What’s better than taking in a glass of house-made wine or hard cider in a historic 100 year-old barn turned tasting room?
How about doing it in the presence of nearly 30 Shetland sheep?
At Wool & Vine, a new vineyard, craft winery and cidery, all of this is possible. The new concept, which is located at 8290 Porter Central Rd. in Sunbury, is set to hold its grand opening on June 17.
Owners Craig and Gail Castro have lived on the property–a 4-acre farm and vineyard–for nearly two decades, and according to Craig, the concept came to fruition slowly over a number of years.
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“It really was the classic building block kind of mentality: We started doing farmers markets with fresh produce when we moved to the property in 2004, and then we wanted to add livestock,” he said.
After deciding on Shetland sheep, and cultivating a herd of 28, the Castros began to tinker with growing grapes and winemaking. This, and later a passion for creating hard cider, helped turn transform the farm from passion project into a viable retail space.
“Our wines are dry; we kind of let the sweet wine makers do the sweet wines,” Castro said, noting that Wool & Vine is currently offering both a red and white table blend, in addition to other sweeter drinks using their wine as a base, such as a peach spritzer or sangria.
Their cider, Castro said, is similar.
“It was almost a natural transition to start using apples as your raw material when you have experience with grapes,” he said. “We make an English style hard cider, it’s super dry, so there’s not much residual sugar.”
Guests will be able to sample wines and ciders, as well as purchase glasses or bottles of their own, from the roughly 1,600 square foot barn that will serve as the Wool & Vine tasting room. Additional seating will be available in the farm’s greenhouse and outdoor space. The new tasting room has also served as an event venue–for weddings and other functions–under the name Vineyard at Porter Central.
The Wool & Vine taproom will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tastings can also be made by appointment.
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