Opening nears for Two Brothers Wines in Richfield


Dec. 17, 2017

Owners Henry Gutmann, center, and Laundre work on cutting wood to be used
as a base board in one of the rooms.
John Ehlke/Daily News

RICHFIELD — The three owners of Two Brothers Wines hope to have their business moved into a new location in the village in January with a grand opening possibly around Feb. 1.

The company, which is owned by twin brothers Joe and Henry Gutmann and Peter Laundre, has been making wine for nearly 20 years and has operated from a Pewaukee location for about 10 years.

“The business has been going so well and we are having such success that we have simply run out of room at the Pewaukee location and the space in Richfield will be twice as large as what we have now. We will be able to produce more wine,” Laundre said.

The trio has been working since September to renovate one-half of the Richfield Post Office building along Highway 175 in the village’s downtown to be the business’s new home.

“On average we bottle 11,000 bottles of wine annually (less than 25,000 gallons) and have distributorships all over the state,” the Gutmanns said. “We produce several fruit wines as well as red and which wines each year.”

The artistic talents of the twin brothers are showcased at the business. Joe’s sculptures and glass work along with work from various other Wisconsin artists is feature at their Pewaukee store and will be on display and for sale at the new Richfield location. Henry’s art of winemaking, which started with the desire to make a wine that would pair well with Wisconsin’s wild game, has evolved into a wide assortment of grape and fruit wines. Each bottle of wine is produced by hand inside Two Brothers Wines.

Co-owner Peter Laundre stirs a vat of rhubarb wine Friday morning at the future site of Two Brothers’ Wine in Richfield. The business, which is moving from Pewaukee,
is expected to open in January.

John Ehlke/Daily News

They harvest their own fruit and grapes from their private vineyards and from other areas in Wisconsin.

According to the business’ website, Joe, the elder twin, from an early age had a great love of art depicting nature and wildlife. His first venture into art started with stained glass, making leaded glass pieces large and small. He then turned his interest to metal work, working with copper and steel. He eventually opened an art gallery in West Bend featuring his work and the work of other artist’s whose works include the nature and wildlife that he loved. He and Henry together formulated the idea of a winery and art gallery.

Henry began making wines as a hobby in his basement in the early ’90s. Henry’s interest in local ingredients and sharing his wines became so popular that Two Brothers Wines was created to share his passion for wines.

Laundre is a good friend of the brothers and his involvement, he said while laughing, began “as a wine taster.”

“I was a neighbor and friend so that’s where my involvement began. Now I’m a partner,” Laundre said. Laundre, a descendant of French Canadian and Belgian ancestry, grew up on a dairy farm outside of Green Bay. His first experience with wine was at 10, when his father created his own wild grape brew. According to the business’s website, “Peter and Henry have been long-time neighbors, winers, pisces, mustache wearers, and military men.”

“Our Richfield location will be twice the size of our place in Pewaukee,” Laundre said. “We’ve had to build a tasting room, a bar area and of course the area for making the wine and for the art to be displayed. Once we open here we’ll close down the location in Pewaukee which we had been leasing. There will be a lot of equipment that will have to be moved here from there.”

The business is currently going through the process to obtain a Class-B wine and beer license from the village.

Members of the Village’s Plan Commission, when they approved the business, said they were pleased with the business’s proposal.

“This really fits into what we were looking to happen when we rezoned the downtown,” said Commissioner Bob Berghammer. “It should fit right in — it’s what we were hoping for.”