership includes Bistro 217 just down the street from the winery.
“They (Bistro 217) will deliver down here and we keep their menus on hand so people can order food if they want. I’m all about partnering with other local businesses,” Fox said.
Fox Winery also offers a lot of different events that are listed on their website www.foxwinery.com.
“I never want anyone to feel pressured to come in here and I don’t want anyone to feel like they aren’t valued. It takes a community of support to succeed.”
Fox Winery is located at 227 Harding Way East, Galion. Their hours are include: Sunday, Monday and Tuesday: closed; Wednesday: 4-8 p.m.; Thursday and Friday: 4-10 p.m.; Saturday: noon-10 p.m.