The former Trillium Creek Winery in Home has new owners.
Tedra and Kyle Hett grew up in Kansas and moved to Tacoma in 2014. They met in the eighth grade and have been together for more than half their lives. Both are in the healthcare profession — Kyle is a nurse and Tedra is a pharmacist. By 2019 they were experiencing burnout.
“We were asking ourselves if this was it,” Tedra said. “We are in our early 30s, and is this all we are going to do for the next how many years? We were ready for a new adventure.”
That adventurous leap culminated in June when the couple opened the tasting room of Two Fox Winery to the public.
They had visited the Key Peninsula to whale watch at Joemma State Park. While Tedra and her mom were on a trip to Ireland later, Kyle decided to return. By happenstance it was the weekend of the KP Farm Tour.
Kyle visited Trillium Creek Winery, opened in 2006 by Claude and Claudia Gahard. “Claudia told me it was for sale and took me on a tour,” Kyle said. “I loved the house, the property, the bones. I grew up on a farm and I love space.”
Later that day he texted Tedra. “I found a winery to buy.”
“I was ‘Ha-ha, very funny. Wouldn’t that be interesting?’ ” Tedra said. After several months of discussion, they took a second look.
Tedra was also ready for more space and a quiet place. “I figured out I liked gardening and landscaping at our house in Tacoma. I took out all the sod and planted everything I could on that little lot. It felt claustrophobic and we needed to do more of something,” she said.
And so, although owning a winery had not been on their radar, nearly a year after Kyle first met the Gahards, they sold their house and moved to the 14.5-acre property.
“We enjoyed wine, but we did not have a full appreciation until we started intentionally learning about it,” Tedra said. “There is so much that goes into it — how different it can be from region to region, winemaker to winemaker,” Tedra said. “For me, wine was like, ‘Rough day at work — pop!’ ”
“Our running joke is that we are doing this backwards. Most people learn how to make wine but have nowhere to sell it. But we have a place and a license, and we are learning as we go,” Kyle said.
For now, they are not making their own wines. After sampling wines from several producers, they found a family-owned company in Prosser that met their standards. They bottle and label the wine on site. Their original order was for 15 to 20 cases each of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, rosé, cabernet sauvignon and syrah. They may need to order more, and though the wine is available supply chain issues have made bottles difficult to find.
They are experimenting with making their own cabernet now. “We might find that we are terrible at it, or we might find that we are really good,” Tedra said. “Our goal is not to have award-winning wine, but we want something good and good quality. And to have a beautiful place and environment where people can come an enjoy wine in a quiet setting.”
“We are working with mentors,” Tedra said. “The wine world you would think would be competitive and not want to share. But the philosophy is, ‘If you win, we all win.’ They want everyone to do well. Brian (Petersen) at Mosquito Fleet has been very kind.”
It took months for the couple to decide on a name for the winery, and although Tedra shared the story off the record, she said that anyone wanting a full account will need to hear it directly from them. Warning: It includes a hint of profanity.
Two Fox Winery is open for tasting on Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. They recently partnered with a company to offer charcuterie that can be pre-ordered online.
Both Kyle and Tedra continue to work part-time in healthcare. The winery, they said, gives balance to their lives. They have plans for more — removing one old vineyard and turning it into meadow, replanting the other with a varietal grape that will ripen in the KP climate and trellising it up high to get more sunlight, possibly bringing in sheep to help with vineyard maintenance, establishing a flower business, and offering a location for glamping.
Kyle used the metaphor of eating an elephant when describing the last year and a half. “I say one bite at a time. One permit, one hurdle. You have federal stuff, state stuff. ‘You need this.’ I learn how to do it. ‘You need that.” I learn how to do it. Just one step at a time.”
They are also learning to embrace taking time off. “On a recent Sunday we were open, and no one was here. We could have gotten up to pull weeds. But we sat, pet the cats, and enjoyed what we have done,” Tedra said.
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