By SAMANTHA PHILLIPS
The city’s first winery and meadery is ready to meet the community. The grand opening of the Woodland Cellars, 212 N. Main St., will be 4 p.m. next Saturday.
“We aren’t your typical winery,” co-owner Nate Wilson said. “You don’t have to drive an hour away to a destination winery to have a good time.”
The grand opening will feature local vendors, an ice cream truck and live performances from musicians Shane McGee, Harrison and David and Gianna Cherry.
Woodland Cellars will be open Fridays and Saturdays, and the hours will expand as business grows.
Wilson and co-owner Bob Miller handcraft the wine, mead and cider in-house. There are 30 years of winemaking experience between them.
Wilson and Miller sell decorations, clothing and other objects made by local artists in their cozy lounge. They plan to collaborate with local small businesses for their food menu.
“One of the biggest things we are trying to do is support other local businesses and artists. We’re interested in collaboration with them,” said Dani Wilson, Nate Wilson’s wife.
“People don’t realize that there are great people in Hubbard doing great stuff,” Nate Wilson added. “It’s all about the community.”
The winemakers are also science teachers at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. They use their chemistry knowledge to create delicious flavors, some unique and some classic.
“Winemaking blossomed from a hobby into a business,” Miller said.
Miller and Nate Wilson enjoy tinkering with the recipes and fermenting and fusion processes.
“The difference between us and a lot of other winemakers is that they start out knowing wine culture and then they learn about the process of making wine,” Wilson said. “We knew the science behind it and ... then we learned wine culture.”
The business is new, but its products are already known in the Mahoning Valley.
The Eye of Odin mead, for example, is sold at local bars and restaurants including Vintage Estates.
The duo began creating wine in their basements with a group of friends, and for the past few years they have sold their products to local retailers.
“Starting a business was the main goal, but first we had to find the right location. We couldn’t do direct sales at first because we made everything at our houses,” Nate Wilson said.
The Woodland Cellars building, which used to be a doctor’s office, is newly renovated by Nate Wilson, Miller and their friends and families.
“At the end, it feels good to have everything coming together,” Wilson said.
The duo aims to create drinks and an experience people will enjoy, and hope to raise “mead awareness.” They recommend the drink, which is made from fermented honey, to anyone, but especially to those who like sweet wine.
Wilson and Miller are eager to begin experimenting again, and want to create new concoctions, such as their sangria mead.
Community events will be held at Woodland Cellars. One is “Class and a Glass,” a weekly yoga class by Om Yoga, also on North Main Street, which will start July 19.
For more information, go to woodlandcellars.com.
“I want to welcome Woodland Cellars and thank them for taking a leap of faith and opening their business in Hubbard,” said city Councilwoman Lisha Pompili-Baumiller.