Geneva aldermen OK new liquor license for wine tasting business

Up North Wine Tasting Room to open this spring

State Street in downtown Geneva

GENEVA – The Geneva City Council on March 21 approved adding a liquor license for a new wine tasting business.

Up North Wine Tasting Room, 9 N. Second St., will feature the wines of northern Michigan, co-owner Catherine Humphreys said.

“We’ve been traveling to northern Michigan for 20-some odd years and we’ve grown to love what they offer in wine in the Traverse City-Leelanau Mission-Peninsula area,” Humphreys said.

Humphreys said her family has lived in Geneva since 1993, but northern Michigan is their go-to place for vacations.

“Because both my daughter and daughter-in-law were thinking of changing careers and it came to me, why can’t we open a tasting room that would feature just northern Michigan wines? Because they are so sought-after,” Humphreys said. “They’re all nationally recognized and we thought what a great opportunity to bring part of northern Michigan here.”

Working along with her daughter, Mary Humphreys, and daughter-in-law Amy Goedken, they partnered with nine wineries in northern Michigan to feature them in Geneva.

The wineries “were thrilled to have us carry their wines,” Catherine Humphreys said.

They plan to offer education about each winery, their vineyards, varietals and their histories each month. Guests can take advantage of promotions, so if they go to northern Michigan, they might be eligible for a free wine tasting, she said.

“If [guests] are from the city or the North Shore – wherever they are from – let them come to Geneva and experience Geneva and be able to buy the northern Michigan wines right here,” Catherine Humphreys said.

The business will offer flights, glasses and take-home bottles, as well as three flagship beers from Shorts Brewing from northern Michigan for the non-wine drinkers and Northwoods sodas for children and Great Lakes Chips also made in northern Michigan, she said.

“We’re very excited and we have been working tirelessly to get things done,” Catherine Humphreys said. “We’re hoping [to open in] April if we can get things put together. If not, May.”

All they need is for a bathroom to be built out and their bar, but everything else is ready to go, she said.

The business will be open Thursday through Sunday from noon or 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., and can host special events, such as book club nights, when closed to the public, Goedken said.