Winemaker`s Sweet Reward | VideoJoel Porter | 8/1/2012
"I never went to California with the intentions of becoming a winemaker. I just sort of fell into it," he said.
It was a high school friend who enticed McWilliams to start working in the wine industry. Little did he know then that McWilliams would build his own wine empire.
"Through the years, it`s even gotten more competitive. It seems there`s been an increase, of course, in vineyards planted. And it seems like everybody who`s got a vineyard wants to have a label."
McWilliams says his father introduced him to winemaking back in the mid-60s. However, after years in California, this is no hobby. He`s produced as many as 10,000 cases a year.
"We`re doing it on a smaller scale right now. Victor Hill is only a 500-700 case per vintage."
McWilliams now distributes all four varieties of Victor Hills in North Dakota.
"The quality in the bottle and the uniqueness of it is what shines through."
McWilliams says you don`t need a cultured palate to appreciate the robust flavor.
"Even the novice can taste these wines and go, `Yeah, that`s special. There`s something unique about that wine.`"
A taste that`s rewarded him many times over in the past 30 years, but McWilliams says he appreciates staying close to his roots.
People will have a chance to taste some of McWilliams` wines at an event tomorrow evening at 6:00 at the Bistro.
He`ll also host a free wine tasting on Friday at the south Captain Jack`s location in Bismarck at 3:00 p.m.