UPDATED — Grace Hill Winery is expanding with a new 6,000-square-foot production building that will allow for more wine, more room for wine tastings and possibly give owners David and Natalie Sollo their garage back, too.
“We’ve kind of run out of room,” says Jeff Sollo, who manages the business for his parents.
Currently the winery, which is in Whitewater, has a production building that has a tasting room and a cellar and a separate events center with a patio and observation deck.
Jeff Sollo says “there’s a fair amount of equipment it takes” to make wine, such as tanks and barrels and presses, and that’s what will be moved into the new production building when it’s ready this fall.
“It’s going to kind of be a gradual move over to the new building,” he says.
When all the production equipment is out of the current building, Sollo says they’d “like to expand our tasting room as well to undo that bottleneck.”
David Sollo joked in a press release that the new building will allow him to park his car in the garage now “instead of having it filled with various grape-growing and winemaking equipment.”
He also said the extra space should allow increased production so “we won’t sell out of some of our more popular wines like Dodging Tornados and Peckerhead Red so quickly.”
The vineyard, which is about 20 minutes from Wichita, opened in 2009 and has about eight acres and 10 varieties of wine.
Before adding the 2,000-square-foot event center in 2011, Grace Hill was mainly a retail outlet for the wine that the Sollos grow, press, age and bottle. The winery offers free tastings and tours and rents the events center, which has a patio that can seat about 40, for parties and corporate events. The Sollos also hold wine education classes there.
It’s harvest season at Grace Hill, and Jeff Sollo invites anyone who is interested in picking grapes to check here for details about helping on upcoming Saturdays for the next month or so.
“You get wined and dined at the end, which is a lot of fun,” Sollo says, “and you meet a lot of cool people in the process.”