University Wine Company Expands to New Location and Introduces Bronconess Red Wine Blend

University Wine Company Expands

University Wine has been a staple of the Quad for decades. But high rents pushed them out of their 1739 Mass Ave storefront this fall.

Northwestern alumni can be found in the wine industry around the country as sommeliers, critics and researchers. One entrepreneur aims to bring more diversity to the business.

About Us

After starting their wine slushie business U-Freeze in 2011 and establishing themselves as a presence in the State College area, University Wine Company owner Jeff Proch was ready to expand. He envisioned a larger production facility and an on-site tasting room that could showcase the beauty of his new home in the mountains near Boalsburg.

He found the perfect ten-acre site off Route 45 on Misty Hill Drive, which is both central to the community and close to the vineyards. “It’s far enough away to feel like the country, but it’s still easy to get to,” he says.

In 2018, Andrea and Robin McBride introduced Black Girl Magic wines, a line of celebratory wines that pays homage to women in their family, and She Can wines, a premium canned brand that debuted on International Women’s Day 2019. They also serve as board members for the McBride Sisters SHE CAN Professional Development Fund. SHE CAN provides access to career pathways, technical education and resources for professional women in wine & spirits and hospitality industries.

Tasting Room

With its sweeping view of the valley, Beaver Stadium and the mountaintops above, University Wine Company’s new production, sales and tasting room is a sight to behold.

Wine enthusiasts can enjoy a glass of the winery’s Lemberger, primitivo and petit sirah wines while sitting by the fire or at picnic tables in front of a large window overlooking the vineyard. Bottles can be purchased, along with slushies and cocktails to go.

Students in leadership and business strategy courses studied how to launch a purpose-driven wine brand that would appeal to consumers and generate philanthropic revenue for the college. They also researched what would distinguish the wine and how it might be positioned in the market. Eventually, the team coined a name, Bronconess, to describe how Western Michigan University students sustain their efforts and pursue ideas with courage and enthusiasm. It is now the label for University Wine Company’s red wine blend. The wine will be available this fall at campus events and in restaurants and stores.

Wine Club

Join a wine club to enjoy a variety of wines from different regions. Many clubs also provide tasting notes and recipes to go with each bottle, making it easy for anyone to learn more about wine. Depending on your preferences, you can select the wines you want to receive or fill out a survey and have them curated for you. Many wine clubs also allow you to skip shipments.

UC offers several wine club options, including quarterly shipments of three or six bottles of wine. You can also choose to buy a single bottle of wine on their website or contact customer service to make special arrangements for a one-time shipment.

Whether you’re looking for Champagne to pair with Thanksgiving dinner or rich reds to help you celebrate the New Year, this winery has something to suit your palate. Club members enjoy discounts on all purchases in their online store and can even rent temperature controlled wine lockers.

Events

Join us for this unique wine and culinary event, created and managed by students enrolled in the Hospitality Management Program. Savor a selection of wines paired with delectable foods in the enchanting Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.

Throughout the course, students will explore the wine industry and its business strategies and apply their understanding to the development of an online strategic critique of an existing brand website. This will demonstrate their ability to use theory and concepts learned in class and from literature research to evaluate, critique, and recommend improvements to a wine brand website designed to drive direct sales of wine.

Proch says the best way to learn about wine is to get involved – whether as a cellar rat, tasting room attendant or even just by volunteering at local events. “Get your foot in the door any way you can, find mentors and make connections,” he said. “It’s a fascinating world out there.” Get Breaking News alerts to your inbox.

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