One of the state’s first urban wineries has run out of room and will move this summer to a larger space just prior to its fifth anniversary.
Alwyn Fitzgerald, founder of Fisher King Winery in Mount Horeb, announced Tuesday that he will move his winery and tasting room to a 5,000-square-foot renovated space in a historic building at 108 South 2nd St., just a few blocks from his 3,500-square-foot location at 102 West Main St.
The new location, expected to be ready by August, will provide more room for the winery’s growing production operation and allow for larger events and more seating in the tasting room.
“The market is growing overall,” Fitzgerald said. “People are more interested in wine and wineries and you couple that with the Buy Local movement, particularly around Dane County, and it’s become a real destination.”
In 2015, sales at Fisher King grew by more than 20 percent to nearly $500,000 with wine available at about 130 retail accounts. Production has grown from about 1,000 gallons in 2011 to about 8,000 gallons in 2015. In addition, Fitzgerald said he has had to turn some events away and has seen his tasting room fill to capacity when live music events are held.
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The new facility, owned by Steve Grundahl, founder of Midwest Prototyping in Blue Mounds, is being completely renovated with Fisher King taking the first floor of the building. Fitzgerald said the second floor will be a separate business owned by Grundahl, who will use it as an event space for weddings and banquets.
The building is located across the street from the Grumpy Troll Brew Pub and just south of the proposed Driftless Historium, a $1.7 million museum and events space for the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society.
Fitzgerald, 58, spent most of his career in marketing and had been making wine at home for more than 30 years. But in 2011, he dipped into his retirement, solicited $150,000 from investors and received a low-interest $80,000 loan from the village to convert the former Reppen Ford showroom, next to the Duluth Trading Co. store into a tasting room and production space.
The new facility for Fisher King had been home over the years to a cheese factory and later a John Deere farm implement dealership but now will be home to a growing and award-winning winery.
“It’s going to be a big boon for us,” Fitzgerald said. “The sales keep growing.”