Man makes wine in the hills

"I was perfecting the level of my winemaking skills to enhance the grapes that I received," said Akrop.

Winemakers have been in his family for years, said Akrop, which might account for his ambitious interest.

"My philosophy is that it's a heritage in winemaking. My grandfather, my wife's all made wine at some point and things were handed down that needed to be taken to the next level," said Akrop.

Winemaking is comparable to cooking, said Akrop.

"Anyone can buy a cookbook but not everybody can be a chef. It's the same in winamking; anybody can make wine but not everybody can make wine well," said Akrop.

The winery is broken up into a tasting room in the front area that has a rustic feel and a wine production and barrel storage area in the rear of the building.

Akrop said he takes special care when choosing the barrels wine will age in and doesn't rush the process, just to get it to market.

"Mine takes upwards of two years at least," said Akrop. "I specialize in red wines and all of my reds are barrel aged a minimum of 10 months."

His time frame means that right now, 2009 vintages are available to purchase and 2010 will be released toward the latter part of next summer.

"I not concerned about the quantity of wine I produce, I'm more concerned about the quality of the wine itself. I'm very specific in the aging process and the type of oak I use in the barrel," said Akrop.

There are only six varieties available at Ledge Rock Hill Winery. There's a Chardonnay, an old time Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marquette and a sweeter wine he calls his Mountain Lakes variety.

He might offer popular varieties but Akrop said his wine stands apart from many others because of the grapes and the care that goes into producing it.

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