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Grand Opening For New Urban Winery Set for March 27

Aaron and Ashley Schram are now just weeks away from opening an urban winery in the North Loop that they’ve been planning for years. The pandemic set them back by about nine months but they’re now set for a grand opening on Saturday, March 27th.

The first thing you need to know about AxeBridge Wine Company is that it’s an actual full-production winery–so don’t call it a wine bar or wine shop. You’ll find everything but the vineyard at this winery, including plenty of tasting opportunities and private event spaces. And in fact, the Schrams may even try growing some grapes in the city, bringing in a few grapevines to put on the winery’s back patio.

They’ll have 6-8 different wines on tap at the outset, all made primarily from Minnesota grapes and produced in barrels and tanks here in the city. Because of the relatively small number of Minnesota growers, the wines are supplemented with grapes from the west coast.

The Schrams, who have their own vineyard and winery in Waconia, are eager to raise awareness of Minnesota wines here in the city. Near the entrance, they’ll have photos and bios of the eight Minnesota growers who supply their grapes, to help reinforce the fact that visitors are supporting local businesses.

“We’re not franchisees, we’re not a big company, we’re a family-run company,” said Aaron Schram. “We always talk about ‘drink local, eat local.’ Well, there’s nothing more local than what we’re going to be presenting here with some of our wines because they were developed at the University of Minnesota.”

Their large new space inside a former warehouse at 411 North Washington will be accented with grapevines pulled from their vineyards–including a few that went into the making of the chandelier over their entryway. They’ve custom-made most of their furniture, including retired wine barrels that will now serve as tables.

Schram said the first few weeks will be dedicated to learning from visitors what’s working and what isn’t, so they can get all the details perfected.

They’re currently hiring tasting room associates. Anyone interested in applying can contact them at [email protected]

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood volunteer 



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