Winery announces plan for downtown Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 May 2014 at 12:00 am

810 Meadworks eyes late November opening

MEDINA – A meadery, which combines some of the arts of making wine and beer, is coming to downtown Medina with a target opening in late November during the Parade of Lights.

Larissa and Bryan DeGraw and their friend Morris Babcock are working to establish 810 Meadworks at 113 West Center St., Suite 1. That spot was a barbershop a few months ago next to the Shirt Factory Café in the R.H. Newell building.

The DeGraws moved from New Jersey, Mr. DeGraw’s native state, to Orleans County. They are temporarily staying in Kent, where Mrs. DeGraw, the former Larissa Gunder, grew up. They are moving to Medina.

In New Jersey they lived in a 230-year-old house. They wanted to be a part of the Medina’s revitalization in its historic downtown. The community also is ideally situated in the middle of the expanded Niagara Wine Trail.

“We really appreciate a small town that embraces its history,” DeGraw said. “And from a business standpoint, Medina is in the center of the Niagara Wine Trail. That is an absolutely great place to be.”

At the R.H. Newell building, 810 Meadworks will share the first floor with the Shirt Factory Café and Boiler 54, which runs a concert series. DeGraw believes those businesses will help the new winery, and vice versa.

“We’re real excited to be next to them,” DeGraw said.

810 Meadworks uses “810” in its name from the Bible verse Nehemiah 8:10: “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

DeGraw said the business will be a place where sweet drinks and choclates can be celebrated over conversation.

“We want to build relationships with people and get to know people,” DeGraw said.

The former barbershop area will be renovated into a production area for creating honey wines and meads, which are alcoholic drinks made by fermenting honey with water and often fruits, spices, grains and hops.

DeGraw has been a home brewer and mead maker for five years. There were very few meaderies in the United States only two years ago, but now there are about 200 with more in the works.

“Meaderies are the oldest fermented beverage,” DeGraw said. “It’s really made a comeback in the last 1 ½ to 2 years.”

810 Meadworks will convert a meeting room in the building into its tasting area, bar and lounge.

DeGraw said the business needs to secure state and federal approvals before it can open. He said that process usually takes three months. The Village Board also is considering changes in its zoning to make it easier for wineries to operate in the downtown. The board has set 7 p.m. June 23 for a public hearing on the zoning changes.

For more on 810 Meadworks, click here.