Why I wear my hiking boots to wineries, and you should too. - Minnesota Uncorked™
Hiking in Minnesota

Why I wear my hiking boots to wineries, and you should too.

Did you know that many of Minnesota’s wineries are located on live, operating farms – often right alongside the vineyards from which their grapes are grown? The next time you plan a winery visit, consider bringing along a pair of shoes you don’t mind getting dirty.

No, you (hopefully) won’t have to go skipping over any cow pies on your way into the wine tasting room. While Minnesota is producing some excellent and award-winning wines, its actually whats outside the tasting room that is our state’s true masterpiece, and the reason you’ll be glad you packed your outdoor kicks.

I recently visited Wild Mountain Winery (Taylor’s Falls, MN). This beautiful gem nestled along the upper St. Croix River has their vineyard situated on the highest peak in Chisago County, with breathtaking views of neighboring farms.

We walked the vineyard with our dog while they were in the process of pruning the vines for the season. They were kind enough to provide us a clipping of our own – perhaps we’ll try to “grow some wine” in our small backyard in Saint Paul?

Among their vines, a treasure hunt of information boards which provide the history of the area, the vineyard, and much more. You’ll find that many of Minnesota’s wineries will welcome if not encourage your exploration.

Wild Mountain Winery
Information stands scatter the vineyard, located on the highest point in Chisago County. We also had the pleasure of speaking with one of the owners who shared stories of a neighborhood bear that frequents the area, and some native Indian arrow heads that were found while cultivating the vines.

Consider pairing a visit to Wild Mountain Winery with a stop (or an overnight!) at Wild River State Park or Interstate State Park, both within a few miles of Wild Mountain Winery, and only about an hour Northeast of the Twin Cities. If you’re feeling lazy about cooking around the campfire, try The Drive-In in Taylor’s Falls: An old-fashioned (you guessed it — drive-in) restaurant with fantastic home-made food. Located on main street just North of downtown, you won’t miss their vintage root beer mug shaped sign as you drive through.

This itinerary creates an opportunity for the whole family, and a well-rounded experience of what our state has to offer: the river valley areas rich in agricultural history, and Minnesota wine; an agricultural product from the cold-climate grapes that our state is the world leader in developing.

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34162824
Image Credit: Wikipedia Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34162824

Another notable element of Minnesota’s Farm Wineries is that you can purchase alcohol on Sundays for off-premise consumption– a handy fact the next time you want to replenish your stock at the end of the weekend!


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About The Author

Lauren Voigt

Lauren launched Minnesota Uncorked™ to encourage exploration of wine. When she's not masquerading as a wine writer on the internet, Lauren earns her keep as a marketing specialist in the wine industry. Lauren can be reached at lauren@mnuncorked.com. She is certified in wine through WSET (Level III, Distinction), a Certified Wine Professional (CWP) through Saint Paul College, and a Spanish Wine Scholar (SWS) through Vine Lab Wine & Spirts Academy.
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