The only thing more unique than a winery devoted mainly to sparkling wine might be a librarian-turned-winemaker, like Minnesota-native Josie Boyle, founder of Mousse Sparkling Wine Co. The winery and tasting room opened its doors on Labor Day, Sept. 7, welcoming visitors with wine and food samples.
“I’ve been interested in wine a long time,” said Boyle, for whom Mousse’s open house is the culmination of a long-held dream. A French major in college, Boyle saw firsthand on a study abroad trip to Parish how important wine is to the French culture. Her education included learning about different types of wine, wine pairing, and the joie de vivre that comes from sharing an excellent bottle with friends.
Back home in the United States, Boyle discovered a wine appreciation class at her local community college and decided to sign up. That class opened the door to others about grape growing and winemaking, and Boyle found her interest growing into a passion.
“I quit my librarian job and started working for wineries,” said Boyle. She traveled to New Zealand for her first winery position and ended up in Traverse City, Michigan with a winemaker who specialized in sparkling wine.
“That’s where my love of sparkling wines really began,” said Boyle. She was fascinated by the different techniques and flavor combinations that went into making a bottle of bubbly. After a 5-year stint at Chankaska as assistant winemaker, Boyle felt inspired to go into business for herself. Her husband, himself a home brewer, enthusiastically supported her. Together, they found a beautiful old building in Jordan and remodeled it to include a prep kitchen, winemaking space and tasting bar, thereby founding Mousse Sparkling Wine Co.
“Mousse is actually the French term for the layer of bubbles on a glass of champagne, kind of like the head on a beer,” Boyle said. “It emphasizes that we are all about bubbles!”
The winery’s logo - a wineglass between two moose antlers - also pays a playful homage to Boyle’s home state.
Boyle and her team immediately set to work creating fruity, fun sparkling wines using grapes from their self-run vineyard in Shakopee as well as ones purchased from local vendors. Next on the agenda is a hard apple cider that will be available before the end of September.
Beginning at the winery’s Labor Day open house and continuing throughout the season, visitors can expect to sample dry and sweet sparkling wines. While Boyle does produce a still house white and red variety, the main focus will be on carbonated offerings.
“The emphasis on sparkling wines really sets us apart,” said Boyle. “The plan is to expose our customers to the different types of wines that can be made with bubbles.”
Meat and cheese trays are available for guests to order while they enjoy their wine. Additionally, Boyle plans to partner with nearby restaurant Suzette’s to offer crepe cakes.
“They make them really fancy with about 15 layers of crepes and filling,” said Boyle. “They’re really good!”
The Mouse Sparkling Wine Co. encourages locals to keep an eye out for upcoming special events. During the first three Sundays in September, the winery is offering free lunch and wine vouchers to all who come to help harvest grapes. Other possible events include “paint and sip” classes and holiday parties.
“We have some fun stuff in the works!” said Boyle.
Mousse Sparkling Wine Co. will be open 2 - 8 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, 12 - 9 p.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12 - 6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit www.moussewinery.com.