From perfectly plump fruit you can pick and eat, to juicy-jam making varieties and many suited for making award-winning wines, Minnesota is host to a number of types of grapevines — and actually, your own back yard could be, too!
It might help if you have a bit of a green thumb — or at least a willingness to try — but if you don’t want to take my word for it, this line-up of resources might convince you to give growing some grapes a shot.
If viticulture isn’t your thing you can skip to the end for the juice on enjoying the fruits of someone else’s labor (sorry, we can’t help a grape pun!), and some fantastic upcoming events.
Classes & Conferences
Learn to Grow Grapes
This one-day seminar is led by John Marshall, a veteran cold-climate grape grower. Marshall is owner of Lake Pepin Winery and Great River Vineyard & Nursery, a source for buying grapevines.
When: February 4th 2017 9:30a – 3:30p
Where: Lake Pepin Winery in Lake City, MN
To Register, contact John Marshall email@example.com or by phone at 651-345-3531 or 651-345-4004.
MGGA’s Cold Climate Conference for Grape Growers & Winemakers
The Cold Climate Conference (CCC) is in its thirteenth year as the largest conference dedicated to cold climate grape growing and wine-making in the United States! Topics covered include enology, viticulture and business, with over 30 breakout sessions. The conference opens with a one-day workshop intensive, and two more days of continuous education sessions. View the full schedule, and register here.
When: February 16-18, 2017
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington, MN
Cost: $200 and up (Options range from a single-day pass to 3-day all-access)
Winter Wassail Weekend
When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Where: Waconia Wine Country
Winter Wine Fest
Sip & sample from over 30 of the area’s best wineries, plus artisan food sampling & live jazz music filling the grand ballroom all night!
When: Saturday February 18, 2017
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton, Bloomington
Cost: $40 general admission, $35 for Uncorked Fans- save $5 per ticket with promo code UNCORKED5 at mngrapes.com.
Wine Fest Admission also includes special screenings of Wine Diamonds – Uncorking America’s Heartland, a feature-length documentary about the challenges and opportunities of developing a new wine region in the Midwest.
4:30 pm (before the start of Winter Wine Fest)
7:30pm (during Winter Wine Fest)
**This film is not yet available to the public, and is only available to be viewed by ticket holders of Winter Wine Fest. Tickets cannot be purchased separate for the film.
Sip & Savor
Fine restaurants featuring local wines.
When: February 16-18, 2017
Where: Kincaid’s, Parma, Lela, Ciao Bella and Crescent Kitchen in Bloomington, MN
We don’t have *all* the details here yet, so follow us on Facebook where we’ll be posting updates.
Where to buy Grapevines
Since you can’t start a vineyard without vines, here are some places that can help you out:
Aberfoyle Vineyard & Nursery
Bevens Creek Vineyard & Nursery
Great River Vineyard & Nursery
Lake City, MN
Winterhaven Vineyard & Nursery
Red Dog Vineyards and Nursery