Cognition Winery owners have a refreshed focus | ParkRecord.com

Cognition Winery owners have a refreshed focus

Monika Guedner

Gina Coccimiglio and Dennis Romankowski established Congnition Winery from the desire to pursue passions that would increase their quality of life. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

The shadows from the skiers on Cognition Winery's new wine 'Adagio' (in music: played slowly) fall long in the setting light of the ski day's end. The artwork, painted by local artist Bill Kranstover, depicts the mood of a day getting ready to transform into apres ski, when skiers relax with a glass of hot mulled wine.

Adagio is not only a mulled wine, but a step in the focused direction Gina Coccimiglio and Dennis Romankowski have for Cognition Winery – one that includes closing down the "bistro" portion of their location in Bonanza Park.

Tonight is the last night Cognition Winery and Bistro will offer dinner in order to allow Romankowski more time to create wines, and, as in the case of Adagio, wine-spirits blends.

"The bistro has taken so much of [Romankowski's] time away from his goal of making wine," Coccimiglio said. "So we decided to step back from the bistro, and focus more on the winery again."

Opening the bistro was meant to shine a light on Cognition's wines, but became its own business in need of time and attention. Romankowski is excited to return to his passion more exclusively.

"My entire mornings will be open to any of the wine making chores I need to do," he said. "Bottling,labeling, blending … This will allow me to be here and be in my element, I can pair wines with food we have to offer, and I can talk about wine."

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In addition to being a sommelier, Romankowski is a vintner, which means he brings the grapes, the juice, and the must (juice containing the skins, seeds, and stems of the grapes) in from California. Then he ferments the juice and ages the wines at the Bonanza Park location, where the tanks and barrels are visible from the dining room.

"I contract with vineyards and growers for certain varietals every year … and then I tell them how to grow it: no irrigation, no pesticides, herbicides, sustainably farmed," Romankowski explained. "[Finally] I'm responsible for letting them know when to harvest."

The genesis of the winery was the couples' decision to pursue passions that would increase their quality of life. For Coccimiglio, it was going to back to school to earn her nurse practitioners degree. For Romankowski, it was wine – making it, blending it, talking about it, experimenting with it.

A future step for Cognition will be the addition of a distillery. The Adagio mulled wine is a mixture of Cognition wine and raspberry pomace brandy from The Hive Brandy Company in Logan. Next will be their own recipe of limoncello.

Thursday, Jan. 18, the Cognition Winery location on Iron Horse Drive will offer flights of wine, a full bar of spirits, as well as wines from other wineries. Small plates will include simpler fare, such as charcuterie, Mediterranean olives, Marcona almonds and kettle chips.

The dining room will still be open as an event center, where guests can book a party, or a large table of guests. And both the Tasting Room on Main Street and the Bonanza Park location will continue as packaging stores, and the only places to purchase bottles of Cognition wine.

The pathway to the winery's new focus, is an example of the process Cognition is named after, "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses," according to the Oxford Dictionary.

"As we were thinking about when we do our best thinking, we find that it's always over a glass of wine," Coccimiglio said. "Whenever we would say, 'We need to think about that…' we'd follow it with, 'let's go sit down and have a glass of wine and talk about it.'"

Cognition Winery is located at 1260 Iron Horse Drive, Suite A, in the Bonanza Park neighborhood.

Starting Thursday, Jan. 18, hours will be Monday through Thursday and Saturday, 1 to 6 p.m. and Friday 1 to 9 p.m.; closed Sundays

For more information, call 435-649-6289 or visit cognitionwinery.com.