When former lobbyists Trish and Les Meyer were nearing retirement and contemplating their next life adventure, a unique vineyard with a view of the Nebraska State Capitol (where they spent time in their careers) happened to be for sale, so the pair took a chance and purchased Capitol View Winery & Vineyards over six years ago.
The gamble was a good one, as Les Meyer shared, “This is something Trish and I get to do together; running a winery is different from a retail business because people come out to have a good time—we’ve made some of the best friends we’ve had in our lives.”
The wines offered at Capitol View range from very sweet to very dry, but according to Meyer, the winery found its niche in three dry whites and six dry red varietals grown under the close watch of Ed Swanson, an experienced Nebraska grower/vintner with over 40 years of experience. Frontenac and La Crosse grapes are grown on premise, but most exciting to the Meyers are the five rows of grapes ready for harvest this year for the first time. Swanson collaborated with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln viticulture program to graft vitus vinifera varietals such as Petite Verdot and Cabernet onto cold climate hearty rootstock.
Members of the wine club (dubbed Our Committee) are involved in the wine making process from harvest to blending to tasting. Entry is easy: purchase two cases of wine a year. Annual harvest parties aren’t limited to wine club members—last year the vineyard welcomed 80 volunteers for a fun day of harvest and lunch.
The tasting room offers snack foods such as summer sausage, cheeses, chocolates, and crackers, but Fridays during the summer and fall, the spot hosts live music and a variety of food trucks. The Meyers are pleased to welcome summer visitors, “We find people come out and unwind, and you can see them relax. You can see the lights of the city from there and it feels like you’re out in the country but you’re not that far out of town.”
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