Almost time to pop the cork: Huntington Co. winery nears opening - FW Daily News: Aboite & About

Almost time to pop the cork: Huntington Co. winery nears opening

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Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:03 pm, Tue Apr 30, 2013.

A new kind of winery is expected to open soon in Huntington County.

Two EE’s Winery, near Roanoke, has bottled its first wines and is awaiting necessary federal approvals of the winery labels. It will be able to open for business shortly after those are received, said winery manager Eric Harris.

Wine-bottle labels are subject to a number of federal legal requirements, including information about vintage and the usual surgeon general’s warnings about the risks of alcohol. But the color and contrast of the label and typeface also are subject to federal approval to ensure readability.

“There’s not necessarily a rule book to follow,” Harris said, so the process of getting the approval can take anywhere from eight days to two months. As of the last week in April, the winery already had waited some 30 days and Harris was hopeful the approval would come through within a few days.

Construction of the winery began last fall, and the exterior shell of the building was completed before cold weather set in, said Emily Hart, who will manage the tasting room and the winery’s marketing.

Harris and his fiancée, Hart, are the two E’s in the winery’s name. She also is the reigning Miss Indiana USA, so she will continue to hold the title “miss” until after the national pageant.

The 6,000-square-foot winery sits on about 40 acres. Its first vines were planted last May and will produce grapes suitable for winemaking next year.

In the meantime, the winery has sourced grapes and other fruits from a number of locations to make wines that will be bottled and ready to sell when it opens. Harris said he expects to start with 3,000 to 3,500 bottles representing 15 different varieties. Prices generally will range from about $10 to $20 per bottle.

The wines Two EE’s is producing are not what consumers here are more accustomed to seeing, and the winery’s sleek, modern design reflects that difference, Harris said.

The tasting room, which will accommodate about 40 people at its long bar, is done in shades of black, white and steely gray. It will provide a backdrop for the colorful art on the walls and the racks of colorfully labeled wines.

The sort of color-coded labeling will make it easier for tasters to find what they like. “The varieties may be hard to pronounce, but they will be able to use the colors,” Hart said.

A window allows visitors to the tasting room to see the rows of tanks in the production area. The winery also has an ample outdoor area for seating, but a few tables might be brought indoors when weather is cooler.

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