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ROCK STREAM
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Magnus Ridge owners plan June opening

ROCK STREAM—The pressure is building to finish work at the new Magnus Ridge Winery because owners Sandy and Matt Downey want to open the doors of the visitor’s center/tasting rooms in the first week of June.
Magnus Ridge Winery is a $2.92 million project that broke ground last year on Route 14. The owners bought the property in 2001 and started planting grapes in 2005. When the center’s doors open in June, visitors will be able to taste wine in one of four rooms or eat at the Waterlily Cafe. The tasting rooms include the main room, an event room and two smaller rooms featuring fireplaces and seating.
With a month to go, Matt Downey explained the interior work is mostly finished. The wooden beams in the main room just went up last week. The tasting bars and all of the furniture still needs to be placed. Downey explained he purchased old wine barrels that will be turned into the furniture and bars.
The owners just passed a major milestone, which the winery is dependent on, in securing the permit to sell wine on the premise. Downey added the Department of Health met with them on Friday to inspect the water system. He said that was one of the last approvals they need to get.
Magnus Ridge will also need landscape work. There are three ponds behind the visitor’s center.
Downey said if the weather permits in June, visitors will be able to walk through the vineyards at Magnus Ridge. He added they are working to get plaques up explaining what the varieties are and other educational information. The owners have a wide selection of grapes growing, including Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris, Treminette, Lemberger, and Gewurztraminer.
After Magnus Ridge opens, Downey says he expects about 600 customers on a busy Saturday. He said there will be eight to 10 employees initially, with the possibility of up to 15.
Downey said the last 10 years since purchasing the property have gone by quick. He added that when it came to constructing the visitor’s center and getting permits, “everything takes longer than expected.” He said there was a lot of planning required to get things done efficiently.
“Nothing’s been insurmountable,” he said, adding Magnus Ridge has gotten a lot of advice from people locally.
This building is just the first part of the Magnus Ridge Winery project. Downey said the next phase is constructing a new winery building, just north of the visitor’s center on the property. He said the current winery is just down the road. After that is complete, Magnus Ridge will build lodging on the property. The complete finish date is planned for 2014.

 

 

 



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