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Pentamere Winery

Editor’s note: In its May 15, 2024, edition, the Sun Times News included a special “Discover Tecumseh” section. It contains articles describing many of the businesses and community life in this charming town. We’re running the articles online and encourage you to add a trip to Tecumseh to your list of fun things to do this summer.

Pentamere Winery is a pioneering urban winery, a concept described by Operations Manager Ed Gerten as “a commercial winery specifically located in a downtown business district.”

Established 22 years ago by Gerten and his business partners Dan and Maria Measel and Nathan Sparks, who transformed a former Spanish restaurant into this unique winemaking facility, Pentamere (which means “Five Lakes”) has developed a niche in a region not traditionally known for vineyards.

Reflecting on the winery’s origins, Gerten recalls, “Dan called me back in ’96 and said, ‘Hey, you want to learn to make wine?’” After receiving encouraging feedback, their amateur winemaking efforts for personal gifts gradually evolved into a professional pursuit. “People kept telling us that we ought to make wine,” adds Gerten, “and we didn’t take it seriously until a friend’s father, who was a major wine collector, insisted we were wasting our time if we weren’t opening a winery.”

The winery, which does not grow its own grapes, distinguishes itself with imported Italian tanks that facilitate the fermentation process. “When you walk into Pentamere, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that half the floor is missing. It allows for the large, high tanks used to ferment the wine,” Gerten explains, pointing out their 3000-liter tank.

Pentamere’s process involves handling the initial, messier phases of winemaking at a separate “crush house” located nearby, using the downtown site for fermentation, finishing, and bottling. “All the messy stuff’s done there, but once it’s in a liquid form, all the wine comes back here again,” Gerten said.

Today, Pentamere Winery is one of the few urban wineries in Michigan, a testament to the vision and dedication of its founders. Gerten concludes, “It’s truly a functioning winery, and being part of this urban setting makes it even more special.”