Sip Your Way along Minnesota's Wine Trails

By Minnesota Farm Winery Association

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The proliferation of vineyards and wineries in Minnesota has been the catalyst for popular activities such as tours, tastings and vineyard concerts. As this agritourism model continues to grow, various collections of wineries have come together to form wine trails.

Most of the destinations on these trails have tasting rooms, offer tours and host periodic events such as live music, prix fixe dinners with wine pairings, and the vineyard version of a harvest celebration—the grape stomp.

Winehaven vineyardThis tasty buffet of Minnesota wineries has grown thanks to the cold-hardy grapes developed at the University of Minnesota, including the Frontenac, LaCrescent, St. Croix and St. Pepin grapes. Many of Minnesota’s approximately 60 producers also make wines created from French and German varietals, such as cabernet, merlot, chardonnay and riesling, as well as fruit wines.

Upper St. Croix Wine Trail

Nestled along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway are five family-owned wineries that comprise the Upper St. Croix Wine Trail. Along the trail are picturesque landscapes of the river valley, fertile farmlands and dense woodlands creating a set of special characteristics of geography, geology and climate that make the wines and the wineries unique and exceptional.

The Upper St. Croix is a fast-growing wine region and a wonderful place to visit. As you travel from one winery to the next, there are restaurants, shops and trails to make your visit complete. The members of the Upper St. Croix Wine Trail invite visitors to explore the beauty of this trail and the great wines it has to offer. This is a self-guided wine trail; transportation is not provided. Advance notice for groups, including buses and limos, is recommended.

Featured wineries include: North Folk Winery, Wild Mountain Winery and James Perry Vineyards.

morgan_creek0013-Edit-Edit.jpgHeartland Wine Trail

Come explore Minnesota’s friendliest wine trail. The Heartland Wine Trail connects a diverse group of wineries nestled along the prairie in the far west part of the state, the glacial lakes regions and the beautiful rolling river valleys.

Along with tasting some of the finest wines, consumers will receive an educational experience and a deeper appreciation for the expanding Minnesota wine industry and cold-hardy grapes. Because of the vast differences in grape-growing regions represented on this trail, consumers will have a chance to taste a variety of wine styles made from the same grape varieties and experience the true meaning of “terroir.”

Featured wineries include: Buffalo Rock, Crofut, Glacial Ridge, Hinterland, Millner, Parley Lake and Woodland Hill.

Three Rivers Wine Trail

The Three Rivers Wine Trail is Minnesota’s first wine trail, comprised of five of Minnesota’s oldest wineries located within the St. Croix, Mississippi and Cannon river valleys. Wine lovers can spend a day or a weekend on the trail visiting the wineries amid lush valley scenery and sampling award-winning, locally produced wines.

Featured wineries include: Cannon River Winery, Falconer Vineyards, Northern Vineyards Winery, Saint Croix Vineyards and Winehaven Winery & Vineyard.

Great River Road Wine Trail

4--cannon_valley_winery0018.jpgThe Great River Road Wine Trail was founded in 2009 when nine wineries located near the Mississippi River in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa joined together to market their unique part of the world. Grape growers and winemakers benefit from the unique soils and climate of each region, while visitors enjoy the beautiful landscapes. All this together makes the Great River Road Wine Trail a special place for travel and adventure while enjoying the fruits of the vintners’ labor.

Featured wineries include: Cannon River Winery, Falconer Vineyards, Garvin Heights Vineyards, River View Vineyard & Winery, and Flower Valley Vineyard.

Plan your Minnesota Wine Escape today.