Drink Up Month: Sip on local wine with Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery

Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery creates wine here in Kansas soil. We sat down with owner Cindy Reynolds to chat more about what the vineyard means to KC + how the grape crumbles.

KCtoday with Cindy

Left to right: Editor Bella, Managing Editor Travis, and co-owner Cindy Reynolds.

Photo by KCtoday

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It’s wine time. Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery (29725 Somerset Rd., Paola, KS) creates a variety of wines right here in Kansas soil. Editor Bella chatted with owner Cindy Reynolds to learn more about the winery’s history + connection to Kansas City.

Quick — give us your elevator pitch

“Somerset Ridge is a boutique winery with 8,000+ vines planted here in the KC area. We’re just a few minutes south of the metro and one mile south of the Louisburg Cider Mill. We grow grapes, make wine, and distribute throughout the Midwest. One of our key tenets is to honor the earth using sustainable growing practices, which for us means no insecticides and no synthetic fertilizers. Then we use low intervention wine making methods to make the best wine possible.”

Give us a history lesson — how did the winery begin?

“We started planting the vineyard in 1998 and opened our tasting room in 2006. Back before Prohibition, 90% of the wine in the US was grown and made in MO and Eastern KS […] so we have quite a history of wine making here in the Midwest.”

What do you want customers to experience when they are at Somerset?

“While our wines are available in most liquor stores in the metro, customers usually learn about us by coming to the winery, doing a tasting, and walking the vines. That gives them a real sense of place so they understand that what we do begins right here in our rich KC soil. We want them to leave having had a memorable adventure and sense of pride for what our KC soil and talent can produce.”

What does the Kansas City region mean to your business?

“Being part of the Kansas City community and the Midwest wine community is central to what and who we are. In a sense, part of our mission is to reclaim the proud position of grape and wine growers that is such a big part of our history.”

How did the business get its name?

“Both my husband and I loved wine and traveled to many wine producing regions prior to planting our own vineyard. On a very special trip to California wine country, we visited one of Dennis’s favorites […] Ridge Vineyards. It was such a wonderful and memorable trip that we decided to name our own property Somerset Ridge […] and Somerset is the name of our area near Louisburg, KS.”

What is your drink of choice?

“I’m a lover of wine for sure […] primarily dry wines, still, and sparkling, but open to taste and learn more about the 10,000+ different grape varieties and the hundreds of wine regions around the globe. If wine isn’t available, green tea, a margarita, or Aviation cocktail is always delicious.”

What should we know about the future of Somerset?

“The future of our winery is very positive for several reasons. We are very lucky to be in a part of the world with ample water, no fires, and fertile soil. Because of this, large wineries around the world are investing in acreage in MO and KS to plant millions of vines to support their need for fruit and diversify their risk from their vineyards in California, Oregon, and Washington. We are very happy to be in the Midwest! Every year we see an increase in visitors to our winery and that is what motivates us to continue the innovation of new wines season after season.”

Ready to come see it for yourself? Join the KCtoday team at Somerset Ridge this Saturday, July 22 from 1 to 5 p.m. for live music, wine, and a food truck.

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