Hector Wine Co. opens in Schuyler
HECTOR—For both owners of the new Hector Wine Co., Jason Hazlitt and Justin Boyette, grapes and wine are old hat.
The two opened the winery four weeks ago. Hazlitt explained he met Boyette at Atwater Estate Vineyards, during the 2008 harvest. That was not the first winery job for either one of them. Hazlitt said he has also worked at Sawmill Creek Vineyards and Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, and went to college for viticulture. Boyette’s experience also includes Red Newt Cellars Winery and Rasta Ranch Vineyards.
“He knows how to handle a tasting room,” said Hazlitt.
The two decided to start a winery together. Hazlitt said his father had purchased some property across the road from family owned acres six years ago. He explained his father said another winery could open on that spot.
With the site and grapes available, the only thing required was the winery itself. Hazlitt said Fred Tanneberger helped with the buildings, contractors, and quotes. The one area new to the two owners was the paperwork required in establishing a winery.
“The easiest part was getting the grapes,” Hazlitt explained. “The hardest was the paperwork.”
Since opening, Hazlitt said the winery has gotten pretty good business. One difference from other wineries in the area is the hours. Hector Wine Co. is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Sunday. Hazlitt said the winery gets the before and after dinner crowd.
He added the winery also hosts music on weekends, and local products like art, cheese and mustard. Hazlitt said they are always looking for more artists or producers to sell.
Hazlitt said he and Boyette hope to double production over the next couple of years. Meanwhile, Hector Wine Co. offers a variety of wines, like Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. Hazlitt said the owners kept production down as this was the first year.
While he wants to increase production, Hazlitt said plans are to keep the size of the tasting room the same. He explained it’s not going to be a big winery.