Turks Head Wine Opens in West Chester

Turks Head Wines

Husband And Wife Team Say Cheers To Their Dream Business

by Melissa Jacobs

Turks Head Wine is about to become the new toast of the town. Or maybe it will be the new wine that people use to make toasts? Either way, Turks Head bottle shop just opened in downtown West Chester, and it’s worth a visit.

Offering bottles of wine and oenophile goodies like aerators and decanters, the shop is the first phase in the Turks Head plan created by husband-and-wife team Allison and Josh Owen. Phase two involves transforming Turks Head’s 10,000 square foot space at 120 N. Church Street into a destination experience for wine lovers.

Turks Head Wines
Turks Head’s historic West Chester building will be transformed into a wine destination.

When it opens in the summer of 2024, the historical building will have a wine tasting room and lounge, plus private tasting rooms and a classroom. A VIP membership lounge will also be available. “We’ll offer a multitude of ways to interact with wine,” explained Allison Owen. “The concept is similar to what California wineries offer, in that you go there to have a complete experience, including great wine, some education and a lot of fun.”

In a nutshell, the Owens are creating the kind of place they want to frequent. “We always go into the borough for dinner and love it,” Allison said. “But where do we go to have a great bottle of wine, sit and be able to hear ourselves have a conversation? West Chester has amazing bars and restaurants, but we thought that was lacking. That’s what we envision.”

Allison Owen
Turks Head co-owner Allison Owen.

Meanwhile, Turks Head’s wine is under development. All of the fruit is harvested in California; Turks Head is made of wine from 13 vineyards. The wines are made in California, too. Turks Head specializes in Bordeaux style varietals. The rosé and semillon were just bottled; the reds are still aging.

The Owens are creating the wines with Kieran Robinson, the winemaker from RFive in Downingtown. “Kieran studied in France and lived in Napa and Sonoma working for big name wineries,” Allison said. “We’re lucky to have him as our winemaker.”

Kieran Robinson
Turks Head winemaker Kieran Robinson

The concept for Turks Head has been years in the making. For about 15 years, the Owens talked about turning their passion for wine into a business. But both Allison and Josh had successful day jobs. Over time, Allison, became less and less content with her career leading a national sales team selling professional services. “I wasn’t feeling fulfilled professionally. In my day to day life, there was something missing,” she said.

On New Year’s Eve 2022, Allison told Josh she that wanted to change her career. But she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. “My husband said, ‘Let’s start this wine business.’ I thought he was crazy. We have three kids in middle school and high school. I said, ‘Are you serious? Now?’ He said yes.”

Allison put together a business plan and started working on Turks Head. After three months of doing her full time job and the wine business, she decided to leave her corporate job. “It’s been an absolutely wild ride of ups and downs,” Allison said. “But I’m so thrilled to be following our dream and bringing Turks Head to West Chester.”

For more about Turks Head Wines, visit this website.

Love this story? Check out our wine editor’s story about the top PA wines of 2023 and her favorite PA-made rose wines.

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