When you own a Vineyard in Minnesota, you meet your share of skeptics.
"When we first tell people we can grow grapes here they laugh,” said Aaron Schram, owner of Schram Vineyard Winery in Waconia.
"I think there's a misconception that Minnesota wines are all going to be sweet and fruit and sugared up,” said Ashley Schram. “It's kind of been our mission to disprove that.”
They’ve fulfilled that mission during their last 13 years in business. Aaron says the French-hybrid grapes, developed by the University of Minnesota have helped wineries across the region establish a growing reputation.
"The neat part is that there is quite a few wineries that are succeeding in our area,” Aaron Schram said. “Winning awards, actually against, not just Minnesota wineries, against California and Washington wineries. For us, personally, I do feel the industry and the wine the grapes are there now to kind of go after the market."
For the Schrams, that means opening a new, urban winery in the middle of the Minneapolis North Loop, at 411 N Washington Ave.
"Here we are in Waconia, but we have a packed house every weekend,” Ashley Schram said. "We're ready to introduce it to the masses and the downtown area."
The winery will open next spring. The Schrams are still finalizing a name and the design, but they say it won’t look like a typical wine bar.
"You will see tanks and barrels and the bottling process,” Aaron Schram said. “It will be displayed in full view of everybody. We're going to have it where you'll probably come in and be able to crush grapes, and actually see that whole process happen before you."
They’re also looking to feature a different kind of wine in a can.
"You'll still have bottles of wine, but we also hope we can introduce something that's reusable, Crowlers actually, that you can take home with you," Aaron Schram said.
No matter how it's served, their sights are set on the skeptics.
"We'll really going to focus on the wines themselves and our local growers,” Aaron Schram said. "When you start talking to restaurants that really talk up local, they've got local food, they've got local beer, you get to their wine section and it's from Spain. We want to change that.”