Good wine inspires great ideas, leading the Kirkwood family to open Two Brothers Winery.
“We started traveling a lot, and it was something we could connect over and really enjoyed,” Donna Kirkwood said, describing the dream she shared with her husband, Eddie. “So one night after a few glasses of wine, we thought ‘we could do this. It’d be great!’”
The couple had operated an insurance agency in Old Town Keller for almost 20 years and had watched the community grow into a bustling suburb. By 2019, the city boasted an array of restaurants and incredible shopping but had yet to draw a winery.
Eddie and Donna seized the opportunity to make their dream a reality. They hired a consultant and asked Brian and Stephanie Kirkwood to join the venture.
“It sounded like a great idea,” Brian said, recalling his brother’s pitch. “We knew it would give us the chance to spend more time with them and be more involved in the community.”
Donna said the consultant, who owns two wineries himself, walked them through all the steps and connected them with his winemaker, from whom Eddie learned the craft.
“We went to his production center a couple of times, and the wine we opened with was basically made through our visits there,” Eddie said.
In the meantime, the Kirkwoods bought a building, tore it down to the foundation, and rebuilt a cozy venue. After several months of painstaking planning and work, Two Brothers Winery, named for Eddie and Brian, opened its doors at 110 Lamar St. in November 2019. Then the pandemic hit.
“I remember walking out and just having a huge sense of peace over it,” Donna said of the day all businesses were temporarily closed. “It was a peace that transcends all understanding that God gives you. There were lots of blessings that occurred out of it.”
She said they had many opportunities to share their faith throughout the various stages of the pandemic and quickly connected with their customers whether it was by providing pre-made communion packs at Easter or inviting people in for mimosas and a streamed church service.
Eddie said the community was incredibly supportive during this time, and they established relationships with people who are now regular customers.
Today the Two Brothers’ menu features 29 different wines, including whites, reds, sweet wines, sparkling wines, dessert wines and a blush.
“We do flights, by the bottle or by the glass service,” Donna said. “And our food menu includes appetizers and charcuterie boards.”
Eddie makes the wine on-site, using grapes from California vineyards.
“The grapes are already crushed, and the juice is bagged up in these 55-gallon drums,” he said. “We take that and start the fermentation process. We’ve spent the last three-and-a-half years tweaking it and doing small trials on the side to see what people like.”
Brian said they recommend new guests try a flight.
“It’s four or five different wines, depending on what you choose, but it’s a good way to experience all we have to offer,” he said. “In general, when temperatures are warmer, you’re going to want something lighter and sweeter, but as it cools off, people tend to go with reds. Of course, it depends on what you’re eating, too.”
Two Brothers offers several social events including paint and sips, comedy nights, live music and various types of parties. The Kirkwoods love playing host.
“We have a saying: ‘Drink the wine you love; love the wine you drink,’” Donna said. “It really doesn’t matter what someone else likes. It’s all about what you like; just enjoy it.”