Parley Lake winery is one of three wineries in Waconia in close proximity, dubbed “Waconia Wine Country“. It gets its name as it is situated on Parley Lake in Waconia.
MN-UN: How did you get your start in the business?
PL: For owners Lin Deardoff and Steve Zeller, it was a combination of a work-related connection, a passion and appreciation for wine, plus proximity. Nearby Parley Lake Winery is Deardoff Orchards, and just a few miles from Deardoff Orchards— the U of M was working on developing cold-hardy grapes. As Deardoff puts it, “I met Steve Zeller on a paddle tennis court, and away we went.” The Deardorffs and Zellers began planting cold hardy grapes that would become the wine for Parley Lake Wine.
MN-UN: Of the ciders you produce, which is your favorite & why?
PL: Our Marquette has garnered over 25 gold medals in national and international wine competitions and has ages beautifully over the years.
Our Barn Quilt Red, a blend of Marquette and Frontenac, is a staff and guest favorite.
MN-UN: Tell us about a unique wine or related product you have?
PL: Hallucidation, a beer wine hybrid which changes from year to year. In partnership with North Loop Brew Co, it is currently in its fourth year of release.
MN-UN: What is something about the industry that you wish more people knew?
PL: Not all wines produced in Minnesota are sweet wines! Many of the cold hardy grape varietals have characteristics similar to the mainstream varietals the average wine drinker is familiar with.
MN-UN: What’s the best “bang for your buck” wine or cider (not made by you)?
PL: Famiglia Meschini wines; Argentinian and Chilean wines produced and distributed by co-owners and Minneapolis-based Meschini family
MN-UN: What is your favorite gift/gadget to give, or receive?
PL: For a fun quirky gift, the ChirpyTop wine pourer is a quaint bird-shaped topper that “chirps” when you pour your wine. Personally given one as a gift from a friend, I love it!
MN-UN: We recommend stopping by for…
Personally, the Barn Quilt Red is my favorite!
Also, THIS December 17 + 18, 2016 Waconia Wine Country is holding a winter festival, “Winter Wassail Weekend“, a festive holiday-spirited weekend featuring carolers and holiday music, mulled wine (wassail), winter games, food, and more.
Parley Lake Winery closes for the season after Winter Wassail Weekend and opens back up in May, but you can keep an eye out for their wines are sold in several liquor stores and wine shops across the metro area!
You can visit Parley Lake Winery at 8280 Parley Lake Rd in Waconia, MN or online at parleylakewinery.com.