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Rich Tanguay
May 18, 2015 | Rich Tanguay

May - From the Winery

We are pretty stoked going into our second summer season and are ready to showcase some stellar wines from our little winery in Rapid!


On the heels of our two new Rieslings – Rushmore (dry) and Colonel Purdy (sweet) and our South Dakota based Sweet Edie Rosé made with locally grown Frontenac grapes, we are excited about some new selections headed to the tasting room in the upcoming weeks.

Our new Windflower White Zinfandel is packed with juicy, ripe flavors of delicate red berries and sweet watermelon. This beautiful sipper is derived from traditional Zinfandel grapes from California. After a short contact (about 24 hours) with the grape skins, the Zinfandel juice is transferred to a separate tank and allowed to ferment cold. This results in dynamite, pale salmon color and a lip smacking, refreshing mouth full of goodness. 


Under Mike’s watchful eye, I have been privileged to learn many new and technologically advanced winemaking practices. For instance, – how to blend wine like a drunk cowboy with guns a ‘blazing.

What other surprises await is primarily controlled by our ever vigilant winemaker in training – Mike Kilroy. Under Mike’s watchful eye, I have been privileged to learn many new and technologically advanced winemaking practices. For instance, – how to blend wine like a drunk cowboy with guns a ‘blazing. Many would be surprised to know that before becoming both Firehouse’s brewer and winemaker in training, Mike had a long and successful career as a stunt double. Miraculously, he filled both Billy Crystal and Danny Devito’s shoes in the 1987 classic, “Throw Momma from the Train”. This experience provided the chops necessary to become a chameleon in the winery and a true asset to our operations. 

Without Mike’s ability to stand around without being noticed, we would never have known that he was just randomly pushing buttons on large pieces of expensive machinery or floating transparently in vats of fermenting juice carefully calculating the dew point of a molecule of Saniclean vapor. But his experience doesn’t stop there! Working large, high-volume pumps might come as second nature to most lower level primates - but not Mike!

Often, you may find Mike flailing about with valves and levers working himself into such a frenzy that the movements from his arms mimic those of a hummingbird in heat. This is quite beneficial for our winery as it provides the basis for our ability to cool our tanks of wine down to the necessary 28 degrees Fahrenheit. We salute you, Mike Kilroy, for all you do – even if most of it goes unnoticed and unappreciated. We are constantly amazed with your innovations and work ethic and it is only through your dedication that we have succeeded so far.


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