In October 2006, when Aaron first met Ashley at an Oktoberfest party in Minneapolis, he told her of his lifelong dream to start a vineyard and winery. As native Wisconsin farm-boy, Aaron had started making wine in college for fun and continued this hobby when he moved to Minneapolis for work in the corporate world. Ashley, an uptown girl, soon found that his passion and ambition about this venture were contagious…enough for her to trade in her heels for rubber boots. The two set out to chase the dream together.
In 2008, while both still working full time jobs in the city, they found a little slice of heaven in Waconia, with a serene lake view, and fields perfect for growing grapes. They started a family, and so the adventure began: 5 years, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 4,000 grapevines, a few gray hairs and countless projects later, the winery opened to the public in the summer of 2013, with their first commercial vintages under their outdoor pavilion bar.
When Aaron discovered from a friend and beer enthusiast that they had a lot of equipment to brew beer as well, he turned to Ashley and said, “We should start a brewery too.” Considering how they met, it was meant to be. A brewery crew was carefully selected, their recipes perfected, and the brewery launched in June 2014, making Schram Vineyards the first singly owned and operated winery & brewery in Minnesota.
The brand new tasting and tap room, complete with wine cellar, was built and completed in the fall of 2014. The last decade has been a whirlwind of constant activity, projects and growth, which could not have all been done without the support of friends, family, staff, and customers.
Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery is becoming known as a must-stop destination spot where guests can taste and appreciate a variety of quality and serious wines alongside distinctive craft brews, all made right on-site. The Schram family still lives at the vineyard with their children and dogs, so if you see them walking by in their rubber boots, say hello!
Want to see a more personal behind the scenes look at their story? See Ashley’s blog post from the 10th anniversary of when they started the vineyard to read more about the humble roots of their beginning.