456 Wineries has space for up to six individual wineries. Highland Vineyards and Winery, LLC is the host of the winery incubator. Below you will find the list of all of the wineries currently operating inside 456 Wineries.
1. Highland Vineyards and Winery
Highland Vineyards and Winery, LLC is a relatively new winery in Kansas. It is the business branch of the Highland Community College Viticulture and Enology Program. HCC offers college courses, certificates, and degrees in growing grapes and making wine. HCC staff planted their first vines in 2009 and have been making and selling wine since 2012. With the evolution of 456 Wineries, the program chose to split business operations away from the educational program in 2018. Highland Vineyards and Winery, LLC staff also comprise the staff of HCC Viticulture and Enology Program.
HCC operates four vineyards in northeast Kansas managed by Candice Fitch, and the fruit from those vineyards is used to make wine at Highland Vineyards and Winery, LLC. Nicole Clark recently joined HCC as the winemaker, and here are the wines we have to offer.
• Chambourcin Reserve– Made from a grape called Chambourcin, a French-bred hybrid of the Seyve-Villard and Chancellor grapes, first commercialized in 1963 France. As described in the book, “Wine Grapes,” Chambourcin wines are “full-flavoured and aromatic and do not have the intrusive flavours sometimes associated with hybrids.” The Chambourcin grape is currently the most planted variety of grapes in Kansas and was recently named the State Red Grape of Kansas. Highland’s Chambourcin Reserve is a dry red wine made with grapes grown in Highland’s vineyards and is a deeply colored variety with full aromatic flavors of cherries and blueberries allowing it to pair will with barbecue, pork, and all grilled dishes. Chambourcin Reserve is $17 per bottle.
• Chambourcin– A semi-sweet red wine with many of the same characteristics as the Chambourcin Reserve except with a touch of sweetness. Chambourcin is $15 per bottle.
• Traminette– The Traminette grape is a hybrid of the Joannes Seyve and Gewurtztraminer grapes, created in 1965 at University of Illinois. After breeding at Cornell University in New York, Traminette was released for public use in 1996. According to the book “Wine Grapes,” Traminete wines have, “good body and balance and taste like a vinifera wine.” According the the winemaker, the HCC Traminette is distinctly spicy and fragrant like its Gewurztraminer parent, has excellent balance, flavor and drinkability. Traminette is $15 per bottle.
• Vignoles– The Vignoles grape is a French-bred hybrid of unproven parentage in the 1930s. As discussed in the book, “Wine Grapes,” Vignoles wines have both floral and fruity aromas and are often used to make sweet or semi-sweet wines throughout the United States. Highland’s Vignoles is a semi-sweet white wine.
• Summation– A sweet rose’ wine made from a blend of nearly forty individual wines made as small batches from Highland’s Research Vineyard in Wamego, KS. The Summation of these small batches results in a wine filled with tropical fruit flavors and aromas. Summation is $15 per bottle.
• Finale– Made using locally grown Norton grapes Finale is a dessert-style or port-style wines. It is higher than usual in both sugar and alcohol content as well as being packaged in a smaller bottle. The Finale has around 20% alcohol content, and is contained in a 375 ml (half-size) bottle. Finale is $22 per bottle.
2. Zydeco Meadery
Two students, GW Clift and Eric Depradine from the Highland Viticulture and Enology Program have teamed up to form Louis Vieux Winery doing business as Zydeco Meadery. They officially entered the incubator in August 2020 and released their first meads (honey wine) over the holidays of 2020!!
Here is the opening lineup of meads from Zydeco Meadery!
• Sunflower Delight: A traditional bone dry mead made from nectar from wildflowers, soybean and clover. This honey made from bees living in southeastern Kansas helped to make a refreshing beverage with a clean, crisp finish.
• Ozark Beauty: A simple mead with three basic ingredients: water, yeast, honey yet sophisticatedly complex in flavor. This mead is made from honey from Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas. These happy ladies harvested nectar and pollen from beautiful mountain landscapes rather than monocrop fields.
• Creole Queen: A traditional mead with nothing but honey from the prairies of Vermillion Parish, Louisiana. The bees pollinated mostly wildflowers including the ubiquitous chicken tree (Chinese Tallow) and golden rod.
• Kanza Cyser: A cyser is mead fermented with apple juice rather than water. Sweet and bittersweet apples from orchards in Kansas, Missouri, and New York were pressed and mixed with Kansas wildflower honey to make this crisp, dry mead.
• Lavender Love: This is a summery, light mead with a sweet floral finish. Lavender Love is made and sweetened with Kansas wildflower honey.
• Mass Memories: Made from cranberry blossom honey collected from Nantucket Island and sweetened with Massachusetts dark amber maple syrup from the Berkshire Mountains.
• Hibiscus: Based on a Trinidadian recipe created by the owner’s grandmother, Ena Depradine, this Hibiscus mead is made from hibiscus calyces, spices, ginger, and Kansas wildflower honey.
3. Valley Trails Winery
Dennis and Lou Ann are Kansas natives who developed an interest in vineyards and wineries over a number of years. After retiring from their day jobs they decided to pursue their own vineyard. In 2020 they planted about 1600 vines on their acreage near Westmoreland. Their interest in making wine also continued to grow and after taking classes in both viticulture and enology at HCC, they decided to try their hand at making wine. Their first grapes were processed in 2023 and wine from that harvest will soon be available.
4. Prairie Ridge Vineyard AND Winery
Prairie Ridge Vineyard was established in 1993 when Dale “Dee” and Janet Forge purchased about 15 trellised acres with 4 total acres of grapevines from Fields of Fair, the first licensed winery in Kansas. Through the years, the Forge’s replaced missing vines, and put in some newer varieties. They were active in the Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers Association, and Janet served on the state Grape and Wine Advisory Council.
In 2005, Prairie Ridge Vineyard was the first vineyard in Kansas to harvest mechanically. Mechanical harvesting allowed the Forge’s the ability to pick and deliver grapes to their winery customers at the peak of maturity.
In 2017, the vineyard suffered a severe setback when a fire burned over 80 % of the vines. The Forge’s were finally able to begin replanting in 2020. The dream of starting a winery has become to realization with the harvest of 2023. We continue to strive to show the world that Kansas can produce great wine.
5. YOUR WINERY COULD BE NEXT!!
If you are interested in becoming a client winery at 456 Wineries then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to chat about your vision and goals!
~~ 456 Wineries Alumni ~~
This space is devoted to celebrate wineries that moved into the incubator, opened their winery business here, shared our tasting room and production facility, and eventually moved out to open business operations outside of the incubator.
1. Bodine Wine Company (2019-2021)
Bob Bodine and his family were the first clients to move into the 456 Wineries business incubator just before grape harvest in 2019. Best of luck with the new location and future endeavors!!
“Eight years ago we decided to combine our interest in wine and winemaking with our desire to diversify our farm. We planted a small vineyard and pursued viticulture and enology education through Highland Community College. The fantastic opportunity to open a small winery in 456 Wineries was too good to miss. We joined the incubator in September 2019 and have released two Hard Apple Ciders as well as Red and Rose’ wines.”
2. Red Rock Hill Vineyards (2020-2022)
Roy Garrett and family started Red Rock Hill Vineyards, joining the incubator just in time for 2020 grape harvest! They are local, living very close to Westmoreland, KS.
Check us out at rrhvineyards.com
3. Hiatus Wine (2021-2023)
Ben and Henri Gaeddert came to 456 Wineries from Lawrence, KS. They moved in during the spring of 2021 bringing juice from Chile because countries south of the equator harvest in the spring. In fall 2021 they also started making wines with Kansas grapes creating a blend of unique wines that were well received in the tasting room, restaurants, and liquor stores. You can find them at www.hiatuswine.com.
Thanks for visiting 456 Wineries! Come see us at 503 Miller Drive, Wamego, KS 66547 or give us a call at 785-456-WINE.