Falconer Vineyards and Winery: Red Wing, MN
acre vineyard, serves up wood fired pizzas and wine.
It may have taken the University of Minnesota’s cold hardy wine grape program a few decades to perfect grapes that can be grown in this region, but it’s taken Falconer Vineyard and Winery – one of the state’s top cold hardy grape vineyard and winery – only a few years to build a following for its award winning Minnesota wines.
A short drive from the Twin Cities, Wisconsin and Iowa, Red Wing’s Falconer Vineyards and Winery has become a favorite summertime destination. Since 2003, Falconer has grown University of Minnesota grape varieties including Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, La Crescent, Marquette and Prairie Star.
The winery offers wine tastings year round and live music on the weekends at least once per month April through October. In fall 2010, Falconer completed construction on its Vineyard Bistro, which overlooks the 6.5 acre winery. The bistro now serves 10-inch wood fired pizzas and wine outdoors seasonally.
“In the summer, our tasting room is a popular destination and it used to be standing room only,” said Sarah, the wine tasting host, as she poured a sample into a glass etched with the Falconer logo. “Our expanded deck and bistro now allows guests to enjoy a glass of wine outdoors as well, and spend an afternoon enjoying the vineyard. Not only can we serve more guests, but we have the food and atmosphere to create a relaxing destination.”
But the winery hasn’t just made its mark in Red Wing. It’s won numerous awards at wine competitions held throughout the region, including the 2009 Minnesota Governor’s Cup for its Frontenac Port, a unique Minnesota dessert wine.
“Our port is carefully fermented and aged over time,” Sarah explained. “We leave the grapes dedicated to our port on the vine longer in the fall until they have higher sugar content. Our port has become a favorite for our tasting visitors and is also one of the most popular choices in local restaurants, including the St. James Hotel.”
What to Try:
For sweet wines, try Potter John’s or Vignoles, or the white dessert wine La Crescent Moon. And you can’t leave until you’ve tried the award winning Frontenac Port.
If You Go:
Wine tastings are available to tasting the available wines. Watch for special tasting events year round.
While You’re There:
Consider a weekend getaway to Red Wing, MN. Stay the night at the historic St. James Hotel. Bring your bikes for a ride on the Cannon Valley Trail, or take a hike and bird watch at nearby Frontenac State Park. Or enjoy a relaxing weekend at one of three local spas and enjoy a stroll around downtown shops.
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