A new winery will open in Superior next month. Wine Seller Winery at 1409 Belknap St. hosts its grand opening from 4-8 p.m. Sept. 7. The business offers bottles of homemade, small-batch wine crafted by owner Tracy Somerville.
The Superior native has been making her own wine for more than a decade. The occupation is fruitful. Wine Seller’s racks hold everything from black raspberry merlot and orange sangria to tempranillo and cranberry malbec. The labels on display last week included blueberry, black cherry, coconut, pineapple, pear and exotic fruits.
The 540-square-foot space houses both the wine store and the winery itself. The back room is where Somerville ferments, clarifies and bottles her wine. The front is where customers can taste it.
The cozy shop Somerville created with her son Jeremy Gordon and fiance Dave Fobear features brick and reclaimed barn wood, tables built out of wine barrels and a rack full of wine spanning one wall. The shop will also serve as a wine bar. Somerville said visitors will be able to order a glass of wine, taste a flight of different wines or even sit down with a frozen wine slushy.
The Superior woman worked for the state of Wisconsin for 32 years, retiring a year ago from her job managing finances for local highway projects. In December, she began building her hobby into a business. Work on the new winery has been underway since December.
“I just like the idea of having my own business,” Somerville said, and she enjoys visiting with people.
The biggest challenge has been obtaining licenses and permits needed for the business at the federal, state and local level.
Wine is something Somerville is passionate about. She started making her own wine at Wine Creations in Duluth and has expanded through the years. What sets her label apart? The homemade wine at Wine Seller differs from bottles at the supermarket because they are made with fewer chemicals, Sommerville said. Think of it as craft wine.
“We’re not a large industrial wine-making business,” Somerville said and there’s no bottling machine. “We fill them all one by one and cork them all one by one, label them one by one.”
The vintner plans to tailor the fruits of her labor to customer taste, creating wines people want. Somerville encouraged everyone to stop by the shop, even people who traditionally don’t like wine. They can smell the yeasty, baking bread smell of wine being made and take a sip.
“Just give it a try. You might find you like it,” she said.
Shop hours will be noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday following the grand opening. Visit the Wine Seller Winery website and Facebook page for more information.