C & G Staff Writer
ROYAL OAK — Promoting local businesses and products is important to Lisa Berry and Sheryl Racey. And that’s why the two Royal Oak residents are proud that the product they sell is home grown.
“We produce everything here,” said Berry, as she sat inside the 2,200-square-foot Vintner’s Cellar wine shop in Royal Oak. “Everything that is on our racks, we made.”
Berry and Racey opened the store, 325 E. Fourth St., in mid-November and feature 20 varieties of wine along with the ability to alter any recipe for a custom batch. The store has varieties of white and red wines, along with four different types of fruit wine and two types of dessert wines.
The store has about 50 batches of wine in various stages of production on display. Making everything on-site has its advantages, like being able to customize a batch.
“If someone likes a Shiraz (a red wine), which is typically peppery, (and) if they want it a little more peppery, then we’ll throw in another handful and let it ferment that way,” Racey said.
The wine-making process takes four to eight weeks, which includes the wine’s fermenting, clarifying and being filtered for ideal flavor. Red wines need to be aged for several months before being opened. The white and fruit wines can be consumed sooner, Berry said.
“What is great is you can customize it,” she said. “You have a say in the process.”
To have the wine custom made, it must be bought in whole batches — a full batch makes 25 bottles of fruit wine, or 30 bottles of red or white wine. The batches range from $189 for the fruit wines and from $279 to $369 for the various red and white wines.
“The actual cost of your batch is less expensive per bottle than if you bought them individually,” Racey said.
Bottles run between $12.95 and $23.95 individually, and can be as low as $7.50 to $9 per bottle when purchased as part of a batch. The individual batches also come with custom labels.
All the wines are available for tasting before purchase, and the business is available for wine-tasting parties. They were approved for a Small Wine Maker’s license by the city and state earlier in the year.
Berry, 40, and Racey, 45, decided to take the plunge and open a business after they both took buyout packages from Nextel after it was bought by Sprint. The two worked together in marketing and sales for 10 years before the merger.
In addition to the wine, the shop also sells local artwork and locally made wine accessories.
The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday and Monday by appointment only.
For more information, visit them online at www.royaloakwinery.com or call (248) 591-9463.