01.17.2008  
 

Nebraska Winery on the Market

Founder's heirs seek motivated buyer for Whiskey Run Creek

 
by Loretta Sorensen
 
Nebraska Winery on the Market
Whiskey Run Creek's paneled tasting room.
 
Brownville, Neb. -- Robert Curttright, Jr. chose a scenic, wooded area on Whiskey Run Creek, just outside Brownville, Neb., to build his vision of an elegant, spacious winery. How the business came to be, and then came to be for sale, at a price of $1,600,000, is a somewhat melancholy tale.

The retired executive director of Omaha's Metro Area Transit spent the last days of his brief retirement both ignoring the cancer devastating his health and plunging into the details of his plans for Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard and Winery. When he succumbed to cancer in June 2007, his family struggled to know what to do with the business Curttright had brought to life.

"He would have liked for us to keep it," said Curttright's daughter Tammy Lynch, who lives in Chicago. "It's been a hard decision to put it up for sale. We haven't worked hard at selling it, because it's difficult to think about what it will be like when it's no longer ours. But it needs to be in the hands of someone who can pay it the time and attention it needs."

Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard and Winery sits on 3.8 acres, and consists of a 100-year-old, 2,000 square-foot barn with the front and two sides decked; a 5,400 square-foot steel production building with a front-loading dock, a more than 100-year-old, 1,200 square-foot brick cave, a wishing well and a waterfall.

Nebraska Winery on the Market
Whiskey Run Creek's barn.
The winery has the capacity to produce up to 10,000 gallons of wine per year. Current inventory includes 4,260 cases of bottled wine and 2,500 gallons in bulk. Chardonel and Chambourcin (approximately 60 vines of each variety) make up the producing vineyard on a quarter acre just outside the barn.

The barn tasting room, set over Whiskey Run Creek, has a loft with an open floor plan that holds tables, chairs and built-in perimeter seating. Oak flooring and cedar wall siding are used throughout the barn.

The winery production building includes a grape crusher, stainless steel casks capable of simultaneously producing eight different wine varieties, a full laboratory, office, restroom and storage area.

Eight miles away is another Curttright property totaling 122 acres, including a house and machine shed. Five acres are planted to grapes and fruit, including 3.5 acres under cultivation by the University of Nebraska. This property is also on the market, for an asking price of $650,000. The winery sources grapes and other fruit from neighboring farms, which have planted about 26 acres of vineyards.

"We're not in a rush to sell," Lynch said. "But we need to find the new owner because there are decisions that need to be made, and we know a buyer probably wouldn't make the same decisions that we would."

Find more information about the winery and contact information at whiskeyruncreek.com.
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