Gervasi Vineyard is in the process of procuring the necessary ingredients and packaging supplies for the production of hand sanitizer. The distillery at The Still House has most of the equipment and ingredients (specifically grain alcohol) to produce this much-needed product during the coronavirus pandemic.
“As soon as we learned we were permitted to convert our distillery operation to making hand sanitizer, we knew this was something we wanted to do,” said Scott Swaldo, General Manager, GV Destinations.” Repurposing the distillery gives us a unique way to really help our community with something desperately needed during this crisis.”
The winery and distillery teams are working together to collect the necessary blend of ingredients to create the hand sanitizer. In addition, following the correct formula and adhering to legal guidelines are top priorities.
“Gervasi Vineyard wants to help. We want to be a part of the solution,” said Andrew Codispoti, Director of Winemaking & Distilling Operations, who is spearheading the project.
“We decided the FDA formula should be followed to make the hand sanitizer. This special formula was obtained from the World Health Organization, and allows companies to produce the product in a time of crisis, with the proper guidance from head experts,” said Codispoti.
The key ingredients for the formulation being followed by Gervasi Vineyard include: ethanol, glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and purified water.
“We reached out to our community asking for leads on supplies and the response was amazing. We received over 30 direct leads and hundreds of messages of support,” said Swaldo.
Ohio-based companies and local partners have stepped up to assist in ascertaining the proper supplies for production, including bottles, labels and key ingredients. Gervasi is working with Berlin Packaging to purchase (at a discount) a food-grade bottle that is designed to be used for barbeque sauce, with a screw cap.
“Due to the high demand for hand sanitizer, the traditional bottles were too difficult to source,” said Codispoti. “It’s not ideal for administering hand sanitizer, but we felt it was more important to get the product in circulation.”
In addition, the demand for ethanol (a key ingredient to make hand sanitizer) is extremely high at this time. Therefore Gervasi will need to make its own ethanol to manufacture the sanitizer.
“It’s touching to see how the community has pulled together with this effort,” said Codispoti. “Swartz Farm is donating the corn, which will provide the grain necessary to make the ethanol, and Hartville Elevator has agreed to donate their services of testing, milling and delivery.”
The boutique distillery was designed to be a low volume producer for craft spirits, and is not set up for high volume production. As a result, the distilling process will take more time for the alcohol to reach the appropriate stage of proofing from grains.
“Our team is working diligently and as fast as possible to make this happen,” said Swaldo. “Due to delivery schedules, production and packaging time, along with the FDA requirements, we expect to have initial product by late next week.”
Label Aid, the company’s current partner for their wine labels, has agreed to print and donate the labels for the hand sanitizer. However, the bottling operation will be done by hand, including the label application.
“It is an all-hands-on labor operation, one piece at a time,” said Codispoti. “It is encouraging to know that every person that applies a label is doing their part to help their neighbors.”
The initial production will generate nearly 800 bottles for local distribution to our immediate community directly through front-line medical facilities, the Stark County Emergency Management Agency, and limited direct distribution to Gervasi staff and customers. With additional supplies, the goal is to produce another 2,500 bottles for distribution within the next three weeks. Members of the community seeking this product can contact the Stark County Emergency Management Agency at 330-451-3900 for assistance. We will announce any future opportunities for distribution if they become available.
“We’re grateful to live in a community that wants to help one another,” said Swaldo.
Reflections of Growth
Within one decade, Gervasi Vineyard has evolved from a family dream to a well-known destination for wine lovers, foodies, and couples seeking a romantic escape.
On March 16 the winery resort celebrates its 10th anniversary and the tremendous growth across the 55-acre estate. In the beginning, Gervasi was a small restaurant and winery housed in a restored barn, which has now grown to a large tourism destination featuring over 14 buildings. (more…)
Describe your experience at Gervasi over the years.
Starting with the Gervasi team in early 2009 to develop and commission the winery has truly been a rewarding experience. It has been a pleasure working with the Swaldo family as the operation evolved and adapted over the years in response to our community of customers. We planted five acres of vineyards that are currently focused on three grape varietals; Marquette, Frontenac Gris and Aromella. Our wine portfolio has grown from 7 wines in 2010 to 24 wines today that we bottle on site. Over our short history, our wines have received distinctions with gold and double gold medals, Ohio and Finger Lakes wine competitions “Best of Class”, The Ohio Department of Agriculture Director’s Choice Award for “Best of” and 2016 Ohio Winemaker of the Year. (more…)
Celebrating a Decade of Growth at Gervasi Vineyard
“Celebrate Life” has been Gervasi Vineyard’s mantra for ten years. The winery resort’s mission is to provide guests with an escape that integrates the pleasure of exceptional wine and food, a beautiful atmosphere and world class service into memorable experiences that last a lifetime.
This year, Gervasi Vineyard is celebrating its diamond anniversary with a host of events that are gem worthy for customers who visit during the month of March.
The Crush House is a contemporary wine bar and eatery featuring appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas and select entrées. Visit the expansive bar for wine tastings, cocktails and craft beers. Adjacent to the restaurant is Gervasi’s state-of-the-art winery, where our team of experts goes to great lengths to produce only the finest quality wines. (more…)