Cindy Reynolds – Owner Somerset Wine & Cider Bar
What drew you to Rosehill Gardens with the idea of opening a Wine Bar?
Because of the time it takes to plant a vineyard and raise vines to maturity and the extensive process of getting state and federal liquor licenses, we never thought we’d have a second location, much less in Missouri. But one day the nicest couple visited us at our main vineyard location just down the road from the Louisburg Cider Mill. They waited in line…I could tell they had never been out to see us before. I was lucky enough to do their tasting and we started talking about the business of growing grapes and making wine. We had a fantastic time talking and when we finished the tasting, the gentleman handed me his card and asked me to connect with him the following week. That was Gary and Carmen Weidenbach of Rosehill Gardens. When we connected a few months later to talk, the idea of opening a tasting room in the beautiful Rosehill Gardens space came up. Since Martin City is just two miles from our home, we were happy to think through the possibilities.
What type of nature/landscape are you drawn to?
I love formal gardens and big pops of color, which is ironic because I don’t have anything resembling a formal garden!
What is your history/background with local horticulture?
Many people don’t know but before Prohibition, nearly 90% of the wine in the US was grown and made in Missouri and Eastern Kansas. So there’s a long history of grape growing right here. Kansas was the first state to have Prohibition in 1881 so we lost many generations of vines and the opportunity to grow the industry. But now we’ve had our grapes in the ground for a full 20 years…planted in 1998 so we, as an industry, are well on our way back. Currently there are more than 40 wineries in KS now and nearly 200 in MO so the industry is growing and thriving. When you have 8,000+ vines, it doesn’t leave time to focus on many other plant varieties. We’ve recently replanted our vineyard hillside in native Kansas wildflowers designed to attract pollinators. That was such a fun project. And because we have many visitors to our vineyard, we do our best with flowers and vegetable gardens to add to the experience.
What sense of community would you like to create with Somerset and Rosehill?
Dennis and I love our community…all sides of our community. And while we were asked to open locations in the Crossroads and others, we had to be real about what we could do well. Martin City is just five minutes from our home and it’s easy to get to the vineyard too. We dine at every one of the amazing restaurants in Martin City, our favorite florist is in Martin City, it’s home for us and made a natural place for us to open our Missouri winery. And our partnership with the team at Rosehill has made this such a pleasure. And we think our combination of indoor/outdoor space at Rosehill is ideal for enjoying time with friends and family.
What is something we would be surprised to know about you?
I’m an avid volunteer. If you don’t see me at the vineyard or in Martin City, I’m volunteering somewhere in KC because I absolutely love it!