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Satek Winery started as a commercial vineyard, selling grapes to other Indiana wineries, in 1992.Â The intent was to eventually open our own winery as a "retirement" business.
The vineyard was established on land owned by the family on the north end of Lake James.Â The land was purchased in 1915 by Pam Satek's great grandfather Fred Kreibaum.Â The land was a working apple orchard for many years, but had grown wild when the Satek's started the vineyard in 1992.
Groundbreaking for the winery was held in late 1999.Â The winery opened on June 30, 2001 with Pam, Larry and one part time employee.Â Satek Winery currently has 14 employees.
All the original wine in 2001 was made from grapes grown in Satek Winery's Lake James vineyard.Â The winery opened with four wines, although eventually 12 wines would be released during 2001.
Although vineyard acreage has increased, the winery's needs have outstripped the growth and Satek Winery has had to purchase grapes.Â Most (80%) are from other Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania vineyards to remain as close in character to our grapes as possible.Â California grapes are also purchased.
The winery was originally designed for 10,000 gal capacity, although nearly 13,000 gal were produced in the last 12 months.Â With the expansion, production can be increased to an anticipated 25,000 - 30,000 gal.
Satek Winery has expanded its vineyard from the original 2 acres to 8 acres (4 owned and 4 contracted).Â A ton of grapes will produce about 150 gal of wine.Â An acre of grapes will produce 3-7 tons of grapes.
A newly planted grapevine will take about 5 years to reach full production, and about 7 years to reach full flavor maturity.Â Grapevines generally slow down in production after about 35 years, but may live to be 100 years old, or older.
Satek Winery has had nearly 80% of its wines win medals in the third largest international wine competition in the US for each of the last three years.
Wines grown on Satek Winery vineyards have won gold medals, and Best in Class awards, from dry red and white wines to semi-sweet red and white wines.
Pam Satek, an Indiana University graduate, was a teacher, followed by being a Principal of an Elementary School in the Lutheran School System for 16 years. Larry Satek holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry and was a research scientist for 23 years, after 7 years of being a college chemistry professor.
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