A tattered “open” flag flies outside of Cygnus Winery in Manchester. Inside, Ray Brasfield holds his glass up to the sun drenched window while lecturing a group of wine protégés. Brasfield has been making wine and sharing his winemaking knowledge for over 20 years, but very soon the doors to Cygnus will close forever. The winery will close its doors on December 31st as the winemaker moves on to pursue other avenues of life.

Cygnus was established in 1996, and is housed in what was once a rundown slaughterhouse. With a few small structural changes, the building was converted to the quaint winery it is today. Cygnus quickly put Manchester on the map by offering delicious wine, wine education and community service.

Cygnus Wine Cellars has been generous to local charities over the years, donating wine for silent auctions and other local fundraisers. “We’ve always supported Carroll Hospice and other local community non-profits,” Brasfield said.

The winery will be open weekends in November and December to sell its remaining inventory of white, red, off-dry, dessert and sparkling wines. Brasfield will be releasing some older vintages of Cygnus Wine Cellars favorites, and will offer the unique opportunity to private label certain wines as corporate and holiday gifts.

Ray had the following parting comment for his customers:

REALIZE THAT YOU ARE NOT YOUR JOB! GET OUT, GET INVOLVED, AND DO OTHER THINGS. VOLUNTEER FOR SOMETHING AND SEE WHAT CLICKS.

 

Stop by the winery and bid farewell to Ray, and share a final toast to Cygnus.

 

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