Minnesota Wineries and Vineyards: Fall Wine Tours
One of the best ways to enjoy the cool air and the colorful fall colors is at a local winery. Throughout the fall, local wineries offer a variety of events to enjoy a glass of wine while viewing the fall leaves.
In southern Minnesota, Falconer Vineyards and Winery in Red Wing, MN and Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls are popular places to enjoy the leaves later in the fall, since they’re in the southern part of the state.
“We recently opened a new deck and bistro, serving wood fired pizza, along with our wines,” said Sarah, Falconer Vineyards wine tasting host. “The wine tasting room has been a popular spot and used to get full in the summer and fall. Now, the new deck provides more space and an opportunity to enjoy an afternoon or evening at the vineyard.” Look for live music on some weekends.
In downtown Cannon Falls, Cannon River Winery also hosts live music and tasting events. Early in the fall, visit for vineyard picnic tours, with complimentary limo shuttle service to the vineyard.
Combine two fall favorites in Stillwater – wine and apples. Owned by the Aamodt’s family, St. Croix Vineyards and Aamodt’s Apple Farm offer numerous events throughout the fall season. Stop in for a tasting, and pick up some fresh apples or homemade apple pie in the Store and Apple Bakery. Hay wagon rides are offered on weekends, weather permitting.
These three wineries are also part of the Three Rivers Wine Trail’s annual Federweisser & Roter Rauscher Festival. The annual German-style fall festival celebrates wines from this year’s grape harvest. While the wines aren’t fully fermented yet, they offer fruity tastes sampled directly from the barrel or tank. During the weekend, guests who visit all five of the trail’s wineries can receive free wine.
Or you can head to view the golden fall grasses on the prairie and stop for a tasting at Hinterland Vineyards and Winery in Clara City, MN, close to Granite Falls and Montevideo, MN. Watch for monthly Wine and Dine events, featuring a food theme and Hinterland wines. The nine-acre Hinterland is set amid a working farm.
“Our Wine and Dine events have been a popular way to enjoy the winery and the farm,” said Karin Koenen, Hinterland owner. “The events are often sold out, so we encourage guests to reserve their spots early. The dinners are a great way to enjoy the wine and also meet others interested in Minnesota wines.”
As the holiday season approaches, visit WineHaven winery in Chisago City in November for its annual Cheese and Chocolate weekend. Sample locally made cheeses paired with WineHaven’s unique wine varieties, as well as a sampling of chocolates.
Events are hosted at Minnesota’s wineries throughout the fall. With 37 wineries across the state, you won’t need a special event to plan an afternoon tasting.
If You Go:
Some fall events are weather permitting. Call ahead if the weather’s questionable, though most tasting rooms are open in all weather.
Plan a stop on one of the state’s four wine trails – Three Rivers and Great River Road in Minnesota's Bluff Country, and Minnesota River Sips of History and Heartland Wine Trail in the MN Prairie region. Some of the trails offer complimentary wine to those who visit all of the trails during the season.
Also be sure to check with local wineries for ticket information. Some events require tickets or advance registration, and popular events can sell out.
With the holiday season right around the corner, be sure to take home a bottle – or more – to enjoy during the holidays.
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