SchillingBridge Winery & MicroBrewery Review
Address: 62193 710th Rd. Pawnee City,Nebraska 68420.
Phone Number: 62193 710
Tasting Hours: Nov-Mar: Sun, Wed-Fri 12:00-6:00, Sat 12:00-9:00; Feb-Oct: Sun, Wed-Thurs 12:00-6:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-9:00
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 5/28/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Schilling Bridge Winery and Microbrewery is located in Pawnee City, Nebraska, a few hours’ drive from our home in Omaha. Founded in 2005, their wines and beers alike can be found in grocery stores around the state. In addition to being both a winery and a microbrewery, Schilling Bridge also has a liquor license, which enables them to serve mixed drinks and function as a public house.
We deposited our dog on the empty back patio the afternoon of our visit and stepped inside for a tasting. The tasting room reminded us a little of a cafeteria, with metal chairs and tables, and an open feel. While the girl behind the bar knew little about the wines being made in the establishment, we want to be fair and say that it was her first week on the job. Eventually, we tracked down one of the owners, Sharon Schilling, and she spent a good deal of time talking to us about the winery and answering our questions. Sharon’s passion for her product was evident, and we enjoyed speaking to her and learned a lot about wine not only hers, but the industry in general.
One fascinating thing we noted is that Schilling Bridge is growing Cabernet Franc, though they aren’t turning it into a Cabernet Franc varietal in favor of blending it with other reds. They’re also one of the few, if not the only vineyard in Nebraska, growing Baco Noir and Aurore. We appreciated that they are attempting new things, and it was clear looking out over their well-established vineyard that they have the resources to make it work. While many Nebraska wineries are making good wines out of varieties that grow better in cold climates, it’s exciting to see the more familiar names as well from time to time.
Our tasting consisted of an ensemble of reds and whites, many of which are named in some fashion after the railroad industry and its immense influence on this part of Nebraska. There was “Sweet Santa Fe” and “Rock Island Red,” in addition to “Silent Star,” a white named for Harold Lloyd, a silent film star from nearby Burchard. Schilling Bridge also offers a “wine-a-rita” for the hot summer days, and a sweet dessert wine titled “Finale.”
Schilling Bridge is a family winery. It is owned by a husband and wife whose children are also getting involved in the family business, and several of the bottles are adorned with caricatures of various family members. Sharon’s is the “Hot Flash Red,” suggesting perhaps that she is willing to be a little self-deprecating in the name of a good laugh. In fact, more than anything, the desire of the owners to just have fun comes through in everything they do. The winery tasting room may not be fancy, but it’s a great place to hang out and have a drink. The weekends promise prime rib dinners and other offerings that attract visitors from far and wide to visit the little winery. It struck us as the kind of place we’d like to hang out more, and we’ll no doubt be back for a return visit soon.