— What started as a simple wine kit for a Christmas present has resulted in a beautiful winery north of town.
The owners of Sweet Springs Winery, Cindy and Ronnie Mittelstedt, are in the process of opening a tasting room at 215 N. Main St. in downtown Weatherford over the next few weeks. A “soft” grand opening is scheduled for sometimes between June 28 and July 1 for friends as well as city and county officials with the official opening for business to be sometime after the July 12 Peach Festival, Cindy said.
Cindy said in anticipation of the big event, a wine tasting will take place at the Peach Festival at their booth located on York Avenue.
Once the couple first began growing grapes about three years ago and making wine, it became very popular among their friends. Wanting to bring their wine-making to the next level, they looked for a mentor and found it in the person of Gene Estes of Lost Oak Winery of Burleson.
“He told me that he thought I liked to grow things,” Ronnie Mittelstedt, who also is the construction contractor building the tasting room downtown, said. “I’ve always been amazed by grapes and how they related to people. The more distinguished the grapes I have found accounts for better wine.”
Having the winery flows smoothly in with the couple’s bubbly personality, as the couple sees the winery as a way to give back to the community and have fun doing it at the same time. Mittelstedt says his wife has always liked pairing wine with food. Mittelstedt said what makes her day is seeing her guests respond and enjoying their food and beverages.
“We want to make wine for people to be able to sit down and enjoy,” Mittelstedt said.
Sweet Springs winery focuses on sweet and semi-sweet wines and will be making special event wines in the near future for such days as Valentine’s Day, Cindy said.
The tasting room itself will be run by Kim Hernandez and will feature wines from Sweet Springs and Lost Oak Wineries. The couple will have a number of cheeses as well from Eagle Mountain Cheeses in Granbury which uses grass fed cows for their all natural milk in their cheese. Artisan breads and crackers will also be available.
The tasting room is also planning some fun activities this fall including a grape stomp, which only come naturally as a large, framed portrait of the “I Love Lucy” grape stomping episode is displayed inside the couple’s offices. Cindy said she’d like to get kids involved with the grape stomping, as well.
“We’re going to find out what people like and have some live entertainment at the room, including jazz blues and some Tejano music as well,” Ronnie said.”We’re going to be doing some car shows, some bike shows there, as well.”
“We simply want to make it a comfortable place, not real formal, where people can have a glass of wine, some cheese and bread and just relax,” Cindy said. “We’ll have some nice acoustic music and be able to have a conversation with someone.”
The couple is getting its name out there in other ways, working with the local Albertsons to get their wines on display there and at Twisted Snifter. Anticipation of the tasting room is growing as the couple has already had more than 340 hits on the business Facebook page.
The tasting room is expected to be just the beginning for the couple. Over the next 18 months, a wedding venue will be constructed on the couple’s property. A brewhouse is also expected in the near future off Highway 51 to pay homage to Ronnie’s German roots.
The tasting room will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sundays.