Jeff and Gina Kirby will open Powell Village Winery on Friday.

Sure, Jeff and Gina Kirby were fans of wine.

In one sense, they had to be.

Spending most of her professional life in the hospitality business, Mrs. Kirby had to know her grapes. The couple toured California wine country and was regularly treated to extravagant wine dinners, fueling their passion for viticulture.

They have taken their enthusiasm to the next level and on Friday will open Powell Village Winery, 50 S. Liberty St., in a shopping center just west of the popular four-corners intersection.

The place will sell small-batch wines made exclusively by the Kirbys.

The list will feature eight sweets, eight whites, eight reds, two blushes and two dessert wines, sold by the bottle, glass, flight and tasting pours.

The rustic setting was designed by Mr. Kirby, who graduated with a degree landscape architecture from Ohio State. The 2,000-square-foot setting, formerly a sewing shop, seats 34.

"I think what we wanted to do was create an environment that's fun and is approachable and is something that's new and fresh," Mrs. Kirby said.

Their wines are made on premises from juice from around the globe - Australia, Italy, South Africa, Germany and the U.S. Jeff Kirby said there's not enough room in the store to make the wines with fresh grapes.

It is aged in plastic containers. Mr. Kirby said oak barrels are too big and, at present, too expensive, so he uses oak chips to give the wines the proper dimension.

The objective was to keep the wines affordable, $11 to $15 a bottle, with ice wines priced at $23.

"It's definitely a very good bottle of wine for what we're selling it at," he said. "And we have so many varietals, something for everybody."
"It's all about what you like," Mrs. Kirby added.

Because there is no kitchen, food will be limited to small plates. In addition to wine, the place will sell custom-made olive oil. Dipping samples will be provided.

The place also offers customized vintages and private labels for businesses and individuals. Starting after the first of the year, customers will also be invited to assist in the bottling and labeling process.

A few years back, Jeff Kirby tried his hand at making wine. The first batch, using cabernet sauvignon grapes from Napa Valley, proved to be a little harsh but promising enough for him to continue.

"I just started making it down in the basement with all sorts of different things," he said. "And we served it to the family and they all seemed to like it."

Next, they hired a wine consultant to help them set up the business and perfect the wine-making process.

The Kirbys' long-term goals include finding a production facility to make larger batches of their wine and partner with local restaurants to do wine dinners, although they have no intention of offering food service.

Powell Village Winery is open afternoon to early evening hours five days a week, closed Sunday and Monday.
For more information, call (614) 505-7465.

Oops. Don Christos Pizza in Powell is open on Sundays. Incorrect information appeared in the Nov. 17 edition of Table Talk.