Patience is said to be a virtue and can also produce wine.
Twenty-five years ago Ron Peltier, CEO and chairman of HomeServices of America, the second largest residential brokerage firm in the United States, first set his sights on purchasing a 188-acre Dellwood estate. The residence was established by railroad mogul James J. Hill — founder of the Great Northern. In 2010 the estate went up for auction when the last occupant passed away, and Peltier purchased the property of his dreams.
The grounds include a 100-year-old mansion along with the 28-acre Echo Lake and virgin timber. Initially thinking of developing the land, Peltier changed his mind and instead established 7 Vines Winery and Vineyard. He chose the name 7 Vines Vineyard because he considered it his lucky number, having worn the number seven jersey while playing hockey for the U of M and now having seven grandchildren.
The majority of land, long zoned for agriculture proved to have the perfect soil content for growing grapes. Cold climate grape vines created by the University of Minnesota, include Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, Marquette, and LaCrescent were planted starting in 2012. Seven hundred-fifty of the new Itasca vines were planted this spring.
7 Vines’ early production includes a sparkling Frontenac and a 2015 and 2016 Marquette. They will supplement their offering with a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc from the Waugh Family Winery in Napa — Waugh has been a consultant for the development of the vineyard.
Janee Katz, Peltier’s daughter and operations manager gave me a tour of the winery: a distinctive display of wood beams, stone fireplace, deep brown leather chairs and hand made tables thoughtfully bearing the 7 Vines Vineyard logo. Guests will have a bird’s eye view of processing from the walkway above the winery floor. Additional space will be available for private events. The finishing touches were just being made on the steel pergola adjacent to the outdoor fire pit. Katz claims this will be the largest winery in Minnesota at 16,000 square feet.
7 Vines has the key ingredients to make this a destination winery from a lengthy list of experts and consultants in viticulture and viniculture, to their exceptional location with rich history, I’m suitably impressed and looking forward to their opening.
A soft opening is set for this Saturday, October 8. Check 7 Vines’ website for additional details and hours.
7 Vines Vineyard and Winery is located at 101 MN-96, Dellwood, MN 55110 and online at 7vinesvineyard.com.