Winery offers free tastings

A taste of Kansas Josh Bryant pours a glass in the wine cellar of Matrot Castle. The Topeka castle houses a winery and offers 100 percent Kansas wine.

Tricia Peterson

If you are looking to get away without really getting away, Matrot Winery offers free wine tastings on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The winery is inside town and chances are you have been within walking distance and didn’t even know it.

Located at 6424 Huntoon Street, just west of Wanamaker road, Matrot Winery is located inside a castle.  Hard to miss and perfect for Topeka, this castle is home to some of the best Kansas wines available.

Matrot is Davenport Winery’s Topeka Outlet, and have been located there for going on two years.  Eudora, the home of Davenport Winery, is located just east of Lawrence, and you can visit that location as well. They offer a couple extra wines that the Matrot location doesn’t stock. You can also check out where they grow the grapes and where they ferment and age the wine.  It is recommended to visit in the summer because then you can get out in the field easily and have the full experience.

Matrot Castle has been there since 1883 and was used during Prohibition as an underground winery. It is used today as a winery and they produce their own fruits as well as have them shipped in from around Kansas. All Matrot wines are made from 100% Kansas grown fruit, and if they didn’t grow it they ship it from around Kansas. They also will buy extra fruit from surrounding farms to make special edition fruit wines.

“When we run out of a wine we are out until next season,” said wine expert Josh Bryant. “You just gotta be good about coming back every day and asking, ‘Do you have it yet? Do you have it yet?'”

Wine expert Josh Bryant is the tasting room manager and conducts the tastings on Saturdays.  Not only can Bryant tell you about each grape variety, he can answer any questions new wine drinkers have about Kansas wine, as well as wines from around the world. Bryant works at Matrot while studying wine and the wine making process at The Viticulture Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA). He is very knowledgeable about the entire wine making process, and is extremely helpful to those trying to find the perfect wine for their taste buds. Tell him what you like and he is sure to find a wine that is suitable for your palate.

Bryant starts you off in a set way so no wine will overpower another and you can taste each wine effectively.  His knowledge of the wines they carry is impeccable and makes the tasting experience that much better than when visiting other wineries.  Bryant is personable in a way that if he sees your expression while tasting a wine, he can guess pretty accurately whether you will enjoy other wines and conducts the tasting according to that.

To get a list of wines available check out the website, where they list the names and a brief about what they taste like.