You started a suburban winery…where?

Who we are Aaronap Cellars is the brainchild and dream of CEO & winemaker Noel Powell (that’s me).  Growing up in the cornfields of Iowa didn’t exactly offer much exposure to viticulture, or winemaking, and it took moving to California for graduate school and making friends with a couple of wine fanatics before something akin to a spiritual awakening occurred:  wine is good!  After finishing my PhD in organic chemistry, moving to Michigan, and entering the pharmaceutical industry, I continued my journey of exploration in the world of wine.  A cellar collection took shape, tastes evolved, senses were refined, and a nagging desire to make wine was borne.  Why make wine—well, at its basest element wine is a collection of chemicals that combine to give such sensory perfection.  As a chemist, I found that enthralling and made me want to try my hand at it.  So, one gray February morning, I drove to a home winemaking store in Dundee, MI and bought my first wine kit.  Every one of you who had the misfortune of sampling that first attempt will agree that the wine was rocket fuel…but the obsession and dream was borne! Over the next 8 years, I honed my craft by making ungodly numbers of fruit wines, more kits, and finally wines from fresh grapes.  Wine bottles stacked up in rapidly rising numbers…at one point I drove for 8 hours through an early snow storm to the Finger Lakes region of New York to purchase grapes and juice (did mention I was obsessed).  Somewhere around 2007, the day job as a medicinal chemist required a move to Massachusetts, but the winemaking continued.  Ensconced in New England, new vineyards and fruit sources became available for tinkering.  Medals started coming in from amateur competitions.  To further my winemaking education, I enrolled in the esteemed enology program at the University of California Davis and graduated as a certified winemaker.  At some point along that journey I made a decision to take the hobby to the commercial level.  But where to build a winery…. Where we are Starting a winery requires…a fortune that I don’t have.  To keep startup costs in check and maintain the day job to pay the mortgage, I decided to start small and finish a portion of my suburban basement as a winery.  Yep, Aaronap Cellars resides in a 600 sq ft portion of my basement!  I will produce 500 gallons of artisanal wines a year.  Since I do not own the land for a vineyard, I partner with premier vineyards in Massachusetts, New England, California, Washington, and even Chile to source the best possible grapes and fruit imaginable. Our philosophy My goal is to use the premier fruit from my partner vineyards to produce innovative wines that are unique to Aaronap Cellars. Yankee innovation meets wine! You’ll encounter unabashedly fruit forward New World wines with a twist.  The vineyard has to produce the best possible fruit to make good wine, but the winemaker also plays a tremendous role in making the wine shine.  I craft each small volume batch by hand using techniques borrowed from history, art, & modern science to produce unique and truly artisanal wines.  My wine selection will likely change from year to year so you’ll want to visit again and again. Come along for the ride!  There certainly will not be a dull moment as I continue my explorations in winemaking.  Hopefully we’ll make some eye-opening discoveries together along the way. Cheers, Noel Powell CEO, Winemaker, & Chief Bottle Washer]]>

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