THE SUPERIOR EXPRESS

May 28, 2015

 

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NEWS!

Winery owners receive festival's entrepreneur award

Saathoff Construction to begin work on auditorium

Airport authority seeking new lights

Vehicle disappears from cafe lot, but soon returns

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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 28 May 2015

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Winery owners receive festival's entrepreneur award

The annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award, presented at the Superior Victorian Festival, was awarded to Superior Estates Winery. The award, originated and presented by Gary Crook, to honor his lifelong friend, the late Larry McCord, is presented to a person or business which exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship and community spirit. Crook and Shannon McCord presented to the award to Randy, Kelly and Nate Meyer.
Nestled on the north edge of Superior is a striking building that seems at one with the surrounding land. Designed by Randy,an Omaha architect, the building serves as a convention center, catering venue and its primary function, the home of Sueprior Estates Winery. Meyers' involvement didn't end with the design of the building. He, along with his wife Kelly and son, Nate, own and operate Superior Estates Winery.
The Meyer family roots run deep in Nuckolls County. His grandfather owned and operated a flour mill in Oak which processed and sold "My Best" brand flour. That brand name could serve as the title of their business and life philosophy. His grandfather and uncle moved to Superior and used their mill expertise to operate the first plant to supply electricity to the city.
The family also had deep ties to the land. The family farmed land and raised dairy cows in Nuckolls County for three generations. Nate earned a bachelor's degree in horticulture. Kelly was raised on a farm. All these themes would intersect to create the winery.
Randy has a deep connection to Superior, having attended Superior High School. He went on to earn a degree in architecture. He established his own firm in Omaha. He designed the main building of the winery with specific themes. The stone planter at the entry images the grape vines rising from the soil. The overhead beams in the great room echo the trellis the vines wrap around as they grow. The round room, located off the main room, is the vat the wine ferments in. The contrast between rough and polished stone imagines the transition of the grape to fine wine. The colors used throughout the building are earthern, indicitive of the soul of the grapes which comes from the soil.
The family is passionate about wine. whether it is enjoying a glass of wine or producing their own. It was their love of wine which led to the establisment of their own vineyard and winery. An encounter with the 'Flying wine doc,' of Australia, led to the planting. The doc is a well-respected wine consultant who noted that, based upon his research, there was a narrow swath of land which would be conducive to growing wine grapes. That was the spark which lit the tinder. The family discussed the idea and in 2000, the first grape vines were planted on land Nate owned in Kansas. The Meyers' began with a five acre vineyard on their Superior property in 2001. It requires three years for the vines to produce grapes suitable for wine production. The winery released it first offering in 2004. The operation added 10 additional acres in 2002. At the present time, 15 acres are under cultivation. There are approximately 500 vines per acre. The operation is labor intensive in the best of times and becomes even more so during harvest season. Vines must be pruned and sprayed. Drip irrigation lines supply water when rain does not. Pruning takes place in late spring. Man and nature work hand in hand over the next four months as the vines leaf out and flower. The grapes form and, as autumn approches, the harvest begins. The grapes are hand picked by a group of dedicated harvesters. Many retired people from the Superior community and some from more than 60 miles away make the trip to the winery to hand pick the grapes. The grapes are then crushed and the juice placed into tanks. A separate building houses the vats and bottling equipment.
The vineyard is home to several different varieties of grape, some red and some white. They grow the Cayuga from New York, a white grape and the Catawba, a native grape that is a rose. Traminatte, a white, Frontenac and St. Vincent, both reds, are French-American hybrids. Vignole grapes are used to make white wine. The vineyard has employed wine makers in the past but relies upon a consultant to help decide the best winemaking process for each variety of grape.
Nature provides a constant stream of adversaries for the grapes. A late freeze can cause a vine trunk to split or damage the emerging growth. Weeds are a constant menace, and hail can damage the grapes at any stage of formation. Birds love to feast on the grapes so netting is often deployed as well as a sound system broadcasting avian distress calls.
Nate takes charge of the winery. Cork from Portugal is used to stopper the bottles. They bottle their wine under the Superior Estates and Tornado Alley labels. The winery is well-respected in international and nation wine circles having been awarded a double gold as best in class among 4,000 entries. They have also earned many gold and silver medals at wine competitions across the globe, a major accomplishment for a small vintner..
Events are held at the winery throughout the year. Fundraisers and galas are interspersed with graduation parties, weddings and receptions.
The Meyers' stress the vineyard and winery are for the community to enjoy and invite area residents to tour the buildings, enjoy the vistas and taste the wine.

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Saathoff Construction to begin work on auditorium

There was good news to be had by those visiting the Superior City Auditorium during the Victorian Festival. It was announced that a contract for nearly a million dollars has been awarded to a local contractor and work to return the building to use will be starting next month.
Saathoff Construction will be the local contractor responsible for the project. Saathoff will involve other subs on the project.
The work will be done in phases as the money becomes available. Superior Historic Redevelopment has been conducting various fund raising endeavors including the solicitation of donations and the seeking of grants. With working starting soon it is hoped some people who have pledged funds will now actually make the donation.
The immediate goal is to do what has to be done to allow the reopening of the building for at least limited use. The building has been closed since the late 1990s.
Earlier the roof was repaired and volunteers have donated hundreds of hours to cleaning and get it ready for the next phase.
A Superior native, local business owner and architect, Randy Meyer has drawn the plans. The building is now owned by Superior Historic Redevelopment, a non-profit corporation recognized as such by the Internal Revenue Service.

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Airport authority seeking new lights
Public notice is given in this issue of The Express with regard to a planned improvement at the Superior Municipal Airport.
Members of the airport authority are working with state and federal agencies hoping to upgrade the runway lights and beacon.
It is anticipated the new lights will make it easier for pilots attempting to land after dark. When installed, the new lights will do more than just the location of the runway. They will also give a visual signal to the pilot showing if the plane's approach is either too high or too low as well as a signal when the approach is just right.
It is also anticipated the beacon light will be replaced as part of the runway lighting contract. The current beacon is thought to date from World War II or soon thereafter. It is operating trouble free but because of its age some consideration is being given to a replacement. The airport's orginal landing lights, beacon and related tower were surplus items obtained from the federal government.
The airport continues to be busy and with the last runway upgrade is serving small business jets.

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Vehicle disappears from cafe lot, but soon returns
Clint and Lucille Richardson's trip last Thursday trip for dinner at the Velvet Rose didn't go as planned. After finishing their meal with friends, Bob and Kathy Dye, they went to the parking lot planning to return home but couldn't find their vehicle.
They had locked the door and Clint had the key to unlock the door in his pocket but decided the vehicle must have been stolen and called the police.
When Kent Bargen learned the Richardson vehicle was missing he reported he had earlier that day helped two men who said they had locked their keys inside their vehicle when stopping at the restaurant.
Bargen remembered the vehicle looked much like the one the Richardsons were looking for. The doors were locked but a window was down a bit and the keys were visible inside.
While the Richardsons were talking with a police officer, a waitress came out from the restaurant and advised she had just gotten a call from Luke Meyers, operator of the Superior airport. He reported the Richardsons' vehicle was at the airport and would soon be returned to the cafe parking lot.
Shortly, thereafter Meyer pulled into the parking lot driving a pickup. He advised his secretary was en route with the Richardsons' van.
In short order the Richardsons learned the rest of the story. It seems two men had stopped at the airport earlier that morning and borrowed a vehicle for the trip to the cafe. When they finished eating and went to leave, they chose a white van similar to the one they driven to the cafe, however, it was similar but not the one. By mistake they picked out the Richardsons' van. They weren't aware of the mistake until they returned the borrowed van to the airport.
Soon after Meyer arrived at the cafe, his secretary drove up with the Ricardson van which she exchanged for the airport van.
Clint hadn't been concerned about leaving his keys inside his locked van as he carries and extra key with him for such situations. But he did become concerned when he found the vehicle missing.
Fortunately, the mystery was quickly solved and all involved parties went on with their day.

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