Opening Oct. 24 in downtown Ste. Genevieve, Brix Urban Winery and Market is the newest of its kind in the area.
Located at 245 Merchant Street, Bridgette Bennett and Natalie Sealover make their own wines and meads in the cellar of the building.
“We bottle and label everything here,” Bennett said. “We make a variety of fruit wines and fruit meads. We try to model ourselves after a craft brewery more than a traditional winery.”
One of the oldest alcoholic beverages known to history and generally known as a drink from medieval times, according to Bennett, mead is rapidly becoming popular.
“It’s pretty popular in many places around the U.S., and it’s really starting to come into Missouri. Mead is a honey wine. In the most traditional sense, it's honey, water and yeast fermented. You can also add fruit to the honey, that’s classified as a melomel.
Bennett says that Brix keeps some of the wines on tap, carbonated down to about 6% alcohol.
“Those drink more like a beer. We also try to keep a slushie available.”
They also stock cookies from two St. Louis Companies: Trolley Track Cookie Company and The Tipsy Goat, along with Baetje Farms Cheese products.
Although business would normally be slow with current conditions, Bennett says that sales have been good.
“We have a lot of outdoor seating, and on the nice weather days we’ve had so far, people take advantage of it,” she said. “Last weekend, all of our outdoor seating was completely full.”
Sealover mentioned that they have a market room with gifts for the holidays. Bennett said that they try to get handcrafted items.
“We try to get things that aren’t on Amazon,” she said. “We have some handmade clay jewelry from a lady in Saskatchewan.”
Of course, being in Ste. Genevieve, the building itself has some unusual historical aspects.
“It’s what’s considered by the town as a supporting historical building,” Bennett said. “It was built in 1908, it’s in really good condition; it has the original metal stamped roof. The interior load bearing walls are double brick.
"It has a lot of history. A lot of the neighbors have told us it is haunted. We have had a couple of things happen that we couldn’t explain.
Bennett explained how they arrived at the name of their establishment.
“Brix is a measurement of sugar that is used in wine and mead making to determine how much sugar is available for the yeast convert into alcohol. We also thought it was a neat play on the brick building we are in.”