DENMARK, Wis. (WFRV) – One local winery is helping out first responders by making hand sanitizer.
Duck Creek Vineyard and Winery is used to bottling and shipping off alcohol. But right now, what they’re shipping off is of a different consistency.
“Being as it is that we have high-proof alcohol that we make for our vodka, we thought we’d help out with making some hand sanitizer,” says Jim Ploetz, Owner of Duck Creek Vineyard and Winery. “We thought we wanted to do our part because we know hand sanitizer has become scarce.”
Production on the hand sanitizer started back in the middle of March, packaging it in 3 oz. bottles and giving it away with purchases at the winery. After going through about 400 bottles, they decided to get a tote of alcohol to produce larger quantities. Since then, they’ve been bottling the hand sanitizer in both 3 oz. bottles as well as gallons.
“We couldn’t keep up with production because we ended up making like 500 bottles and we sold out of them,” said Ploetz. “Then we ended up getting a tote of ethanol in to actually help make some more sanitizer so then we started putting it in gallons.”
The process takes about eight hours to make the hand sanitizer. Part of that process includes it traveling through a reflex column still, which the winery uses primarily to make gin and vodka.
“Basically, it’s got a big column on it and it actually helps it make it a higher proof alcohol,” says Ploetz. “So when it comes out of the still it’s 190-proof, whereas, our pots will only go up to about 150-proof.”
Due to the mass supply of sanitizer, they’ve been donating to first responders as well as front line workers to make sure they have enough to go around. They’ve donated to such agencies including the Green Bay Fire Department, Ashwaubenon Public Safety, as well as Howard Fire and Public Safety. The owners say it’s just their way of striving to help give back to the community.
“They’re on the front lines and they need all the help they can get to help keep them safe while they’re trying to help others out,” said Ploetz.