Small Business Saturday: Twenty-one Barrels

Posted on October 1, 2022 Posted by Athena Scalzi

Hello everyone and welcome to another Small Business Saturday! It’s been a hot minute since I made one, but I’m super excited for today’s featured business because it’s actually local to me. So local in fact that it’s literally in front of my house!

I remember two years ago I first heard that the new neighbors were turning the property into a winery. I was delighted, despite the fact that I was not drinking wine at the time. It was just cool to me that there was something interesting on our country road. It turned out that it wasn’t just a winery, it was also a cider house! I had never heard of a cider house before, but thought it was nice that they had more options than just wine.

Over the next two years, my wine tasting journey ensued, and now I’m so happy to be able to share all of the amazing deals across the street with you, Twenty-one barrels.

Twenty One Barrels was built, literally from scratch, by Danielle and Shaun, a young married couple from Troy. They opened in October 2020, and Darke County just got better for it.

As usual, I’ll include the disclaimer that all of my Small Business Saturday posts are from companies I’ve bought stuff from and liked enough to tell you about. I never receive free money or products in exchange for posting on these companies. My sole purpose with these is to support small businesses. Now that that’s clear, let’s move on.

I’ve never really been a fan of wine, so I’ve only bought bottles from them as gifts for friends. It took me a while to try their products for myself, but when I did, I felt like my whole view of wine had completely changed. Whether you like it dry or sweet, there is something for everyone. Their menu is actually organized in order from dry to sweet, which is really helpful when deciding what to try.

Domain map.  It is divided into three sections.  On the left is the wine list, in order from dry to sweet.  On the right is the list of hard ciders.  In the middle are flights, as well as limited-time items.  Below the menu are their twelve tap handles, as well as numerous wine and cider glasses.

Not to mention they have different flights you can try! My favorite is the sweet flight, which contains my two favorite wines, Harris Creek Red and Harris Creek White. I’ve also tried Autumn Breeze, Diamond, Two Berries and Catawba (if you couldn’t tell, I’m a sweet wine type girl). While this is all great, you just have to give Autumn Breeze a try if you’re a fall fan. It’s actually a mix of their Roundhouse Red with cider and hot spices. With its hot and spicy flavor, you will feel good inside.

As for the ciders, I’ve tried more that are currently off the menu than on the menu, but of those currently there, the Maple Berry is the dot com bomb. My favorite flavor I tried, however, was one of their holiday flavors from last year, Frosted Cranberry. Curiously, Maple Berry and Frosted Cranberry are pink in color. I like my drink to be aesthetically pleasing and delicious.

Not only do they have fantastic wine and cider, Twenty One Barrels also offers different local food trucks every weekend, as well as live music performances. If that wasn’t enough, they also host lots of fun events like Sip and Shop Markets, Chili Kitchens, Karaoke, and even Goat Yoga! You can find their calendar of events, as well as information about the food trucks that will be there, on their events page.

Better yet, you can get their wines Shipped yours! (Be sure to check if your state is one of the few they don’t ship to, some states have weird laws about this stuff.)

They also have a cider club, which has tons of benefits! It’s basically a quarterly subscription that gets you four packs of 4 new cider flavors, access to their ever-changing members-only tap flavors, invites to members-only events (where glasses of wine and cider are discounted), and more! In fact, I just picked up my order a few days ago:

Sixteen cans in front of a black bag.  Each box bears a Twenty One Barrels label.

This season, the flavors are Spiced Pear, Upside-Down Pineapple, Paw Paw, and Apricot Guava. So far I’ve only tried the Spiced Pear, which was very light and refreshing, and the Pineapple Upside Down, which was sweet and flavorful! Definitely a new favorite.

Twenty One Barrels is also constantly fundraising for local charities, like the Darke County Humane Society and Darke County United Way!

All in all a great company, run by great people, with great products, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. I never thought a winery could mean so much to me, but Twenty One Barrels is truly something special, and I feel so lucky to not only have such a wonderful little business in my little town, but to have such good neighbors right across the street. .

Danielle was kind enough to let me do a little interview for this post!

My first question was if owning a winery was a lifelong dream, or if it was a newer thing, to which she informed me that it was newer, especially when she and Shaun started to go out together. They often went on winery dates and enjoyed exploring and trying different wines, which led them to consider opening a winery together. They actually started out making wine in the basement of their home in Troy before buying their 20-acre property in Bradford and building vineyards and a tasting room. Although these basement wines were mostly given as gifts to family and friends, they ended up winning local amateur wine competitions!

This led me to wonder why they chose Bradford as their place of residence and if they saw themselves ending up in Darke County. It turns out that they had originally wanted a property in Miami County, but whenever something suitable came on the market, it would be snatched up immediately. Then the Bradford property came up for sale and turned out to be the perfect place. Danielle said that visiting it was really a place where she could imagine the cellar. There was something about walking up the gravel driveway, over the wooden bridge, past the weeping willows to the 1800s farmhouse that evoked a certain feeling in her, and it was a feeling that she wanted to create for everyone who entered their cellar. They wanted it to be an environment that was welcoming, inviting and comfortable and one to feel good in.

Of course, I had to ask her if she preferred wine or cider, to which she replied cider most of the time, but wine in season or with a steak dinner.

Of the cider flavors and types of wine they sell, I was curious which was his favorite. The Blushing Berry is its winner for wine, as it is neither too sweet nor too dry, and pairs well with many different dishes. Although she gave an honorable mention to their 1933 wine. When it came to cider, blood orange was her number one choice, as it is something that can be enjoyed all year round and the flavor n is not too exaggerated.

And finally, I asked what was the best part about owning the winery. Simply put, it’s people. Danielle says they’ve met so many people since opening their shop, made new friends and forged so many bonds. They were delighted with the support they received and the welcoming attitude everyone had towards them. When they first opened they were afraid no one would show up. But people came, and they kept coming. The community continues to support them and make them love what they do.

So here it is, friends! If you need good wine and good times, look no further than Twenty One Barrels.

What flavor would you be interested in trying? Do you prefer red or white wine? Have you ever done goat yoga before?! Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!


Elisha A. Tilghman