Rosewood Winery gives opportunity to disabled adults

GREAT BEND, Kansas — Rosewood Winery in Great Bend is honored to show off its recent awards for three of its wines but it’s how the owners run their business that really makes them proud. They employ individuals with disabilities, trying to promote a caring work environment.

“Well it’s nice and peaceful out here, and quiet versus being in town,” said Jim Wonsetler, an employee at Rosewood Winery.

The awards were a welcome surprise for Jim.

“Well it’s fun. I never thought it would actually happen, to my shock and surprise.”

Rosewood Winery is the only winery in the country that was built specifically to hire adults with developmental disabilities to make wine.

“My favorite part about working out here is how rewarding it is, to see the clients making the wine and then winning awards and the sense of accomplishment that they get out of that. And the pride, I can’t imagine a more rewarding job,” said Robert Willesdon, a winemaker at Rosewood.

Rosewood, although proud of its workers, is excited when they move on from Rosewood and get a job in the community.

The winery works as job training, helping employees to build their resume and work experience.

“We’ve had some employees that are rather shy but after a few months, by being in a nurturing environment with others with disabilities they just blossom, and grow in so many ways,” said Willesdon.

That is what Willesdon says is the best part of his job at Rosewood Winery.

To learn more about Rosewood Winery, follow this link to their website.

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