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Miletta Vista Winery perseveres, thrives, rises from the ashes — literally | Grand Island Local News

ST. PAUL — Six local fire departments took six hours to control a blaze that could have ended almost any business. But not Miletta Vista Winery.

June 23 marks the 10th anniversary of the early morning fire that engulfed the winery east of Highway 281, four miles north of St. Paul.

Mick and Loretta McDowell started the hilltop vineyard and winery in 2007. As of June 23, 2012, the young winery already had around 30 international, national and state wine competition awards – including a Best of Show White Wine 2012 at the American national competition. in Sonoma, California.






Loretta and Mick McDowell own Miletta Vista Winery near St. Paul.


Independent, Josh Salmon


The 2012 fire was deemed accidental, caused by burning waste.

The reconstruction of Miletta Vista Winery, however, was not.

With a lot of effort, support and spirit, the winery reopened within a year. At the end of June 2013, the well-known and flourishing company literally rose from the ashes.

The winery celebrated its reopening, which included a new floor plan in the retail and production areas, a new 75ft by 62ft steel building, a ‘staff retreat room’ suitable for private birthdays .

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According to the Miletta Vista website, following the fire, the restaurant and tasting room doubled in size. The new winery layout has benefited from a 35% increase in floor space, a fermentation floor and a state-of-the-art cooling system.







Miletta Vista

Mick McDowell, owner of Miletta Vista winery near St. Paul, holds a Merchette grape plant growing on a vine in his winery on Friday. The grapes will be ready for picking in October.


Independent, Josh Salmon


The winery’s first new vintage in 2013 was awarded three double golds for the three Florida entries in February 2014, according to the company. Shortly after, the Jefferson Cup Invitational competition awarded its highest honor to the 2014 Miletta Vista brianna dry.

It was then Nebraska’s most awarded dry white wine.

Current facilities include the Heritage Room overlooking the river valley. Able to accommodate 40-45 people, the estate offers to use the room for showers and private parties. Specialty dishes are available.

The winery has also proven popular as the perfect – and popular – place to get married. If desired, the Heritage Room can be used for wedding receptions.

According to the winery’s website, it’s “motorcycle and show car friendly.”

There’s also an on-site restaurant, offering homemade dressings and as much local fresh produce as possible from local farmers. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, with aperitifs at any time during opening hours.







Miletta Vista

Loretta and Mick McDowell, owners of Miletta Vista winery in St. Paul, invite you to come relax, wine and unwind.


Independent, Josh Salmon


Miletta Vista is one of 23 Nebraska wineries and nine tasting rooms in the Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Association Passport Program. The statewide program promotes Nebraska wines, but also encourages people to visit communities and interact with other businesses statewide – not just wineries.

Two decades after Mick McDowell planed his first harvest of grapes in 2002, the relatively young but internationally renowned winery has a history that takes much longer to establish for many wineries. In addition to being reborn from its ashes.

As the reopening after the Miletta Vista fire neared in July 2013, Mick McDowell told the Grand Island Independent:

“It’s what you do with the circumstances in which you are served. Everyone has adversity in their life and how we handle that adversity determines our character.

Jessica Votipka is an education reporter at the Grand Island Independent. She can be reached at 308-381-5420.