Jenn Singer is a travel writer for DayTripper28.com, a Minnesota Travel blog that explores different Minnesota destinations. As a Minnesota native, her passion for exploring has led her to try all kinds of new things. As someone that takes 30+ Day Trips a year, she is always up for an adventure.
It was my mother that inspired me to do this. My Mom had just gotten back from a Trip to North Carolina and she couldn’t stop talking about the vineyards. While there, she ended up buying a bunch of bottles and shipped it all home. I started to think about it, why did she need to fly half way across the United State to buy wine? Sure there is the experience, but Minnesota has over 40 different vineyards? And why did she need to be on a vacation to go to a vineyard? Why can’t you just drive up and enjoy a tasting?
It was this conversation that led me to a new way of travel. They are day trips and they don’t eat into my precious vacation time from work. When the weekend allows, I take a day and my family and I head in one direction of the state to see something new. One of our favorite destinations is vineyards.
My first one was Winehaven, in Chiscago City. We were on our way back from Taylors Falls with the kids and my husband and I saw it on the side of the road. We figured, what the heck, let’s give it a try! As soon as we got out, we were greeted by some amazing staff. We sampled all kinds of different wines. They had a little something for everyone including non-alcoholic drinks for our two small kids. Their barn overlooked the lake and provided some amazing views. We were able to take our drinks outside and tour the grounds. The kids favorite part was getting to see the grapes on the vine.
From then on, we have been going non-stop. In the past year, we have hit over 8 different wineries and vineyards in the state. We went from not knowing anything about wine to knowing more about grapes than most wine connoisseurs. The best part about our visits is that we get to meet the people that create it. We find out the stories behind the wine. Like Nicole from Buffalo Rock Winery. She started out her business after having an hour commute each day into work. She wanted to make a change and went for it. Now she has a thriving business that is right in her backyard.
This past harvest season, I got to participate in a Grape Stomping competition at Crow River Winery in Hutchinson. My mom partnered with me and we took second place in my heat. Next year we are going for first! I’ve been doing research on different techniques and I’m confident we’ll be able to improve our rankings. I’m even going to be signing my daughter up to participate in the kid’s heat.
If you are tired of living through everyone Facebook feeds, go out there and explore. Quit making excuses. You don’t need to take a day off work or have a girl’s weekend. Just grab some family and friends and pick a direction and start driving. You never know what you might find.