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.
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.
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.
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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