St. Joseph gets new winery on State Street

Cousins Lauren Kniebes and Melanie Owen developed a taste for wine at a young age, fostered by their grandmother, Juanita Kniebes. She gave them sips of her homemade Concord wine that sparked their interest. And growing up next to their family's vineyards, they were also educated early on about grapes and viticulture.

As they grew older, they worked together at Contessa Wine Cellars in Coloma and became avid wine lovers. They have been working in the Lake Michigan shore wine industry for the past seven years.

The cousins decided to pursue their dream in the winter of 2015 by starting their own wine venture. With a successful Kickstarter campaign, they now are the owners of the Lazy Ballerina Winery, 315 State Street, St. Joseph. A grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting for the new business is set for Aug. 6.  

They were encouraged to establish their own winery as Southwest Michigan grew to become the heart of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail and is now home to more than 15 local wineries.

Lazy Ballerina Winery and tasting room are open every day in downtown St. Joseph and features 12 different wine selections, including a non-alcoholic sparkling juice.

Shoppers will also find a variety of fresh food options such as cheese plates, homemade hummus, wraps, and gourmet salads. The tasting room offers a fun, decorative, and spacious setting with comfortable seating where guests can enjoy wine tasting, wine by the glass, flights, and food, the owners say.

Source: Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce