CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Urban wineries have been a growing trend in cities like Chicago and San Francisco and now Cleveland is getting one of its own.
The first urban winery in the area is set to open in a few weeks. Unlike wineries along the Lake Erie coastline, this business is modeled after the craft breweries that are trending right now.
"It's good wine made fun," says owner Destiny Burns.
CLE Urban Winery, is set to open on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights on July 15.
The business is modeled after local craft breweries. Owner Destiny Burns is hoping her business will be the wine version of Great Lakes Beer in Cleveland.
It's the retirement dream of the former Navy Cryptologist.
"We want to make wine accessible. Some people think wine is too, I don't know enough about it, afraid of making a mistake. You can't," Burns says.
Grapes are shipped in from vineyards across the country, mainly the west coast. The wine is made right in the bar, an old 1920s garage that has been transformed into a chic, urban hangout.
Burns says there will be a wine for everyone.
Similar to the popular craft beer model, the ingredients are shipped in. The juice is then streamed from hoses into 500 or 1,000 liter tanks. The temperature has to be just right before the yeast is added and the magic starts to happen.
"Once all the yeast has consumed the sugar, we have a wine," says winemaker Dave Mazzone.
A 500 liter tank can make 60 cases of wine or about 720 bottles. Mazzone was actually a winemaker in California. He also worked in wine distribution before coming back home to work with Burns. CLE Urban Winery will offer a chance to partner with Mazzone and make your own wine batch.
"I gives people a really hands on way to be involved with their winery because this is essentially the neighborhood winery," says Mazzone.
Those neighborhood names are even branded on the house made wines, like Murray Hill Pinot and Cedar-Lee Chardonnay.
Burns says it's a cheers to Cleveland and she hopes people will come raise a glass in her new community gathering spot.
"Bring your book club here and sit and open a bottle of wine and enjoy the space. Bring your birthday party here," says Burns.
Another big part of the business model is giving back to the community.
"Drink wine, do good," says Burns.
There are a few other things that make CLE Urban Winery unique.
Proceeds from select wines will go toward charity, first-responder and veterans organizations in Cleveland Heights.
Burns has also partnered with other non-profits like Graffiti HeArt. The organization promotes street art in positive ways. An artist with the group did the mural above the wine making room in the bar. Local artists will also have their pieces featured and available for sale.
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