Visit the Cannon River Winery
By Joel Schettler, Minnesota Monthly
"Hand-crafted wines from Minnesota’s Wine Country.” Both parts of Cannon River Winery’s slogan captured my attention on their brochure: the hand-crafted wine to be sure, but also the fact that Minnesota indeed has its own wine country.
Located just about an hour southeast of the Twin Cities in the historic river town of Cannon Falls, Cannon River Winery occupies a building that once housed a Chevrolet auto dealership. The renovated space allows plenty of room not only for tastings, but also for a wine and gift shop and special events.
As I learned during a visit to another Minnesota winery, the University of Minnesota has become widely respected for its grape-breeding program, creating many hearty varietals that are well suited to our northern climate. Cannon River Winery uses one such grape, the Edleweiss, to produce a white wine called Sogn Blanc. Perhaps best compared to a sweeter Sauvignon Blanc, the wine has intense peach and white-grape aromas.
My favorite wine of the day was Gunflint Red, a vibrant red made from a blend of grapes including the Marquette, which is directly related to Pinot Noir.
After you’ve had your fill of wine, spend your afternoon shopping at nearby specialty stores, or hiking and biking on the Cannon Valley Trail. As for the rest of Minnesota’s wine country, check out the Great River Road Wine Trail and map your trip to visit all of the region’s wineries.
Cannon River Winery
421 Mill St. W., Cannon Falls, 507-263-7400, cannonriverwinery.com
Wednesday and Thursday, noon–7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon–8 p.m.; Sunday, noon–5 p.m.