At Jenny Dawn Cellars, we believe that great wine is a powerful storyteller, and we aim to tell a unique story with every wine we craft.
Last week we released four new Kansas wines that pay homage to our Wichita roots and to our home in the historic Union Station. When our founder, Jennifer McDonald, was searching for a location for Jenny Dawn Cellars, she knew she wanted to be part of the urban core of Wichita. There may be no better connector, past or present, to downtown Wichita than Union Station. Jennifer was deeply inspired by the economic and cultural significance that train stations like Union Station held in the early 1900s.
Union Stations can be found dotted across the country, reminiscent of a time when rail travel connected the country and travel was a more leisurely affair. Many of these elegant, powerful structures have fallen into disrepair. Others, such as ours, have been rebuilt and restored to their former glory; a nod to our storied past and a beckoning to a bright future.
In similar fashion, our Jenny Dawn Cellars wines are built on the solid, storied foundation of Kansas wine-making with a level of complexity that sparks inspiration for what’s to come.
Wichita’s Union Station opened March 7, 1914, an imposing structure for the size of the town. Architect Louis Curtis incorporated walls made almost entirely of glass supported with steel, ensuring the sunlight would illuminate all the intricate interior decor.
“The Cathedral-like monumentality of the station was more than a show. Its layout allowed stationmaster John P. Mahoney to plan an efficiency and level of service that was remarkable even by the exalted standards of pre-World War I train travel.” – Craig Miner, The Daylight Station of America
Our Union Station Chardonnay is as elegant and timeless as the architecture of its namesake. Delicate in color, like sunlight dancing through the station windows, this wine delights the palette. Strong flavors of minerality echo the grey stone and imposing pillars that adorn the facade. Light, smooth, and powerful, this wine will transport you to another time.
The roar of the trains bellowing through the streets of Wichita announced the coming and going of the latest passengers aboard the Lone Star, the train that ran through Wichita from 1948 until 1979. Rain or shine, the train rolled through Union Station. Travelers had an opportunity to experience the best meal Wichita had to offer at the Fred Harvey Dining Room, located at the south end of the concourse, before connecting to destinations far beyond this Midwestern gem. The marble counter and tables were tended by the famous “Harvey Girls” and eventually could be found in Union Stations across the country!
Our Black Locomotive Crimson Cabernet is powerful and bold, as the leader of the train must be. Deep in color, this courageous red rushes in with notes of spice, basil, and oak. Open a bottle and settle in for a leisurely, luxurious journey.
A favorite tradition in the time of rail travel was to kiss your loved one as the train pulled away, and continue to wave to them from the station platform. Even today, as trains roll through the city, everyone strains to catch sight of the car bringing up the rear. Our Red Caboose Dry Rosé is playful and lingering – the last glimpse of a loved one waving as the train disappears on the horizon.
Jenny Dawn Cellars Red Caboose is crafted using the saigneé method – a rosé winemaking technique that involves “bleeding” off some of the quality red wine juice after it’s been in contact with the skins and seeds for several days. This method produces rosé wines that are deeper and more red in color (like the traditional Caboose), more bold, and more complex. As the caboose follows the locomotive and cars, so this rosé follows its bolder counterpart. Sometimes in life, we save the best for last. Like that kiss on the train platform, the flavors, and the memories, stay with you long after the last sip.
Yes, Kansas Produces Great Wines
Recently Jenny Dawn Cellars began a national expansion by selling our wines online; an effort we hope will help put Kansas back on the map as a grape-growing and wine-making state. For many years, Kansas wines have been discounted by wine connoisseurs, despite a long and storied history of wine-making in the state. We hope to show the national audience that Kansas grape and fruit wine can hold its own against wine produced in premier growing regions.
Our 2019 Rosé Wine is a great example of how a seemingly simple fruit wine (in this case watermelon) can be elevated. This delicate but layered sipper exudes deep flavor that is too often lacking in Rosé wines. Strong melon flavors are balanced by floral notes and fresh cut grass in a sweet sipping experience befitting a sultry summer day.
All four of our new Jenny Dawn Cellars wines are available for purchase online with shipping to 38 states, in our winery at 703 E. Douglas, Suite 180, Wichita, KS 67202, and at liquor and wine retailers across Wichita.
About Jenny Dawn Cellars
Founded in 2016 by Jennifer McDonald, Jenny Dawn Cellars has grown from the dream of an at-home winemaker into Wichita’s first urban winery.
In 2017, Jenny Dawn Cellars established a working partnership with a wine facilitator in Napa, California. In 2019, Jenny Dawn Cellars opened a winery and tasting room in the heart of downtown Wichita located at Union Station. Jennifer now crafts and bottles her wines on-site, with grapes and juice sourced from the finest growers in California and Kansas.
As of June 2020, Jenny Dawn Cellars has 11 handcrafted wines.
Union Station Chardonnay, Black Locomotive Crimson Cabernet, Red Caboose Dry Rosé, 2019 Rosé Wine (Watermelon), 2018 Chardonnay, 2017 Pinot Noir, 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 Sweet Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah Blend), Wichita Passion (Blackberry Wine) and Wichita Moments (Apple Wine), .
Jenny Dawn Cellars also offers charcuterie and small bites, venue rentals, private wine tastings, wine locker memberships, and Winuecation, a monthly educational class.
We’ve bottled the art of timing.
From the vine to the bottle. We craft our wine from grapes, fruit, and juice sourced from the finest growers in the nation.
From the bottle to the glass – that’s where you come in. When you open a bottle of Jenny Dawn Cellars wine, you open your moment, your reprieve from the business of busy-ness, and your time to bloom.
Jenny Dawn Cellars is inspired by the wildflowers on the Kansas countryside, inviting you to open up, enjoy the breeze, and show your colors to the world. Just like a flower, when Jenny Dawn Cellars wine is shared with someone special, it needs no further explanation – it’s a feeling that is simply understood.
Jenny Dawn Cellars – Let your moment begin.