Junto Wine Review
Address: 1356 182nd St Seward,Nebraska 68434.
Phone Number: 402-803-0587
Tasting Hours: Thurs-Fri 4:00-9:00, Sat 1:00-9:00, Sun 1:00-6:00 and by appt.
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 5/23/2015
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
We pulled off of the gravel road a half hour outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, where Mark used to live, and examined the odd juxtaposition of items: outside a large, corrugated steel building, in which one might store a tractor or other similar implements, was a gorgeous hillside vineyard and an elaborate, multi-tiered fountain. We didnt work too hard to reconcile these things to one another before stepping inside and realizing that the elaborate and elegant tasting room was picking up where the fountain left off. While the outside of the Junto tasting room is nothing to look at, the inside is a veritable tour de force of neo-classic décor, complete with a gorgeous bar, more stone than a single quarry could yield, and gorgeous floor-to-ceiling bookshelves full of texts and interesting bobbles to look at while one imbibes. It was all a bit much, honestly, but it was elegant, and we quickly felt at home.
The room was far busier than we expected for a Saturday afternoon, so we pulled up to the bar where we were greeted by Rebecca, who has been working in the tasting room since they opened last year. She was delightful, extremely helpful, and knowledgeable about their products. She brought us a charcuterie plate and walked us through our tasting, answering our questions and offering suggestions for pairings and other people we might speak with in order to learn more. We have excellent wine at home in our cellar, so good service is something we seek out, and we definitely found it with Rebecca.
As with so many small wineries, not all of their wines were readily available by the glass, as stock was running low. We paid the modest $6 fee and tasted all six that were available at that time. The reds are all very young, but the mark of quality seems to be upon each one. Complexity, paired with the distinct tastes that come from oak aging, resulted in probably the driest reds weve tasted lately in the state, and some of our favorites.
The whites were equally enjoyable, the most impressive being an Edelweiss that winemaker Chad Egger had diligently resisted dumping sugar into. While most Edelweiss on the Great Plains is served syrupy-sweet, this one was appropriately labeled semi-sweet. The characteristics of the grape were evident, making the wine all that much more interesting and rare.
On our way out, we ran into one of the owners who was between deliveries and took a moment to stop and chat with us. He explained the name; Junto was a club of thinkers established in 1727 by Benjamin Franklin, and Franklin’s spectacles were used as the inspiration for the winery’s logo. We didnt chat long, but we enjoyed learning more and noted that wed like to return in the near future. If you find yourself in or near Lincoln, Nebraska (or, less likely, Seward, Nebraska), and youre a fan of wine, wed recommend a trip to Junto. From the ambiance to the service to the wine, its a unique experience, and one we look forward to having again.