Holland Twp. winery, brewery, distillery gets federal approval

Wine made by Great Legs Winery Brewery Distillery in Holland Township. (Jan. 19, 2017)

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An Ottawa County man has the staff, equipment and space to open a winery, brewery and distillery under one roof — but he hasn’t yet been able to set a date for when he’ll actually sell alcohol.

Jim Granzotto’s business, Great Legs Winery Brewery Distillery in Holland Township, is open — but he hasn’t been selling alcohol because he was waiting on federal permits, which were just approved Thursday.

Granzotto said getting those permits was a bit of a headache.

“I wish they had a checklist,” said Granzotto, a winemaker with 10 years of experience.

He said he knew opening a “triple threat” in one location wouldn’t be easy. His intuition proved true when he spoke with someone at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in October.

“Her first words out of her mouth were, ‘You can’t do what you’re doing,'” Granzotto said. “And I said ‘What?’ She said, ‘You need three separate buildings.’ And I said, ‘Well, we can’t do that.'”

However, they found a solution. In order to receive approval, Great Legs has to lock each process off in the back. For example, when he’s making wine, everything for the brewery and distillery must be locked off by gates. That compromise got things moving.

Granzotto and his wife, Joanne, decided to get creative as they waited for their permits. Since last June, they’ve hosted corporate and art events.

“That was part of our marketing plan, to start with events while we were waiting for the license to come through,” explained Joanne Granzotto, who manages the events.

“The health department, the sheriff’s department, even the Michigan Liquor Control Commission — they’ve all just been [saying], ‘We’re here to help you. We want to see you succeed,'” Jim Granzotto said.

He said the now that the federal permits have been approved, there are a few more small things to do before alcohol will be for sale. He said he hopes to have everything up and running before the fall.

Though Great Legs is not ready to serve alcohol, the Granzottos say people are welcome to drop in and take a tour of the facility on E. Lakewood Blvd.