7 Wineries to Visit Within an Hour of the Twin Cities
While wine may not be the first thing you associate with Minnesota, global warming and the growing demand for wine-tasting experiences hasn’t caused a shortage of wineries in recent years.
While famous US wine regions such as Napa, Sonoma, and Willamette Valley are all within an hour’s flight, there are plenty of options for a glass of local wine within an hour’s drive of the Twin Cities.
Here are some options:
Schram Vineyards winery and brewery
This family-run winery in Waconia is a great place to enjoy a glass of wine. It is located at 8785 Airport Rd., Waconia. Whether you find a seat in the tasting room or on its expansive patio, you’ll have a fun experience.
Traveling with someone who isn’t a big wine lover? Everyone is sure to find something they like. Craft beers and delicious treats such as charcuterie boards, cheese plates and pizzas are available. Seasonal wine cocktails such as sangrias, ice wine, and mulled wine are also sold at certain times of the year.
If you’re not in the mood to drive out of the cities, try visiting AxeBridge Wine Co. in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. The owners of Schram opened the sister winery in the spring of 2021.
This vineyard located in the town of Dellwood offers breathtaking views over its acres of rolling vineyards.
Visitors can enjoy an evening on the sprawling patio or cozy inside by one of its fireplaces.
Want to get an up-close look at the wine-making process? Walk along the walkway of the winery to see the large steel holding tanks used during the fermentation process. A guided tour of the cellar and a tasting are also available if you want to know more.
WineHaven Wine Estate
Hop in the car for a memorable visit to WineHaven in Chisago City. It offers stunning views of its hillside vineyards and overlooks two local lakes.
The cellar offers flavors that wine lovers will not be able to find anywhere else. Be sure to try its selection of wines made from grapes grown at the vineyard and recognized by the US Patent Office. These include the Chisago, Nokomis, Nicollet and Franconia vineyards.
WineHaven has been recognized as one of the top award-winning wineries in the Upper Midwest.
Be the judge and give it a try.
Rustic Roots Winery
This charming estate-style vineyard in Scandia offers a variety of red, white and rosé wines.
Rustic Roots has a quaint patio to take in the beautiful vineyard views and a charming tasting room to relax and sip a glass of locally grown wine.
Don’t leave without visiting his silver grill truck which is parked on site. Some of the offerings include burgers, sandwiches, salads, and cheese curds.
Head up the scenic dirt road and you’ll find a winery gem tucked away in Red Wing.
Take a seat on the covered terrace and enjoy a view that overlooks the vineyard and the surrounding cliffs. The estate offers red, white and dessert wines as well as ciders.
Not sure what you want to drink? Order a tasting flight and choose five.
Be sure to try one of the wood-fired pizzas at the vineyard bistro. “Grapes of Wrath” is one of his signature pizzas with hot sausage, red grapes, green pepper, red onion, jalapeño and cheese.
Vineyards of Sainte Croix
Enjoy a visit to this rustic vineyard west of scenic Stillwater. Have a drink or try a flight of locally produced wine in the tasting room which is inside a restored barn.
The vineyard is a great place to bring a picnic to enjoy at the table or on a blanket in the grass. Visitors will be captivated by the views of the vineyard and the serene pond.
There are plenty of events to get excited about at Saint Croix Vineyards. It hosts an annual grape crowd in September, a Federweisser Oktoberfest, and starlight snowshoeing, among other attractions.
The Sovereign Estate Winery
Waconia has its fair share of must-see wineries and the winery at Sovereign Estate is well worth a visit.
With a variety of award-winning wines, cabins for rent, and beautiful views of the vineyard and Lake Waconia, visitors will want to spend all day at the estate.
For a particularly special tour of the winery, book a table at Gia At the Lake, a seasonal outdoor Italian dining experience with wine pairings from Sovereign Estate.