By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business Name: Broken Creek Vineyard & Winery
Address: 614 South St., Shrewsbury
Owners: Eric and Peggy Preusse
How did Broken Creek Winery get started?
“We purchased these 40 acres of grazing land in 2010, and planted our first rows of grapes in 2011, then added more rows of grapes over the next three years,” said Eric Preusse, who owns the winery with his wife, Peggy.
“We’ve tried 11 different varieties to see what would do well here, and now we are down to four major varieties. Grapes are bred for certain regions. We are growing varieties such as Marquette, developed in Minnesota, which do well in cold weather but would not grow in warmer climates.”
Their decision to start a vineyard grew out of Eric’s hobby of fermenting beer, wine and cider. “There are so many variables to play with to create the flavor you want.”
“This is still our hobby—on steroids,” laughed Peggy, adding they both still have their full-time jobs.
What wines do you make here?
“We make both red and white wines, and they tend to be fruity and citrusy,” he said. The four red wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Carnivore’s Red, Zinfandel and Marquette, and the whites are Summer White, Traminoles, Vignoles and Vidal Blanc.
“We make 3,000 to 3,500 bottles a year right now,” with about two and a half acres planted in grapes, Eric said, and the processing, bottling and aging facilities are all on the property.
“We start pruning the vines in early March—on snowshoes some years, and summer is the growing season. We harvest in the fall, with our children, family and friends helping, and the actual wine-making process runs into January and February.”
Where are the wines sold?
“We only sell our wines here at the vineyard,” Eric said.
“In April, we opened a tasting room. It’s open on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Since I helped make the wines, I can answer questions. People appreciate that we know our wine intimately,” Peggy said.
A $10 tasting includes five wines and a signature wineglass to keep, and the wines are available to purchase by the glass or bottle. They expect to keep the tasting room open through Christmas then be closed for the winter.
The Preusses noted that customers are welcome to bring a picnic or snacks to enjoy with a bottle of wine on the tasting room deck or on the grounds overlooking the vineyard.
“Our focus is making good wine and having people come and enjoy it,” Eric said.
The vineyard and the wine label take their name from a creek the couple discovered in the woods on the property, which disappears briefly and reappears a short distance away.
Is the winery available for events?
“Yes, the tasting room and deck are available for events such as showers, birthday parties, corporate and civic events,” said Eric.
“We have a caterer who works with us, so we can arrange for food and, of course, wine,” said Peggy.
Events can be scheduled during the week as well as weekends.