Bringing a Love of Wine to Cornerstone Square
Mike Ziethlow of Vintner's Circle hopes to spread his passion to winemaking to Westford, and believes that Cornerstone Square is the perfect place to do it.
About a year ago, Mike Ziethlow started making wine in his basement. Little did he know that his hobby would turn into a new business here in Westford.
Open this month at Cornerstone Square, Ziethlow has turned his passion into a new franchise for Vintner’s Circle, the first of his three planned Massachusetts locations for the do-it-yourself wine making shop.
“My wife and I started enjoying making wine, but it became a big mess,” he said. “Still, eventually we both said to each other ‘wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place for folks like us to go without making this big mess in our basement?”
Despite those big messes and the time and care needed to make a fine wine, Ziethlow believes that the practice of wine making can become a new trend for many of the reasons he became a fan of the art, such as the reduced costs versus buying commercially produced wine as well as the taste of wine without preservatives.
Still, Zeithlow believes that his business is not a competitor to local liquor stores, but rather a way to provide them with new customers, seeing it as a form of synergy.
“All we do is encourage appreciation of wine. Not everyone will make their wine here, but if they make some wine, they’re still going to go buy wine, no question,” he said. “Even I still buy wine sometimes when I just want to experience a different flavor.
Zeithlow also stresses that he doesn’t see his store as a potential adversary to those who serve wine, with tastings limited to quality checks during the production process and tasting events, which have to meet strict guidelines under state law.
“We’re not a bar. Occasionally customers will have to taste the wine to see how its developing, but we’re not here so people can sit and drink glass after glass,” he said.
Although it remains out of his hands as a franchisee, there’s a possibility that beermaking might come to the store in the future.
For now though, Zeithlow believes that setting up shop at Cornerstone Square was the right decision, and will help Westford’s businesses as a whole, citing many out-of-town customers he had pre-sold to before the business had even opened.
“You’re going to get people from much greater distances,” he said. “This is going to become a destination, and I think things will improve in terms of traffic due to the widening on 110.”
More information on Vintner’s Circle is available at their website.