It All Began With Two Men…
Rick Taylor and Gary Jones began making wine in Rick’s basement after learning the basics from Gary’s Italian father-in-law. The experimentation continued for about two years until the early 2000s when the men decided to take their products up to Cleveland, Ohio to a yearly amateur wine competition in Little Italy at The Church of the Redeemer.
Slowly each year their craft improved with the purchase of California grapes, rather than using varietal juices and a new era had begun. The wine makers began to receive awards; a bronze, two silvers, and then silver and gold medals. In 2007, Taylor and Jones were awarded “Best of Show” for their famous red zinfandel out of 211 entries.
Later that year the two men decided to start their own winery and name it Cypress Hill, but the question of where and how to sell their wines locally still remained.
One evening, sitting at Brant’s Bistro in Downtown Mansfield with their wives, the men remembered the old basement under the building that once displayed the copper vats for a defunct brewery. They talked to their wives, talked to the building owner, took a tour of the basement, and after much cleaning and some renovation moved Cypress Hill Winery downstairs to the basement of 43 E Fourth Street.
Gary and his wife, Jan retired from the business in 2013. Rick and his wife, Carol now continue the original quest of making the best wines in the Northeast Ohio area.
With the help of Manager, Forest Helsturm; Cellar Master, Mike Kenyon; as well as Ryan, Nick, and Pete the winery continues.
Handcrafted Taste Aged By Time
Meet Rick Taylor, Vinter
Rick’s approach to wine making balances artistry, science and a very deep respect for the viticultural side of the business. Rick guides the entire Cypress Cellars portfolio, crafting wines that offer structure and sophistication, as well as a deep and purposeful sense of place.
Rick spent two years working closely with his former partner, Gary Jones and Gary’s father in-law Joe in a small wine cellar in Rick’s basement perfecting their first varietal, Zinfandel. They would enter their wines in amateur contests in Cleveland, Ohio.
And in 2008 their prize varietal won “Best of Show” which is the highest honor amateur winemakers can achieve.
Rick’s wines are made from quality grapes from Lodi, California. “When you work with fruit of this quality, there is no recipe or formula. My job is to let the vineyards speak and convey the soul of the wine.”
“It is important to approach a role like this with humility,” adds Rick, “and with the knowledge that I am part of an ongoing story—that I am contributing to the legacy of a great winery.”
“I am proud to be able to offer to the Central Ohio community 22 varietals under the labels of 797 Taylor Select and, of course, Cypress Cellars.”