April 19, 2014

After major fire, St. Paul winery hopes to reopen in May

A winery in central Nebraska is rising from the ashes, nearly a year after a devastating fire. The main structure of the Miletta Vista Winery in St. Paul was gutted in the blaze last June.

Co-owner Mick McDowell says after a year of construction, they’re nearly ready to re-open.

“We’ve got all the internal workings of the retail area pretty well completed,” McDowell says. “We’re getting a lot closer. There’s still a lot of work to do with painting, decorating. We’ve got a beautiful view that we have an outdoor deck on.”

McDowell says the outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming as he’s continually questioned about when the winery will re-open.

“That’s the first thing that people ask,” he says. “Everybody’s really excited and very interested in our start-up date which gives us enthusiasm and encouragement to know we’ve got customers and clients that appreciate what we’ve done.”

He hopes to reopen the winery by May.

Six fire departments responded to the blaze June 23rd but strong winds whipped the flames and there was little hope of saving the building.

The winery first opened in 2007. The name “Miletta” comes from the combination of the owners first names — Mick and Loretta.

By Tyson Havranek, KHAS, Hastings