Who said you have to travel to Napa Valley to taste the best wines? There are fabulous vineyards right here in the heart of the Midwest! Take a trip to these wineries for a romantic weekend away or a fun girls adventure, your taste buds won’t be disappointed.
Illinois: Blue Sky Vineyard
Anchoring the eastern end of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, Blue Sky Vineyard offers award-winning Illinois wines, classic Tuscan style and breathtaking views of the Shawnee National Forest. They produce 17 different kinds of Illinois wine and five American wines from dry to sweet. Sip on wine and enjoy live music at one of Blue Sky’s rented tents or explore the grounds on one of their many walking paths.
Iowa: Park Farm Winery
Park Farm Winery is a family owned and operated winery set atop the rolling hills near Bankston, Iowa – just 17 miles west of Dubuque. They produce a wide variety of award-winning Midwest/French-hybrid varietal wines. Park Farm grows three white grape cultivars – LaCrosse, LaCrescent, and St. Pepin – and three red grape cultivars – Maréchal Foch, St. Croix, and Marquette. With a tasting room, rental spaced and a newly installed wood-fired pizza oven, Park Farm has grown into a year-round Iowa destination.
Minnesota: Cannon River Winery
Cannon Falls, MN
If prefer bustle to scenery, Cannon Falls Winery attracts crowds, including the locals. From their vine to your glass, Cannon Falls takes great care in every step of the winemaking process to ensure their wines meet the highest expectations. Just a short drive from the Twin Cities and Rochester, they invite the public on weekends beginning in September to help pick grapes from their 40 acres of land.
Missouri: St. James Winery
St. James, MO
For more than 40 years, St. James Winery has been producing unique regional wines. They make wines that reflect the natural character of each grape variety and the special place they are grown: the Ozark Highlands. St. James operates 160+ acres of vineyards, with more than 200 additional acres in Arkansas and Michigan. They distribute 200,000 cases per year in 19 states and are known for their sweet fruit wines.
Wisconsin: Cedar Creek Winery
Here’s another fantastic winery to add to your travel list. Cedar Creek Winery is a family run winery located in a historic limestone building from the 1860s on the banks of Cedar Creek in Cedarburg, WI. They offer an array of traditional-style red, white and blush grape wines that range from dry to sweet. Cedar Creek has received recognition in both national and international wine competitions for their Wisconsin wines. Pop in for some wine tasting and a tour!
By: Rebecca Clausen