We had the opportunity to have a one on one interview with Cindy Reynolds, Owner of Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery on her take on what it is like to be a winemaker and run a business in Kansas. This winery is apart of our Valentine’s Day Wine Dinner that we are hosting On February 14th, 2022 at The Brownstone.
Reserve your ticket below!
What is it like to be a winemaker?
People need to remember that when you think about the romanticized notion of being a winemaker – it all comes down to agriculture. What I’ve learned over 20 years of winemaking is that agriculture is not for sissies. There are 11 months out of the year that the grapes are not in harvest. Winemaking is fun, frustrating, and always rewarding. It’s all just part of the equation, but agriculture is where it starts.
Why did you decide to plant the business in Kansas?
A lot of people don’t know how proud they can be of the history of the state of Kansas. Before prohibition, most wine in the United States was grown and made in Missouri and eastern Kansas. We have ultra rich soil and while I’m not a fan of global warming, what has happened over the past decade with our weather and temperature has contributed to our ability to grow grapes.
What us your favorite part about harvest?
My favorite part about harvest is simple to answer – we harvest because of the help of our friends of the vineyard who come and spend the morning helping us harvest grapes and bringing the fruit down over the hill to the crush pad. We couldn’t do it without human help. We don’t choose to do it with a machine. Our vines last many decades because they are hand-harvested. My favorite part is the excitement of people getting outside and enjoying an experience doing something they’ve never done before.
About how many grapes do you harvest each season?
Thousands and thousands of pounds of 12-13 different varieties any given year. They all ripen at different times.
What new things are you doing at the vineyard right now?
We are starting new interesting wines. In particular, we have a new wine called Pét-Nat that is a French-style naturally sparkling, unfiltered wine. This year, we are also debuting a cream sherry. Additionally, our son, Alex, just came back from 5 years of winemaking in Sonoma and he is very talented so there are lots of new wines on the horizon.
What is a unique fact that many don’t know about Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery?
A lot of people don’t know that while our vineyard location is open year-round in Paola, we have a seasonal location that we open from May to the end of September in Martin City.
What advice would you give to new wine drinkers?
Learn about wine by drinking wine and being open to trying new things. Experiment and educate yourself by tasting and trying.
How would you recommend one spend a visit at Somerset?
I would plan a lovely afternoon of live music, a glass of wine, and a walk through the vineyard. I would bring someone I love to enjoy a wonderful outdoor experience. I think after what everyone has been through the last two years, these experiences now matter more than ever.
What part of the Valentine’s Day Wine Dinner are you most excited for?
ave you seen the menu?! It will be a beautiful evening. And I love dinners where I don’t have to overthink menu choices!
Want to join us for our Valentine’s Day Winer Dinner that includes a 4 course meal with wine pairings!
If you can’t join us on Valentines Day, plan to make a visit to Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery!
Thanks for learning about this amazing winery!