Train your palate

And enjoy the scene at Two-EE's Winery

Two-EE's Winery Plonqé, photography by Neal Bruns

Two-EE's Winery Plonqé, photography by Neal Bruns

I have discovered over the past few months that several people in our fair city have not heard of Two-EE’s Winery. Sometimes it’s a challenge to figure out something exciting and new to do in town, though that is definitely changing!

Two-EE’s is a stunning local winery just southwest of Fort Wayne, between Roanoke and Huntington, and it’s a perfect place to go taste wine during the summer. You may have tried one of their famous sweet, icy slushies while at the TinCaps stadium or had a glass of their wine at a local restaurant – 800 Degrees Three Fires, Ted’s Wine Bar and Wine Down are supporters. But you need to give them a visit to take advantage of their wide array of offerings. I should emphasize this is not a review or an endorsement; I’m just talking about a fun destination to go and taste a lot of unusual wines.

Two-EE’s is the brainchild of a young married couple, Eric and Emily Harris, and was founded in 2013. The building is beautiful: modern and open with a sleek wine tasting room and an enormous covered patio for outdoor sips and grooves. Eric was named the Rising Star Winemaker award winner in 2013 and 2014 from International Wine TV awards. Emily is his right-hand woman and oversees special events, scheduling, everything else and, most critically, Eric.

The merriment begins in the tasting room. For $5 you can get a flight of six wines. This is a great place to test and build your wine palate. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned wine drinker, tasting through several wines is an interesting and wonderful way to learn. You can really begin to narrow down what you prefer. After your tasting, you can either try more wines, order a glass or buy a bottle to take outside to share. The patio is huge, or you can sit out on the grassy hillside.

During the summer months, they host a music series called Uncorked on Friday and Saturday nights with local featured bands and food trucks. Large crowds sprawl the property on lawn chairs and blankets, drinking wine under the stars. They have also started a Sunday brunch.

Plonqé is the wildly popular sweet red wine made from Concord grapes. It is the workhorse of the winery. Their trademark wine slushy is made with it, and it’s undeniably irresistible. Must have.

They have several white and rosé wines, including a sweet Diamond and a Riesling. Some years Eric makes a Grüner Veltliner and Traminette. They have wines made from grapes you’ve never heard of, like Steuben, Marquette, Catawba and many more.

My favorites at the winery are a trio of dry reds, all made from Italian varietals. The Dolcetto, meaning ironically “little sweet one,” is actually not sweet at all. It’s smooth, bright and fruit-forward and great to drink out on the grassy hillside. The Primitivo (aka Zinfandel) is a dry and medium-bodied wine with blackberry and pepper notes – good for barbecue. The Aglianico packs a punch at 15.3 percent alcohol. Definitely an attention-getter, its dark tannins are rounded out with soulful, earthy, dark-fruit flavors.

The winery is open every day 11 a.m.-7 p.m., with later hours on the weekends. It’s also kid-friendly. Take a driver and check it out!

First appeared in the June 2016 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.

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