Local News

Family ownened vineyard progressive in spirits, service

The Jim and Julie Stutzman family of Ohiowa are making their marks in
the hearty Nebraska wine and craft beer industries.
The Stutzmans haven’t left the cattle industry behind – they’re pursuing a zeal to do something different.
“We wanted something unique for this area,” Jim said of Lazy Horse Vineyard and Brewing, located at 211 Road 20 just west of Ohiowa.
As Julie leads the way through a well-lit area where they just bottled sweet white Edelweiss, the décor is indeed unique from the hallway ceiling packed with donated license
plates to the expansive Tasting Room with a hard-to-miss wood fired oven.
From family to friends and neighbors, the Tasting Room has come together with two bars made of tin, a
windmill from Thedford and torched pallet boards to form at least one of the outside walls.
It is here Lazy Horse serves its whites, reds and four microbrews, offers a menu with appetizers, wood fired pizza, fl atbreads, drinks and
desserts and sometimes opens early on Husker game days for its weekend patrons.
Weeknights are reserved for special events such as, showers and the already scheduled upcoming holiday parties.
Jim Stutzman said their endeavor started six years ago with 300 vines, and it takes four to five years to produce.
Three years ago, Lazy Horse was at 2,000 vines.
He attended classes in Kansas to learn the art.
“It’s a lot of math and science,” he said.
Today, Lazy Horse raises several varieties of grapes that can survive the colder temperatures for which Nebraska is known.
To produce enough wine and beer, the Stutzmans have brought in grapes from other Nebraska vineyards, and grains.
Two factors, labor and weather, determine a lot of what Lazy Horse can produce on its own.
Brewing beer was a simple transition from wine-making, Jim Stutzman said. He picked up the specialty because of customers who prefer beer over wine.
Their most popular beers are the Palomino, a cream ale, and the Brown Horse, an ale with caramel flavor. White wines include Brianna and Summer Girl. Reds are the Marquette
and Frontenac. Lazy Horse also offers a wine sampler in the Tasting Room.
There are nine pizzas on the menu.
Customers are raving about the wood fired pizza, Julie Stutzman said.
Julie Stutzman said she overhears diners talking about which pizzas they want to try next.
The six-inch fl atbreads are for those who aren’t hungry for an entire pizza, she said.
For those who don’t drink, Tucker Stutzman has been working on a non-alcoholic formula.
The 12-year-old son of Jim and Julie wanted into the business, Jim said. TJ Root Beer has a retro flavor and is on the menu.
The full service Tasting Room also has outdoor seating that overlooks
Lazy Horse vines and a Pheasants Forever-sponsored area of the Rainwater Basin. The vineyard’s Lazy Horses may be roaming about out there as well.
Lazy Horse wines may be purchased at local grocery and liquor stores in Hebron, Bruning, Geneva
and York. For more information, visit lazyhorsevineyard. com or the vineyard’s Facebook page.

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