Wine and apple cider production began here in the late 1800’s, according to the son of Charles Ellis who owned the homestead in 1870. The original winemaking equipment found in the basement included a press, a crusher, 6 and 12 gallon fermenting crocks, wood barrels, bottles and various other tools, just as the Ellis family left it in 1947.
In 1968, Carl Londene purchased the property and had unknowingly become a vintner. At that time, the grapes in the arbor were in very poor condition and had grown to the top of 30-foot high Elm trees.
Upon acquiring the property, the Londene’s took on the daunting task of removing 180 Elm and Cottonwood trees, rebuilding the arbor by re-stringing the wires, then planting new grapes where some of the original had died.
Although unidentified, one original white grape is thought to be related to the old mission grapes and still produces. This grape is the last one to ripen in late September, turning shades of brown and producing an excellent juice that makes for a great white wine with almost no sugar required. It is a reminder of the sweet life made here and shared with guests!