Winery brewing and expanding
By Kaitlin Gebby | The Herald-Press
In the five years they’ve been in business, Two EE’s winery has exceeded expectations for growth and popularity.
Eric and Emily Harris started growing their love for winemaking at home. Eric Harris said he enjoyed making and experimenting with the science of winemaking with his father-in-law. He later went to UC Davis to study winemaking in an effort to truly understand the science behind the art.
The Harris’ passion grew into an obsession and a thirst that could no longer be quenched by homemade product. They started Two EE’s winery in 2013. Shortly after, Harris was recognized for his work with the Rising Star Winemaker Award for 2013 and 2014.
They increased production and are currently at 20,000 cases distributed annually.
Located on Ind. 24, between Huntington and Roanoke, the hillside winery is enveloped in 40 acres of vineyard and trails. And it’s looking toward expansion.
Inside the tasting room, guests are greeted with a glittering chandelier and chic decor surrounding the sleek bar where an army of glasses and bottles are waiting to be used.
Behind the bar, large windows open up to the wine room, where large silver barrels hold the pressed grapes and their skins during fermentation. Harris said the controlled environment inside the cannisters allows him to manage the fermentation process. The juice will typically sit in the barrel for five to 10 days.
Winemakers use skins in wine for their tannins, which is the biomolecule that affects the chemical compound structure of wine during fermentation, causing it to taste dry once finished.
Wines fermented with tannins are stored in barrels. Harris said the wood further interacts with the chemistry of the tannins, and often creates a smooth finish.
Eric Harris said he and his wife open the doors to their tasting room seven days a week to allow anyone the chance to taste a little bit of science.
“There’s no recipe for winemaking,” he said. “It’s about mastering the art and trying new things.”
Harris said they try to source their grapes solely from Indiana, rarely looking beyond state lines unless necessary. The Two EE’s website explains that they “focus on the grape,” but not all wine comes from grapes. Harris said they have popular wines made from plums and peaches as well.
One of the most popular wines that Two EE’s produces, according to Harris, is their Diamond wine.
Diamond is a sweet white wine that has a “pop and dazzle for any palate.”
Harris attributed some of their popularity to their “Uncorked” weekends, during which live music is played on the patio by the vineyard.
He said the Uncorked weekends are so popular, development is underway to create a larger patio space and ampitheatre for bands. Harris added that they plan to plant more vines to add to the view and the winery’s personal stock of grapes in the coming years.
Tasting at Two EE’s is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Harris added that “you’d be hard pressed to not find our brand on the shelf,” in stores.