Wineries are one of the most festive and inviting sides of agriculture. Fox Ridge Winery recognized the potential of the scenic beauty and grapes they and surrounding neighbors were growing and brought the elements together to share it with the market. Mike & Gwen Seda of Traer, Iowa explain. Remind me – what are the EDIES
HOW WE DID IT: This all started with an idea in 2004 with planting our first acre of grapes, and the potential of a winery in the future and in 2009 it became a reality with the building being built and the opening of Fox Ridge Winery in May 2010.
HOW WE GOT THE IDEA: We have always been interested in alternative crops, with a Christmas Tree Farm, Peach Orchard, Honey bees, and a vineyard. With the wine and grape industry moving forward in Iowa the next step for us was to open a winery. By opening the winery we could provide a relaxing and diversified type of entertainment that this part of Tama County was missing. It also allows us to bring in more tourism to this area with visiting wineries becoming a more popular day trip getaway.
OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE: The greatest challenge that we faced was convincing ourselves that we had the ability to plan, run a business, build a building, purchase the right equipment and eventually produce a product that the customer would enjoy!
HOW WE OVERCAME IT: With a lot of discussions of the pros and cons of starting and running a business and with the support of each other and the input and confidence our family had in this project, we decided to move forward with the project. We began researching buildings, the difference in equipment and what equipment that we would need. We visited several wineries and discussed what works and what doesn’t and from there we moved forward.
ADVICE TO OTHERS: Be prepared to commit long hours, experience highs and lows, and learn from all the mistakes that will probably happen along the way, as this will help you achieve your goals and make you stronger and more determined to succeed. If you have a dream and don’t pursue it you will never enjoy the success that you could have achieved.
WHAT IS NEXT: With input from our customers we plan on increasing our production to include some additional varieties of wine and increasing our retail outlets to better serve our customers. For more info click www.foxridgewine.com