By Bret Anne Serbin
Angela and Trevor Zuba want to bring international sophistication to Kalispell with their new micro-winery.
The couple plans to open Wates Edge Wineries in Aspen Square in May 2020.
“We’ve traveled pretty extensively through Europe,’ Angela said. “We’ve been able to go to different wineries and develop an appreciation for different flavours.”
Now she and her husband hope to bring those exotic tastes to the Flathead Valley.
They expect to have up to 16 different wine varietals with grapes from places such as Chile, France, Italy and Australia, as well as the US and Canada. Angela promised to carry favorites such as merlot and cabernet sauvignon, as well as a few harder-to-find wines like a Meritage, petit Verdot and amoroso. The bistro will also offer food selections including appetizers, flat-breads, sandwiches, salads and desserts.
“They’re going to bring a very unique concept to the Flathead Valley,” said the Zubas’ public relations representative Matthew Hasbun. “Its’ not very common in spaces like this.”
Waters Edge Wineries will join 11 other locations in the California based franchise that brings exotic wines to communities across the country by eliminating the need for vineyards.
“They bring about a winery where you might not think it’s possible,” Hasbun explained.
Waters Edge Wineries uses an innovative “micro-winery” tank system similar to the micro-brewery trend that has taken off in recent years, particularly in Montana. Franchise owners are trained to operate the tanks in order to replace the need for vineyards in locales where this traditional method might not be realistic.
“We’ll be making wine right there on site.” Angela said.
The Zubas – originally from Alberta, Canada decided to bring the unique concept to Kalispell after spending many years visiting the area for its outdoor opportunities.
“We live close to the border, so we’re visiting all the time, “Angela said. “We just love being in the mountains. WE love camping, hiking, water activities. It’s the best place on earth.”
The Zubas build a house in the valley six years ago, and they jumped on the recent chance to open a Waters Edge Wineries franchise and relocate their family here.
“It was the perfect opportunity,” Angela said. “I’m kind of a wine aficionado and a foodie.”
While she doesn’t have any formal food or beverage experience, she brings 20 years of business and political experience working with private and non-profit organizations in Canada. She also served as the chief executive officer of the Canadian Homebuilders Association.
“It’s a good base,” she noted. “I’ve started a lot of businesses from the ground up, and now I’ll basically do that for myself.”
Her husband Trevor, who she said works in the energy sector, also brings 15 years of experience working with fine dining in hotels, but Angela noted, “I’ll be running the show. This is my baby one hundred percent.”
She has high hopes for her new enterprise. Once they open in the spring, Waters Edge Wineries will have a wine club with different benefits for various membership levels. They also plan to host bottling parties and offer customers the opportunity to print their own labels and even create their own custom vintages.
“We’ll have different fun activities,” Angela said, like live music, paint and sip events, yoga and wine classes and grape-crushing parties.
She anticipates these developments will be part of an exciting future for the aspen Square area of Kalispell.
“It’s and up and coming area from what I can see,” she observed. “I envision a series of local manufacturing tours here you hit all the wineries and breweries all along theme corridor.
“I think it’s going to turn into a destination where can take a tour of local spirits,” she predicted.
~ Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 758-4459
Check back for more news and the expected opening date!