Eric and Emily Harris. Two E’s. And now, a sleek, chic, classy, contemporary logo representing their sleek, chic, classy, contemporary winery on U.S. 24 northeast of Huntington. It’s Midwestern friendliness in modern attire.
And for this young Fort Wayne couple, it represents years of planning. Both combined their personal interests, education and talents to create different aspects of a business they hoped to someday have. “We’re a young couple with modern tastes,” Emily says. “We want the winery to be a reflection of us.”
Long before they married, they knew they wanted to open a winery. Emily majored in interior design in college; her final design project was a winery. Eric majored first of all in biology and chemistry, then switched to a general studies degree heavy on business; his final business project was a winery.
It may have started with Emily’s father, who made wine, in his basement, from a kit, when the two E’s met in their high school years. Soon Eric was helping. “Making wine by yourself is not nearly as much fun as doing it with other people,” he says. They dropped the kits and began sourcing juice and grapes. That led to Eric’s certification in winemaking and an apprenticeship.
And that led to Two·EE’s, which opened in 2013. Eric and Emily were not yet married at the time – she had been crowned Miss Indiana USA 2013 and was set to compete in the Miss USA Pageant. She’s still involved. “I’ve had girls come here and I’ve helped them with wardrobes. It’s not unlikely to see girls walk in here with gowns and crowns and I help them walk back here.”
The Harrises say their philosophy of winemaking is not typical. Because they want the grapes “to speak for themselves,” they create wines different from the usual. And then they have a bit of fun by letting each wine “speak for itself.” Best-selling Plonqe’ calls itself “the ponytailed sweet wine you take home to meet your mother.” Catawba, “a tangy stroll down the dusty midway of a small town carnival.” And Vignoles? “A rowdy descendent of Chardonnay.”
Eric says their Plonqe’ slushies, extremely popular on hot summer evenings, are “the best in the universe.”
The Harrises see the industry as a close-knit community that offers support to each other. “Our competition is from outside Indiana,” says Eric. “Our job right now is to help each other out and grow the brand of Indiana wines. Indiana has won some top awards in the nation in the past five years. It’s in everybody’s best interests to remind Hoosiers to enjoy wines from within the state. When you enjoy Indiana wines, you’re supporting a lot of people within the state. There’s a direct effect when people make that decision to buy Indiana wines.”
For more information visit TWOEES.COM.