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Groundbreaking Event

21 Brix Unveils New Event Center Saturday

From left to right: Mike and Marion Jordan pose with their son, Kris Kane, as they broke ground last fall on a 6,000-square-foot expansion project at 21 Brix Winery. Kris Kane owns and operates 21 Brix Winery in Portland. P-J photo by Braden Carmen

PORTLAND — A local business is set to have a toast to celebrate a year’s worth of work to expand operations. Fortunately, they have plenty of bottles to pick from to pop.

21 Brix Winery in Portland is unveiling its brand new 6,000 square foot event center on Saturday with a grand opening from noon to 5 p.m. at the West Main Road location just off Route 20. The event will feature live music featuring Party McFly and food from Duper’s Catering, with prizes to be given away throughout the grand opening.

The new event space features wide open sight lines to look out through the grapevines toward Lake Erie. Approximately 100 guests can fit inside the event center, with tent placement outdoors raising that figure to close to 250. The 21 Brix expansion began in October.

Chris Cooke, the architect of the expansion, stated, “The design goal was to ensure that the charm of the winery remained intact while growing the space and allowing even more people to enjoy the winery’s fabulous year-round offerings and get a taste of what makes this place so special.”

The event center will be available to book for weddings, as well as parties and banquets. By expanding to build the event center, the winery can now remain open during such events. The renovation also includes the installation of kitchen equipment, featuring a brick oven to cook pizza.

Twelve years ago when 21 Brix Winery first opened, winemaker Kris Kane never would have guessed that his business would outgrow the building he and his family proudly opened.

Kane is glad he was wrong.

The previous space, with a tasting room and bar, reached its capacity for how many customers could be served. The winery’s dramatic growth over the years pushed Kane to target an expansion, which he called “probably five years overdue.”

21 Brix officially opened on Sept. 10, 2011, just over a year after breaking ground in August of 2010. It is located on Route 20 in Portland, between the village of Brocton and the village of Westfield, which is known for the oldest Welch’s grape juice factory. The winery is part of the Lake Erie Wine Trail that spans across the northeast United States, with a plethora of wineries across western New York and near the Pennsylvania border.

Kane’s parents, Mike and Marion Jordan, own Olde Chautauqua Farms, a third-generation farm that has grown grapes since the 1950s. But when Kane was a college student, he sold his parents on the vision of a winery with the grapes the farm produces. Once Kane established himself as a winemaker in the industry, plans for 21 Brix Winery were in the works.

Sen. George Borrello was among the representatives in attendance for the groundbreaking event in October, along with Chautauqua County Legislator John Penhollow and Portland Town Supervisor Rich Lewis.

“It’s exciting to see this expansion here at 21 Brix,” Borrello said. “… I really appreciate what they’ve done to bring more economic activity and more attention to this region.”

Visit 21brix.com or 21 Brix Winery on Facebook for more information about the winery, a list of other upcoming events, or to book the event space.

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