Route 91 survivors create ‘Vegas Strong’ wine; sales directly benefit ‘Crosses for Losses’ foundation

Local News

TEMECULA, Calif. (KLAS) — There is a unique bond shared by anyone who was directly impacted by 1 October. It’s not a group anyone asked to be a part of, but an instant connection, once you find someone who is.

The owners of the Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula are Route 91 survivors. They find a way to heal, by giving back every year, and getting other survivors involved in the process. 

For Jenifer and Bill Wilson, getting into the wine business was a bit of a mid-life crisis.

“Convinced my entire family to sell their homes, quit jobs, go into debt together,” Bill said. 

They thought they would build a tiny winery in a sleepy little town that had 13 wineries at the time.

Fast forward two decades — today they own 90 acres and sell more than 75,000 cases of wine each year.

Named Gold Business of the Year, four times running, the family is exceeding its expectations.

“This is blood sweat and tears, organic growth, giving back is pretty important,” Bill said.

They celebrate 20 years in the wine-making business this month, but another moment in time precludes it — 1 October.

It is a night they survived but remain forever scarred from.

“It gets a little easier, time heals all wounds so to speak, but you can never forget,” Bill said.

“We have a lot of friends here in town, new friends from Route 91 that we get together with,” Jenifer said. “Chelsea Roma, lost her eye and still has shrapnel metal in her face. We have another girlfriend who has a bullet lodged inside an intricate area that they chose not to go in and remove.”

These survivors gather each year to give back. For the third anniversary, they’ve designed “Vegas Strong” bottles of wine.

“We got the lady group of survivors together had pizza and wine, a labeling party last night, labeled by hand, by a survivor,” Bill said. “We don’t want to profit from it, or exploit it, we want to honor it. We kind of make a label to honor them.”

“But the guy who built the crosses, Greg Zanis, who passed away from cancer, writes every victims name on it,” Jenifer said. Brought to Vegas, Crosses for Losses this year, we felt in our heart, this was the right foundation to honor.” Jenifer said. 

The Wilson family would love to raise $10,000 for the “Crosses for Losses” foundation.

They ship to all parts of the country. 

For more information, CLICK HERE.

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