Interview with an “Angry Farmer” Minnesota Winemaker

By: Marilyne Boutellier

Editor’s note: We are pleased to have Marilyne Boutellier join us as a guest contributor!  Marilyne works full time in Marketing and Sales in the Hospitality industry and has been a Content Creator for various publications for the past 5 years. She grew up in France around wine makers and culinary professionals. You can read about her travel and more on her personal blog at TheFrenchInMe.net.

 

Shannon and Lynda Moerke who own Eagleview Winery in Ashby, MN are nothing but two incredible individuals with a passion for wine making. Shannon works full time with the Air Force reserve as a flight engineer and Lynda works as a registered nurse with Lakeland Hospice. They have 4 children and 5 grandchildren.

Shannon and Lynda grew up about 4 miles apart, him on a dairy farm and her with beef and hogs. They bought their farm in 1991, strategically located between both home farms.

eagleview-feature

MB: Why did you get into wine making?

LM: I always enjoyed making things and he always had a green thumb, so we naturally fell into vineyard manager and wine maker. After starting as a commercial vineyard, the opportunity to experiment with some of the grapes we produced was too irresistible. The cold climate grapes are fun to work with, and you can make anything from dry to dessert wines.

MB: Where and how did you learn about wine making?

eagleviewLM: My father was an excellent winemaker and brewed many things in our basement while I was growing up. I started making a few batches of wine on-and-off over the years and learned “many things the hard way” through lots of trial and error. To better understand the wine making process, I’ve taken enology courses through the Viticulture Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) program.

MB: What’s new this year with the winery?

LM: We are planning to make the hayshed available for events, and we are working on creating areas around the farm where people can find a nice place to sit and enjoy our beautiful outdoors.

MB: How was this year’s harvest?

LM: Our vines are still in recovery mode from the Polar Vortex winter three years ago. We lost 100% of our crop that year. Last year we harvested about 2,500lbs and this year close to 4,600 lbs. On the science side our TA, PH and Brix were good. I think the flavor notes are off a little, but we will see how this turns out once fermentation is complete. (I know, if you just want to drink the wine, I guess you will have to wait to find out what it taste like).

MB: Where can we find your wine for purchase?

LB: You can find our wines at our winery. We are closed for the season, but can be available by appointment. We will be open again in the spring.

MB: If you had one recommendation to make to prospective buyers, what wine would you recommend and why?

LB: Tough question as each wine is so different! ‘Angry Farmer Burning Combine’ is a favorite, not too sweet, and not to dry. It appears to be liked by both those who appreciate a sweet drink and those who prefer a drier wine.

MB: Anything specific you would like readers of Minnesota Uncorked to know about you, your wine or the winery?

LB: We really enjoy what we have here. It’s the whole process of growing, creating and then being able to share what we have made and what we have learned in the process.

When Shannon and Lynda are not working full time on their day jobs, you can find them at the Eagleview Winery located 15237 300th Street in Ashby, MN.

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