ABOUT ELWOOD PRISON WINE
Elwood Prison Wine is more than just a fruit wine. Our mission is to raise awareness about the injustice in the judicial system and to support programs that help children of incarcerated parents. We believe that every glass of wine can make a difference. Our wines are carefully handcrafted in South Carolina. Our fruit is locally sourced from select farms within the state to ensure a consistent taste and high quality.
We are dedicated to providing you with the best online wine shopping experience. Welcome to Elwood Prison Wine - where passion meets purpose.
Justin is our wine expert with an empowering story and love for his community. He has a passion for discovering new and unique wine flavors from all over South Carolina. Justin is a current medical resident and a soon to be Doctor of Family Medicine. He is dedicated to ensuring that every bottle of wine we offer is bottled with care and purpose.
Raven is our co-wine expert. She is a passionate school educator in South Carolina. She carries this passion within Elwood Prison Wine and is continuing to spread awareness of our mission with every bottle we make. Raven and Justin are dedicated to bettering the community with their love of unique wine flavors!
OF THE MAN
JESSE ELWOOD WATKINS
My father was born in Philadelphia, PA on Jan. 19th, 1962, the youngest of five children. He made a living as a cook and a deep sea-fisherman. He is loved by his family for his great sense of humor.
Jesse is currently serving a prison sentence after being convicted of a crime for which there is no physical evidence to support his guilt. His controversial case received national attention when it aired on an episode of “Reasonable Doubt”.
Jesse Elwood Watkins is at the core of this winery, we are intentionally making every bottle in the hope we can further push his story to the forefront and fund legal help for this case and others like his.
If you want to join our fight in finding proper legal action or want to know more about the details of the case, click below to donate or learn more!
“Love is too weak a word to describe what my son means to me. His heart, determination, and love for life inspires me everyday. The amazing product that he created from one phone conversation is further proof of how far his hard work and faith will take him.”
HOW IT STARTED...
It all started in 2020 when my dad called me and gave me my first wine recipe. First, he soaked a loaf of bread in a black trash bag to extract the yeast. The next day, he removed the bread and poured in cartons of grape juice that he and other inmates saved from breakfast that week. Then, he stashed the bag in a place where no one would find it. In a week, they had authentic “prison wine". He insisted I make my own “prison wine” and we could share our progress of the fermentation daily as a means to reconnect.
What had started as a father and son reconnecting over a unique and unconventional method of wine making. Soon became a passion and hobby for me to explore the methods and necessary ingredients from the online wine community... Elwood "Prison" Wine was born!
We were inspired by my fathers' determination to make something beautiful out of what you have available! Customers are always shocked by how beautiful and professional my wine looks and tastes. I’ve come a long way, but I’ve stuck to the principle of making great tasting wine using only the simple resources around me: fresh fruit from the Carolinas!
Elwood ‘Prison” Wine No Longer Uses My Fathers Methods ONLY Inspired By Them!
The word ‘Prison’ may seem unconventional to be associated with wine. For us it’s a reminder to break the restraints of misconceptions and to be AUTHENTIC like our wine and origin story.
Fermented in a standard 55 gal barrel
Use Local South Carolina Fresh Fruit
A French Strain of Saccharomyces Wine Yeast
Fox is my last name
This is my father's real prison ID #
Elwood is my father's middle name
The fox is taking grapes from "behind bars", symbolic of a prison where our story began
If you look closely at the bottle label, you’ll see that our origin story is woven into it. This label symbolizes our story of resourcefulness and resilience. It depicts every generation’s calling to advance past the progress and pitfalls of the ones before it.