Moulton Falls Winery: Pouring their heart out

Vancouver entrepreneur Eric LaBrant

In addition, the winery happens to be located on the Chelatachie Prairie antique railroad line and the railroad has added a stop there.

“We have a steam engine that goes right across our driveway, said Millea. “We got to thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could hook up with the railroad?’ And as we started to do the buildup–”

“The president (of the railroad) walked through the door,” added Swank. “We were planning on talking to them, but they came to us,” she said.

The train made its first stop at the winery last Memorial Day weekend, bringing close to 200 people to the small business’ grand opening. The partnership has continued with fundraisers and other events. Additionally, according to Millea, the railroad eventually plans to park a restored early-1900s dinner car on the tracks next to the driveway of the winery.

“People will come to the winery, get on and have a glass of wine, and then the steam engine will pull up, hook up and take them for a dinner ride,” Millea said. “We’re having a lot of fun with them,” he added.

It’s these kinds of events and partnerships that are putting Moulton Falls on the map. Word of mouth has been the winery’s biggest avenue to success, as well as its large tasting room and, of course, the wines.

The building that houses the tasting room was originally an old barn on Millea’s property that he purchased in 1999. Everything fell into place when a huge amount of Douglas fir wood was offered in exchange for a home theater installation. The trade couldn’t have worked out better, Millea said, as the result is a beautiful wood tasting room that he constructed with his two brothers.

“People haven’t seen a tasting room like this,” said Millea. “When we first built it the lumber was still green so you could smell the lumber as you walked in. The wood would be popping.”

The room has a large wraparound bar, plenty of tables and chairs, a pellet stove in the corner beside cozy leather chairs and additional seating outside. Wood-fired pizzas are also offered in the tasting room.

“And how many tasting rooms do you get where the owners are pouring the wines for you? Not too many,” noted Swank.

Indeed, in addition to their unassuming yet exquisite wines, Millea and Swank exude a natural ease, charm and knowledge that made tasting with them a comfortable and pleasant experience for this reporter.

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