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The IG Winery, Cedar City's only winemaking facility, has moved to a new location, with double the production space, a larger tasting room for customers and wines that have a new look and more sophisticated taste.
The boutique winery opened its new location in downtown Cedar City in April, near several restaurants and within walking distance of the Southern Utah University campus, where the annual Utah Shakespeare Festival is opening this weekend.
The only downside to the move to 39 W. Center St. was leaving behind the lush English garden surrounding the previous building, said owner and winemaker Douglas McCombs. "I hated giving up that garden," he said. "But we focused on the inside [of the new building] and really made the tasting room beautiful with reclaimed wood and more space."
The Shakespeare season is one of the busiest times for IG, as tourists from northern Utah, Las Vegas and California come to see the nationally recognized plays, visit national parks and explore the town's food and drink options. Glasses of IG wines also will be sold at the festival's new Engelstad Theatre before shows and during intermission during much of the season.
"As the season fires up, we will start to see our traffic pick up as well," McCombs said. The exposure "is one of the advantages of moving to Center Street."
The winery opened in 2012 and had operated in a 1,200-square-foot cottage behind the Iron Gate Inn, 100 N. 200 West. During its first year, it sold about 600 cases.
Several years ago, McCombs was forced to change the winery's original name Iron Gate Winery after he learned a New Zealand company owned U.S. rights to the moniker.
It was a blip on the radar as growth has been steady for the small Utah producer. McCombs said by the end of 2017, the winery is expected to sell 2,500 cases.
"We just really outgrew the space," he said of the recent move.
McCombs sources grapes from vineyards in California, Oregon and Washington; he has them crushed and then shipped to Cedar City for fermentation and barrel aging.
The new building is actually two buildings, each with about 1,500 square feet and a shared wall.
Besides more room for production, storage and tasting, the winery maintains a package agency license from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that allows it to sell products both single varietals and blends to customers. Tours of the facility also are available.
As part of the move, the winery changed its logo and packaging, said McCombs, who spends the weekends in Cedar City. He still has a day job in Las Vegas. "The new facility reflects a new feel for us, and we wanted our wines and packaging to reflect that."
McCombs also has changed what's inside some of IG's bottles, "raising the quality" of its two most popular and least expensive wines. Allure, a chardonnay-based blend, and Seduction, with a zinfandel base, "were blended with our higher-quality wines to give them more substance and more mouth feel," he said. Both are $20 for a 750-ml bottle.
Hoping to attract wine connoisseurs, IG Winery has launched a line of higher-end "reserve" wines, including a cabernet sauvignon, a petite verdot and a blend of cabernet, petit verdot and alicanté bouchet called 3 Patriarchs. The reserve wines range in price from $60-$110.
Customers can sample all the wines before buying. Samples range from $20 to $35 for four (1-ounce) pours.
Wine tasting in Cedar City
Cedar City's IG Winery has moved to a new production facility with a larger tasting room.
Where • 39 W. Center St., Cedar City; 435-867-9463
Hours • Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sundays and holidays.
Prices • Wines from $20-$42; reserve wines, $75-$110; white or red tasting flights, $20, includes four samples, 1 ounce each; mix-and-match tasting flight, $25, includes two reds and two whites, 1 ounce each; reserve tasting is $35
Details • igwinery.com