New winery opens today

McALISTERVILLE – Brother and sister business owners Matt Dressler and Megan Yurkovic are making their late mother’s dream come true by opening Olivero’s Vineyard at 1271 Troyer Road in McAlisterville.

Their mother, Dottie Dressler, spoke about a winery often before she passed away five years ago due to cancer.

“(The business) became something that we as a family wanted to do in her memory,” Yurkovic shared.

Dottie’s father, Olivero Ricci, came to the United States from Italy with his wife. Matt and Yurkovic wanted to name the business in a way that honored their family.

Matt and Yurkovic worked for two years to shape the idea into an actual business.

While Yurkovic worked on marketing, Matt made the wine.

“We spent two years immersed in the culture of making wine,” Matt said, “It’s not the hardest thing to do to make wine … but to make wine that is incredible takes time.”

Matt had experience making his own wine, but he wanted to make a quality product.

“You have to be either a philosopher or scientist to make wine. I fall somewhere in between. It’s really a team effort. Everybody here has a part,” Matt said.

The Olivero’s team also consists of their father Bill Dressler, Matt’s wife Sarah and Yurkovic’s husband Bill.

The 70-acre business has room to expand, with one and a half acres currently devoted to growing several varieties of grapes, including Riesling, Chardonnay and Concord. The family also buys grapes from California and Chile.

The winery hopes to offer an Old World-style approach to wine making by trying to model old techniques. They also are experimenting with fruit wines such as apple, pear and strawberry.

“We have a lot of great ideas,” Megan said, “We want to have some special events – family type events.”

“When you come here, you will not only see a few of us now and then. People will see all of us. They will see some strong familial ties,” Matt said.

A brother and sister working together is a bit rare, they admit, but Matt and Megan said they have always gotten along and have tremendous respect for one another that made their mom proud.

“We wanted to bring this back to where we grew up. We want the people to learn and grow with us,” Matt said. The winery is on the farm where they grew up.

They want the atmosphere to be welcoming. The tasting room, with stone interior and double glass doors, offers a Tuscan ambience. An old record player spins Frank Sinatra and other older tunes, the music their mother loved.

“We want a throw-back culture,” Matt said.

Olivero’s opens at 3 p.m. today and will close at 7 p.m. The winery will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday. After that, it will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturday. Olivero’s Vineyard is on Facebook and Instagram.