Sunday, August 19, 2007

Minnesota Wines are Delicious...really??

OK, this isn't one of those, "Minnesota is better" posts. Sure, we have the best park system in the nation (IMHO), and it's hard to beat our summers (except when we're getting 8+ inches of cold rain in August). But Minnesota just can't compare to California or even Virginia when it comes to wines. Heck, I'd say even the ridiculously fruity Door County, WI wines are better than Minnesota wines on average.

But I have found an exception. If you haven't had a chance to check out their wine, the Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls, MN is exceptional. The winery is located in downtown Cannon Falls, conveniently enough right at the trailhead for the awesome 20-mile Cannon Valley Bike Trail that goes from Cannon Falls to Red Wing along the scenic Cannon River. Twice now I have biked Cannon Falls to Red Wing and back and stopped at the winery POST-RIDE. Many of their wines are delicious, but most use exclusively or near-exclusively California-grown grapes. In my mind, that's cheating. If I want a great CA wine, I'll buy one from CA, not one where the grapes are shipped to MN. It defeats the whole reason for buying local in reducing transportation costs and cutting CO2 emissions.

My favorite wine from this winery is the Minnesota Meritage. It sells for about 16 bucks at the winery, and apparently is sold at several local liquor stores, although I have yet to see it one yet. If you find it, I would suggest trying it. Of course the best place to get it is in Cannon Falls itself at the beautiful winery. So next time you're driving to Rochester (the Rock as Strats calls it), pull over for a refreshing pit stop. Better yet, do the bike trip, have lunch in Red Wing, and bike back to Cannon Falls for a glass of red. It's better than Gatorade!

Anyone had any other good MINNESOTAN wines?? Wines that are primarily Californian grapes like what Carlod Creek does don't count. I've heard Morgan Creek in New Ulm is good, but I haven't tried it yet.

1 comment:

TheGremsFamily said...

Morgan Creek in New Ulm is fantastic! They grow most of their own grapes... what they don't grow, they buy from local farmers. They only have 1 grape they have to "order" from longer distance. They are also trying to work on their soil conditions to go a step PAST organic. I don't think they're officially considered organic, but they use nets instead of pesticides and fertlize organically, so they most likely just don't have their certification?

At anyrate... their wines... the St. Johns Reserve and Pucks Pride are some of the best red wines on the market, period. Their Nova appeals to non-wine drinks as a sweet red... and their Fox Run they've dubbed their "hot tub" wine since it truly does make you feel warm and fuzzy inside :)

Also, if you can, take the trip out there. The winery is BEAUTIFUL - located on 12 acres outside of New Ulm, it has a pictureseque view of the most perfect Oak Tree, super porch for gatherings, jazz music on Friday nights, and wood-brick fire pizzas and appetizers for cheap. Their website needs a little help, but I highly recommend this place.

There is a little organic co-op in St. Peter ( that has great seasonal goodies and cheeses.