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Pheasant Hollow Winery holds grand re-opening

  • The 'new-old' owners of Pheasant Hollow Winery held a short ceremony July 1 to welcome Denny Franklin as an official owner. The family-owned company gave winemaker Denny Franklin a 10 percent ownership in the business. 'We have adopted him,' said Jack Griggs.  Pictured from left are Jack Griggs, owner/marketing; Adrea Pontious, owner/VP/event coordinator; Denny Franklin, winemaker; Cathy Franklin; Brice Pontious, owner/president; Eva Pontious, owner/financial secretary; John Becker, owner/VP wholesale; Ulonda Pontious Becker, owner/tasting room/gift shop; and Brad Pontious, weekend manager.

    The 'new-old' owners of Pheasant Hollow Winery held a short ceremony July 1 to welcome Denny Franklin as an official owner. The family-owned company gave winemaker Denny Franklin a 10 percent ownership in the business. 'We have adopted him,' said Jack Griggs. Pictured from left are Jack Griggs, owner/marketing; Adrea Pontious, owner/VP/event coordinator; Denny Franklin, winemaker; Cathy Franklin; Brice Pontious, owner/president; Eva Pontious, owner/financial secretary; John Becker, owner/VP wholesale; Ulonda Pontious Becker, owner/tasting room/gift shop; and Brad Pontious, weekend manager.
    Holly Kee photo

 
 
Posted on 7/12/2017, 12:22 PM

It's been 18 years since Pheasant Hollow Winery opened its doors in the small town of Whittington.

On Dec. 29, the winery whose signature "Black and Blue" sold nearly 16,000 gallons last year, had a shift in ownership. The Pontious family took control of the business, purchasing the shares of Bruce and Mary Morgenstern.

To celebrate, the new owners hosted a "grand re-opening" over the July 4 holiday weekend featuring food, music and even discounts on wine.

"We're really excited about the fact that the minority partners bought out the majority partners," said Jack Griggs, one of the "new old owners." Griggs said his family has been involved since "day one."

"We are excited about the improvements we've made," Griggs said. Those improvements include working on the gazebo area, adding asphalt to the parking area, and planting colorful flowers.

"We're looking at doing some things to improve production," Griggs said. "Our distributors keep wanting more and more product."

The family operation has "adopted" Denny Franklin of Benton. They held a small ceremony July 1 to present him with a 10 percent ownership in the winery.

"We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Denny," Griggs said. "He is one of if not the best winemaker in Illinois."

Griggs said the family is excited about the changes that have been made.

"There is more to come," he said.