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White Owl Winery/Purgatory Cellars

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White Owl Winery Owner Tells of Sticky Incident in National Magazine

Movies like Bottle Shock and A Good Year make the idea of owning a winery seems so romantic. But the truth is, like any business, it has its ups, its downs, and its sticky situations to be dealt with. Hopefully, with a side of humor.

Birds, IL, June 16, 2010 --( After owning a winery for ten years, you’d think Joy Neighbors would know that some times, “what happens in the winery should stay in the winery.” But, apparently not. Her article, “The Power of the Press - When Persimmons Push Back,” is featured in the June/July 2010 issue of WineMakers Magazine.


In it Neighbors tells of a wine escapade that had the crew sticking around after hours, literally. Neighbors and her husband, Brian, founded White Owl Winery ( in 2000. In 2006, they launched a high-end line of wines called Purgatory Cellars. The winery specializes in crafting internationally award-winning fruit wines using fruit grown or fruit harvested in the wild throughout the Midwest. Their persimmon wine, described in the article, went on to become Persimmon Solera, the only commercially produced persimmon sherry-style wine in the world. Crafted 100% from locally grown persimmons, the wine has garnered such awards as two silver medals in Vienna, Austria, the Illinois Governor’s Cup, a 90 point wine rating, and it was voted “Best Dessert Wine” in 2008 by the Beverage Testing Institute. It has also won numerous gold and silver medals.

As a former journalist, Neighbors had always longed to issue the cry “Stop the presses!” (Even though she was a broadcast journalist.) According to Neighbors, “It had always seemed so intense and exciting in movies like ‘The Front Page.’ And, I have to say, this Was intense, just not what I’d had in mind if I ever got to make the call.”

Joy Neighbors ( is the Branding and Public Relations Director for Purgatory Cellars/White Owl Winery. She is also a public speaker/consultant who addresses national conferences on the topics of public relations, the media and, of course, White Owl Winery.

Contact Information
Purgatory Cellars/White Owl Winery
Joy Neighbors
(618) 928-2898

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