21 Brix Winery is one of Lake Erie Wine Country’s newest additions. Our doors opened at the beginning of September 2011, but that’s not where everything really began. You need to rewind back to nine years ago around the Jordan kitchen table when Kris Kane discussed with his parents, Mike and Marion Jordan about his dream to open a winery. At this point, Kris was a junior at Canisius College majoring in Biology/Pre-Med. He had dreams of becoming a chiropractor and massage therapist, however by working on the family farm during high school and college breaks, he realized his true passion was out in the vineyards.
After graduating, Kris worked on the family farm, Olde Chautauqua Farms for one year and gained experience and knowledge about farming techniques and worked with many varieties of grapes, including Chardonnay, Noiret, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Concord. When a winemaker position opened up at Presque Isle Wine Cellars in North East, Pennsylvania, Kris jumped at the opportunity to put his biology and chemistry background to work. As a winemaker at Presque Isle for ten years between 2005 and 2015, Kris processed thousands of tons of grapes and has used the bulk juice at Presque Isle to make wine as well as selling juice to amateur winemakers and wineries.
Kris also worked “down under” in Australia for Stuart Wine Company during their harvest. Since their seasons are opposite ours, he left at the beginning of February in order to experience their peak time of harvest. While working outside of Melbourne, he was lead cellar hand and night shift supervisor.
Armed with Kris’ winemaking experience, Mike’s grape farming knowledge and Marion’s business skills, the winery slowly began to take shape. By 2009, building plans for 21 Brix Winery were well underway and ground was broken at the beginning of August 2010. It took only about two months to build the exterior of the winery and by October, the construction moved to the inside of the building. By September 2011, the winery was ready to open.