Sometimes names are much bigger than the letters that form them. They not only shape our past, but also shape our future. For Walt Vinoski, and his family, you could say that his surname has created their destiny.
The literal translation of Vinoski from Polish to English is “Son of Winemaker”. In fact, the Vinoski family has been making wines in Poland, dating all the way back to 1200 AD, when they made them for the dukes, princes, and kings of the land.
In the 1800’s, Walt’s great grandfather, Pawel Winowski, moved to the United States, the Immigration Worker changed his name to the phonetically pronounced, Vinoski, and settled in South Connellsville, Pennsylvania. There, while working for B&O railroad, Pawel continued to make wine and share his passion with the rest of the family, in particular with his son.
Andrew Vinoski, son of Pawel, was Walt’s grandfather. At the age of four, Walt’s grandfather began sharing the family craft with him. He would ask him to pick and sort the fruit and eventually taught him the entire wine-making process; from picking to sipping.
An electrical engineer by education and holding a PhD in Business Administration and Economics, Walt innately desires to find the innerworkings of all things. He has travelled the world using his expertise in Electrical Power Generation to help others.
Eventually, along with his wife, Roxanne, who happens to have studied accounting in college, they came to settle in their native land of Pennsylvania. They purchased ten acres, in Ruffs Dale, Pennsylvania, where they could begin their own vineyard and wine production.
In 2007, they helped create and start Greendance Winery in Mt. Pleasant, PA. Walt used the knowledge he had gained from his worldly travels, along with the desire for precision from his scientific background, to set a standard for high-quality and extremely pure wines.
Winning awards for his wines did not satisfy his desire for perfection and advancement of his skills. Walt and Roxanne’s desire to own a winery to showcase their family label fermented on.
In 2014, they launched their Southwestern, PA private winery and simultaneously started production in Lodi, California. Then in 2017, to support the growth and success they have been experiencing, they purchased The Castle. With a unique history and story of its own, The Vinoski Winery Castle needs to be visited for the full experience. Dry wines are made on the West Coast and Sweet wines are made in Rostraver, Pennsylvania where all of their wines are bottled.
Walt continues to keep the wine-making tradition in the family. The twenty-seven winery workers are extended family, and recently Walt brought his nephew, Justin Reed, into the mix. He helps with both west coast and east coast wines. He also keeps the family tradition of surprising and delighting others with unexpected and added value when he can.
Through the Vinoski Foundation, the success and good fortune is forwarded to others in need throughout the world. Walt finds that it’s truly the piece of the puzzle that makes all the work worthwhile.
But this “Son of Winemaker” enjoys watching others enjoy his creations. As he says, “Friends and family sharing time and wine together is the first step in making the world a better place.”
Plan Your Trip…
You can find out more about Vinoski Winery at vinoskiwinery.com, or better yet, make a visit to the winery for the full experience. Make sure you check out the Vinoski Tasting Room so that you can pick your favorite and take a bottle home with you.
Every weekend now thru October they have music and entertainment on the weekends.
Don’t miss out on their newly added spa services and if you’re hungry, try a treat from their wood fired pizza oven.
- Fireworks at the Castle – July 3, 2019
- Polish Day – August 3, 2019
- Grape Stomp – September 14, 2019
- Christmas Extravaganza – December 7 & 8, 2019
To find out more about their wine pairing dinners, trivia nights, DJ & Dance Nights call 724-872-3333.
Photos Courtesy of Vinoski Winery.
Editor’s Note: This article appears in the Summer 2019 issue of Pinpoint: Pennsylvania. It is part of our cover feature on Wineries on the Western side of PA. Don’t miss the fall issue where we focus on Eastern PA Wineries!