Monday, December 11, 2017
Business

Land O'Lakes Winery celebrates first anniversary

LAND O'LAKES — When Sue Hardy and some of her friends decided to make their own wine, she learned something new about the craft.

"It's a science," Hardy said. "It's an art."

And, she added, "it's fun."

That's what led Hardy, 57, and her business partner, Corey Kempton, 37, to open Land O'Lakes Winery, which now has been in business for a year.

The operation has three parts, Hardy said. There's the wine bar for patrons who wish to sip wine or craft beer, sans the work it takes to make it.

"It's kind of a hot spot on the weekend," Hardy said. "(Live) music Thursday, Friday, Saturday."

There is also wine glass painting and line-dancing lessons.

Then there's the wine manufacturing. Hardy and Kempton now make their own brand of wine, which is sold at the bar.

"It took almost a full year to get to the point where we could sell our own wines," Hardy said.

Wine takes time to make, she said, which customers can learn firsthand because of the third part of the business: the winemaking center.

"Customers can make their own wine," said Hardy. "We don't actually purchase grapes, but the juices that have already been processed for this purpose."

The juice comes in kits with pre-measured ingredients for winemaking. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to put it all together, Hardy said, and four to seven weeks until the wine is ready.

"The sweet wines are made in four weeks," she said, "an orange sangria, a key lime wine, a peach chardonnay."

Traditional reds and whites take longer. What happens next is worth the wait, Hardy said.

"Each one of those kits will yield about 30 bottles at a cost between $6 and $9 a bottle," she said.

The customers get to bottle it themselves, and Hardy is confident that customers appreciate the product.

"It's the best wine they'll ever drink," she said.

Land O'Lakes Winery, at 3901 Land O'Lakes Blvd., will host a party to celebrate its first anniversary from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The party will feature a food truck, giveaways, live music and a dance party.

The winery's regular business hours are from 1 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. For information, call (813) 995-9463 or visit landolakeswinery.com.

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