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Editor's pick: Four local wines to warm you up this winter

Editor's pick: Four local wines to warm you up this winter

I’ll be honest, I’m far from a wine connoisseur. When I’m using words such as charcoal, laser-like, and buttery in my vocabulary, I’m likely talking about grilling out, a Brett Favre touchdown pass, or my morning breakfast; not describing textures and flavors of my favorite wine.

I’m also not a weather geek. I prefer to rely on Randy Brock’s Twitter feed to guide me through Minnesota’s unpredictable weather. But I do know two things: 1. People love their wine; and 2. It’s about to get real cold real fast.

For these reasons, I reached out to the area’s local wineries (30 mile radius of Rochester) to get their pick on the best local wines that will warm you up as the weather chills.

 
 

Whitewater Wines

Plainview, Minn.

The Wine: 233 K (Kelvin)
For the science virtuosos out there, 233 Kelvin equals -40.27 degrees Fahrenheit, or the temperature at which the Frontenac grapes used in this particular wine can survive.

According to Whitewater Wines co-owner Wanda Hanlon, 233 K is a high alcohol fermentation wine that is aged for several years on French and American oak to create a velvet smooth sweet wine, perfect for sipping on cold days!

The Winery and Vineyard:
Whitewater Wines is located in the bluff country of southeast Minnesota in the uplands of the Whitewater river valley in Plainview. The winery is on 30 acres of prairie, hardwoods, and vineyard. The 2.5 acre vineyard is surrounded by walking trails, ponds, and beautifully landscaped grounds.


Source: Whitewater Wines

Source: Whitewater Wines

Salem Glen Winery

Rochester, Minn.

The Wine: Europa
Europa is a true ice wine, where the grape freezes on the vine, and then are picked and pressed to extract the liquid gold within. After a slow and cool fermentation, the juice becomes a rich wine full of sweet nuances of pear, apricot, and honey. According to winemaker Dustin Ebert, this is a wonderful wine to enjoy during the holidays with a dessert such as crème brûlée or a pear tart.

The Winery and Vineyard:
Established in 2006, Salem Glen’s boutique winery specializes in small batches of regionally grown cold hardy grapes. The 5-acre vineyard and winery is located on an old dairy farm in the Zumbro River Valley just southwest of Rochester, and offers extraordinary country and vineyard views.

Source: Salem Glen Winery

Source: Salem Glen Winery

Post Town Winery

Vineyard: Post Town, Minn. (just north of Byron)

Winery: Rochester, Minn.

The Wine: Marachel Foch
This recommendation came to me via a friend who has tasted several of Post Town’s wines. According to Post Town Winery’s website, the Marachel Foch has a vibrant deep purple color with dark berry fruit characteristics. Its light medium structure is coupled with flavors of toasted wheat and mocha.

The Winery and Vineyard:
The Post Town Winery vineyard has been growing a variety of grapes, including Frontenac, LaCrescent, and Prairie Star, since 2005. The small and surprisingly charming boutique winery produces, sells, and hosts tastings at its north frontage road location on the west edge of Rochester. All seven wines available at Post Town Winery are 100 percent Minnesota-grown.

Source: Post Town Winery

Source: Post Town Winery

Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery

Spring Valley, Minn.

The Wine: Corn Farm Cab
The Corn Farm Cab is very rich, tannic, and extracted, with flavors of bing cherry, vanilla, and leather. According to Four Daughters, this cabernet is a red wine for drinkers of red wine.

The Winery and Vineyard:
Although Four Daughters does have some vines on site, their cabernet vineyard is located outside of Mariposa, Calif., adjacent to Yosemite National Park. Due to the 3,800-foot elevation of the vineyard, this wine is very tannic and will age exceptionally well.

Four Daughters Winery and Vineyard is located about 20 miles south of Rochester just off of Highway 63, and features a warm, modern tasting room and a full food menu and dining space to complement its popular wines.

Source: Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery

Source: Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery


About Brian Olson: Born and raised in Rochester, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife, Emily, and their two children, Henry (1) and Finleigh (4), and their golden doodle rescue dog Duke (age unknown). When not playing Dad, Brian works as a marketer, enjoys traveling, and can’t seem to get off the roller coaster that comes with being an avid Minnesota sports fan. Twitter.


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