featured bloggers: mom and pop take on WI/MN wineries

this week, i’m featuring a blog from two of my favorite people. i take part of the credit for getting my parents to love wine.

but they’ve take it upon themselves to continue to love wine. this weekend they did a wine tour along the “great river road wine trail”. here’s what they had to say about it. you can also read this and more blogs of bloom family happenings here.

[Ray and LeAnn headed south on Sunday to visit some Minnesota and Wisconsin Wineries which are part of the Great River Road Wine Trail.  It is a group of 9 wineries up and down the Mississippi river in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa who market themselves together.  Sunday was beautiful day in Minnesota as the temperatures rose into the mid 70’s and was sunny and calm–perfect for traipsing through the vineyards.  

Our first stop was the Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery in Stockholm, WI.  This winery not only makes wine, but also cider and hard cider.  During our wine tasting we tried 2 different hard ciders, a couple of wines made at the winery and also some wines from other Wisconsin wineries in Green Bay and Bayfield.  The Maiden Rock Winery grows their own grapes, crab apples and apples for use in their wine and cider.  They use the apples in various wines and their cider.  You can also buy apples that have been picked on site, or pick some of your own.  We bought a bottle of Skeeter Bite Forest to bring home. I wish they had been launching the apples from the catapult while we were there, but it was all locked up.

We then went north to Prescott, WI and visited the Valley Vineyard.  This was located at the end of a dead end residential street, so if it wasn’t for the signs indicating where to turn, you wouldn’t think you were headed to the winery.  All the grapes had already been harvested, but we walked through the vineyard anyway to take some photos.  The vineyard is small, with about 6 acres, but multiple grape varieties are grown and harvested.  They had over a dozen different wines made by them available for tasting.  We enjoyed the variety of wines and purchased a bottle of the Sweet Elegance.  Most of wines in this region are combinations of various cool weather grapes (some developed at the Univ of MN) and sometimes blended with fruit or honey.  

Our last stop was at the Falconer Winery in red Wing, MN.  They have recently built a Bistro overlooking the vineyard and the view is wonderful.  They have a wood fueled, brick oven that they make specialized pizza (including one with grapes, which was very good.  To get from the tasting room to the bistro, you walk right through the winery which is full of various barrels and vats filled with wine in various stages of fermentation.

We then headed home after a full day of sightseeing, wine tasting, and relaxation.  A very fun way to spend a Sunday on a Minnesota fall day.]

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sounds like it could be a wonderful weekend trip, right? so, for all of my minnesotans – take advantage of these last couple weeks of perfect MN fall weather and make the trek. sounds to me like it was worth it.

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