Nikki Gillig, the co-owner of Gillig Winery, did not always have a dream to own her own business, let alone her own winery but God and fate had different plans. Prior to getting bitten by the small business bug, Nikki had a career as a pharmacist, which she did for 17 years and her husband, Trevor, works at Marathon Petroleum Company. Although Nikki is from Tiffin, she and her husband lived in Michigan for many years. Six years ago they decided to move back to Ohio and after looking at different areas decided Findlay was the place to be. Nikki said the community is what really drew them in, and when you added in the schools and amenities there was no question where Nikki and Trevor would settle to continue to raise their family. Nikki continued to work as a pharmacist but had a nagging feeling that it wasn’t what she was meant to do. Nikki truly believes that you must have passion for what you do, whether it be the owner of a winery or a pharmacist, and she uses her strong faith in God to anchor her through all her life’s decisions. And she surrounded herself with people who influenced the person she was. Her parents were extremely influential in making her the mother she is, she says her husband has been a blessing on influencing the wife and mother she is, and one of her former bosses, Les Maugel, was very influential in making her the type of manager she is – which would become very important as a small business owner!
Making a Dream into a Reality
Nikki can remember the exact moment her dream of owning her own winery began. Ten years ago she and her husband were visiting a winery in Michigan and the place spoke to Nikki. She said she remembers looking around and thinking that this was exactly what she wanted to do. Since then, owning a winery was a goal that Nikki wanted to achieve. With the right amount of passion, willpower, and prayers Nikki and Trevor were able to put their plan into motion. Together, they spent a week in California learning how to make wine and the ins and outs of owning a winery. They formed a great relationship with the winery and they are often her point of reference if she has any questions. They secured the property and made it fit what they needed. And now Nikki and Trevor are small business owners, running the only winery in Findlay, Gillig Winery.
Gillig Winery isn’t a traditional winery, as in that the grapes are not grown on site. However, the logistics are really interesting. Nikki and Trevor outsource their grapes, which are from around the world, and grape crushing. They receive it when it is already in juice form. From there the actual wine making is done in Findlay, each wine is produced and bottled on site. There is something for everyone. There are white, red, and fruit wines available; and options for those who prefer a sweet wine or dry. You can purchase wine by the glass, in a flight, by the bottle, or to take home, however you prefer! Not only that, but Gillig Winery is also a great place to enjoy lunch and dinner. Their sandwiches and flatbreads are great, and their appetizers are perfect for snacking on while you sip on your wine. And if you’re looking for something extra fun, make sure to check out what events are happening at the winery. Learn more about wine during their Wine 101 sessions, take part in a Paint and Partake, or sign up for one of their fun tastings which pair wines with different foods like Dietsch Brothers’ chocolates, Fort Findlay Doughnuts, or Main Street Deli‘s treats. You can also “adopt” a batch of wine and host your own bottling party, a great last minute Christmas gift for a group of wine lovers in your life – you will get to bottle 30 bottles of wine to take home! Creating experiences for the whole family was important for Nikki, as Gillig Winery has become a family experience. Her children are already getting a taste of the hard work, perseverance, and faith it takes to turn a dream into reality.
Quick Fire Findlay Favorites
- Thing about the Findlay and Hancock County community? Large enough to offer “big city” events, but small enough to still have that “home town” feeling.
- Thing to do in Hancock County? Love going to performances at The Marathon Center for the Performing Arts!
- Local Restaurant? Main Street Deli
- Local treat/guilty pleasure? Having coffee and doughnuts at Fort Findlay!
- Findlay quirk/fun fact? Look up when you’re walking down Main Street. Many of the buildings have such awesome, unique architecture and sculpting toward the roof-lines!
- Hidden Gem? The Swan House
Fun Facts about Nikki
- Hometown: Tiffin, Ohio
- Family: Husband – Trevor, Son – Gavin (12), Daughter – Hayden (10)
- Pet: Chewie, an 8 month old Cavapoo
- Favorite TV Show: Game of Thrones
- Favorite Quote(s): “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 and “Love what you do and prepare to dedicate your life to your passion. It will not always be fun, but nothing will reward you more.” Lindsay Meachum, Red Rock Tileworks
- Name the top item on your Christmas list: Someone to clean my windows at my home!
- Favorite holiday tradition: Watching “Christmas Vacation”