Soaring Wings Vineyard Review
Address: 17111 S. 138th St. Springfield,Nebraska 68059.
Phone Number: 402-253-2429
Tasting Hours: Wed-Sat 12:00-6:00, Sun 12:00-5:00 and by appt.
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 5/31/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
The expression Dont quit your day job doesnt apply to Jim Shaw; he has two of them, but both qualify as passions more than they do work. A commercial airline pilot for Delta, Jim and his wife Sharon founded Soaring Wings Vineyard and Brewing ten years ago, in the summer of 2004. Jims life as a pilot accounts for everything from the name of his winery to the propeller on the wall behind the tasting room bar, and of course the birds, dragons, and other winged creatures that can be found on the colorful labels of his craft. Technically in the tiny town of Springfield, Nebraska, the winery sits just on the western fringe of the city of Omaha, making it easy access from there or from Lincoln, a mere forty miles farther to the east.
When we arrived on an overcast Saturday afternoon, the place was hopping, and we could tell by our surroundings that something special was going on. A large tent was set up a short walk from the main building, and as we approached, we saw that the amphitheater on the grounds was set up for a wedding. As we enjoyed our tasting, the bride and her maids shuffled through on their way out to the vineyard for pictures, with a couple stopping for a draught of sparkling wine on the way back in. The tasting room is made up mostly of a large bar and a small amount of seating. While clean and orderly, the tasting room doesnt offer much in terms of ambiance and most guests choose to enjoy their wine on the porch overlooking the amphitheater and vineyard, or on the large covered patio. The patio is perfect to enjoy a light summer breeze, a basket of crackers, sausage, and cheese, and of course a draught beer or bottle of wine.
Possibly the most impressive thing about Soaring Wings is the selection of wines they offer. Though the tasting menu itself is larger than most, we want to hit on a few of the highlights in this review to attempt to give readers an impression of just how special this selection really is. The first wine on the menu is a Syrah. Yep. In Nebraska. Estate grown and estate bottled, it is dry, tannic, and oaky, possesses a nice fruit finish and promises to age well. It is, so far as we are aware, the only Syrah being grown in the state of Nebraska at this time, and in our opinion it would compete well with Syrah we have enjoyed from all around the world. In addition to that, the AirPORT One is one of but a handful of fortified offerings from Nebraska wineries, and is truly a delight. Sold in 750ml bottles at a reasonable price, Airport One weighs in at 22% and reminds us of Dows Ruby. Though there are many other delightful wines on the menu, the last thing we simply have to mention is the sparkling wine. As of yet, we have not seen sparkling wine being vinted anywhere else in Nebraska, yet Soaring Wings offers two. The Traminette, bottled in 2010, is French-style, dry, and will fire the cork out of the bottle like a weapon, while the Edelweiss is kept on-tap, is less carbonated than the Traminette, and is served by the glass. In short, an excellent fortified wine, combined with the only Syrah and sparkling offerings we have encountered in well over twenty winery visits in Nebraska sets Jim Shaws wine apart as creative, unique, and definitely worth trying.
Though overwhelmed with business, the staff was nevertheless helpful and courteous, and attempted to answer all of our questions. When Jim stuck his head into the tasting room, grabbing a pint of beer to help get him through another long day in the cellars, working on his reds, he stopped and had a chat with us. He is an extremely amiable fellow, good natured and excited about his work, and we appreciated that in spite of being busy, he took the time to chat for a few minutes. Before returning to his work as a vintner, he encouraged us to come back and talk more when things werent quite so hectic. We plan on it.