VERSAILLES – During a private unveiling and tasting attended by family, employees, his church family and special guests, Winery at Versailles owner Mike Williams was honored with his bottle.
“Live, Laugh, Love … it’s a wine made in honor of a very special man to us all,” said Jamie Williams, vice president of operations for the wineries in Pennsylvania and Ohio. “The winery owner and winemaker, our dad, and grandfather, Mike Williams, the ‘heartbeat of our family and company.’”
On Sept. 15, 2017, Mike Williams underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery at Kettering Medical Center. Not only did he come through it OK but actually way ahead of schedule. The doctors and staff were all amazed at how quickly he recovered and was back on his feet.
“Those of us who know him weren’t surprised at all. Mike has always been an overachiever,” said Lisa Williams Heidenreich, marketing director for the winery. “So when I had the opportunity to start working on the next annual specialty bottle for 2018, I knew it had to be in honor of dad and it had to be really special.”
A portion of the sale of each bottle in Ohio and Pennsylvania will be donated to local organizations in honor of Mike Williams. On hand to receive the first check was Susan Barcus, president of Kettering Medical Center Foundation, to which a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the new wine will be donated.
Barcus told of how the proceeds would be used – to help those who were in need, either without family or funds, receiving heart care in the Kettering Medical Center hospitals.
In Pennsylvania, Penn Highlands Heart Center in DuBois will be the local beneficiary. And as the label on the back states: “This label is dedicated to a very dear member of our family who has taught us to Live in the moment, Laugh every day and Love with all our hearts: Our owner and wine maker, Mike Williams.”
“After months of working with our incredible graphic designer, we came up with a label that was everything and more that I was looking for,” Heidenreich said. “Then the bottles; Dad has to have a unique bottle. I found just such a bottle in Italy, and with a gorgeous paint job from the creative minds at JAFE Decorating in Greenville and finally the printed final label from our great friends at Creative Labels in Troy, Ohio, the bottle was finally ready for its debut. The unique feature of the label is the ‘heartbeat’ the designer incorporated into the label and also the bar code. Many thanks to the staff at Kettering Medical Center, who were gracious enough to get me that copy of Mike’s actual ‘new’ heartbeat.”