Winery's first week draws the curious

Red tape delays opening, but microwinery up and running now in former ice cream shop

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LORRIE CECIL/THISWEEKNEWS
Powell resident Jackie Trexel has opened Quail Crossing Cellars at 2899 N. High St. in Clintonville. The microwinery currently features nearly 30 locally made wines as well as olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

When it came to finding a good location for her new business, Jackie Trexel heard it through the grapevine.

"No pun intended," she said.

The Powell resident is the owner of a microwinery that opened in Clintonville last week after many delays and considerable jumping through regulatory hoops.

Trexel said she initially sought locations in Grandview and Upper Arlington for Quail Crossing Cellars, but friends urged her to consider Clintonville. That's when the "grapevine" came in handy -- Trexel learned Anand Saha was closing his Vienna Ice Cafe operation to consolidate it with Mozart's Bakery and Piano Cafe in a new location in the northern part of the neighborhood.

Trexel said she jumped at the chance to take over the building at 2899 N. High St.

"I think that spot is great, has a lot of visibility," she said.

Trexel also thought her retail winery, which she named after the street she's lived on in Powell for the past 17 years after moving there from Clintonville, would be up and running by mid-July.

"I've been waiting for lots of different permits and approvals from the city, state and federal governments," Trexel said.

The longest delay involved obtaining a permit for the labels for Quail Crossing Cellars wines from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

The initial label Trexel sent in was rejected by Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau officials for what she termed "minor, minor things," but it took a full two months for the changes she made to pass inspection. Final approval didn't arrive until late last month.

It was high time for Trexel to put her passion into practice. That passion -- for wine -- developed when she was a senior at Miami University and took a class called Geography of Wine. In addition to exploring where different wines come from, the class included tastings.

After that, most of Trexel's vacations were spent in one wine-producing region or another.

Finally, she enrolled in a well-respected wine-making course at Washington State University.

Making wine isn't terribly difficult, but making good wine is something of an art form, Trexel said.

"I think it's harder to make beer than it is to make wine, because you have a lot more steps and boiling and things like that," she said.

In the first few days the store was open last week, Trexel said people stopped in, as curious about the nature of a microwinery as they are about its products.

"They aren't used to retail wineries yet," she said. "I think their curiosity is, 'How did you think to do this?' People are really curious to try all the different wines. A lot of people come in and they aren't wine-savvy, and that's great."

Quail Crossing Cellars currently is open from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.

"If there's demand, I will extend the hours and open more days," Trexel said.

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