Kansas State alumni Dave and Danielle Tegtmeier own and operate the Liquid Art Winery and Estate located in Manhattan, creating a variety of wines as well as Dave & Dani Craft Ciders.
“It’s just outstanding to have someone so close and so local to work with,” Mike Phillips, wine buyer at The Fridge Wholesale Liquor, said. “They provide something that is very unique to this community as well as the surrounding areas, too.”
Along with Dave & Dani’s traditional apple cider, they curate flavors throughout the year dependent on the seasons. As of now, the available flavors consist of apple pie, bourbon-barrel cherry and their traditional apple.
“We distribute our products directly to liquor stores,” Dani Tegtmeier said. “We are basically in every liquor store in Manhattan. There are some restaurants that have it as well.”
Seasonal flavors are available at the winery and most local liquor stores, as well as some restaurants in town and some liquor stores outside of Manhattan.
Getting ahold of some of the seasonal flavors can be difficult. Once they run out, they are out of it for the season.
“They continue to come out with some new labels and different flavors on their ciders, and we get asked about them frequently here in the store,” Phillips said. “Our guests come in looking for the seasonals specifically.”
Besides the atypical cider flavors, the Dave & Dani Craft Ciders stand out from others by implementing less sugar and having a higher alcohol content.
“Our biggest thing is that we want to be able to drink more than one, versus you drinking one and your stomach says that’s a sugar overload,” Tegtmeier said.
Liquid Art has over 100 acres of land in Kansas, allowing all operations to take place within the property.
“We do it all on-site, so we harvest the grapes, we press ‘em, crush ‘em, ferment, bottle,” Tegtmeier said. “We do it all from vine to wine.”
The Tegtmeier’s first met their freshman year at K-State, later moving to California so Dave could get his degree in enology — the study of wines. Dave Tegtmeier said he knew he had an urge to learn how wine was made for some time and started his pursuit at an early age.
“David started planting vines when he was in high school and went to K-State for his general education classes, always knowing that he would transfer out to California to get his degree in enology,” Tegtmeier said.
In college, he also learned how to curate ciders, as the process is similar to winemaking. From California, the couple moved to Washington and Colorado, continuously working in the alcohol industry — Dani working in sales and Dave curating.
While in Colorado, the couple saw a piece of property listed in Manhattan. They considered the land and had the soil tested to see if a vineyard were possible.
“When we saw the property in Manhattan, we did a soil profile testing,” Tegtmeier said. “We realized that that property was perfect for a vineyard and that is what made us make the leap to build a winery ourselves.”
After breaking ground in 2015 and opening in 2016, the couple chose to expand from just wines.
“In 2018, we expanded our winery production facility so that we could start bottling the Dave & Dani cider,” Tegtmeier said.
Visitors can check out the seasonal ciders available now and look for new flavors as the seasons change, like cherry limeade, blueberry limeade and strawberry sunrise available in the spring and summer.
“They do a great job of transitioning their flavors,” Phillips said. “We really enjoy the different types they bring out — the bourbon cherry during the winter, the cherry lime during the summer.”
The Liquid Art Winery is open Wednesday through Sunday to visit, taste the products, eat, walk the vineyard, see the view overlooking the Flint Hills and enjoy with friends, family or significant others.
“People really do come out to enjoy our products, sit and enjoy our views because we have some of the best views looking over the Flint Hills,” Tegtmeier said.
The Liquid Art Winery is located at 1745 Wildcat Creek Rd. More menu items and other information are available on the Liquid Art Winery website.