Monday, July 23, 2012

Wine Me Up!

I spent my weekend with a fabulous group of girls for a bachelorette party in Stillwater, Minnesota. The bride-to-be picked a daytime activity that we were all enthusiastic about; wine tasting! Lucky for us, we live in an area thats not too far from some great wineries. 

We started the day at around noon in Stillwater. Stillwater is a cute little town on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border and right on the edge of the St. Croix River. It's just a short drive from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The scenery is gorgeous, and the town has one of the most charming downtowns I've ever seen. We wanted to get some lunch first, and it was hard to pick a restaurant as there were a lot to choose from! We ended up going to Brine's; they had a good variety of food, and the prices couldn't be beat. A lot of us chose a make-your-own sandwich with up to three meats and cheeses for $4.95. Talk about a good deal! 

Inside Northern Vineyards Winery
Our next stop was winery #1, Northern Vineyards Winery. It was right on Main Street, and a short walk from the restaurant. It was pretty crowded when we went in, but we only had to wait about 10 minutes to start the wine tasting. While we waited, we browsed around the store. They had a lot of cute things for sale; apparel, candles, wine accessories galore, and more!

The wine tasting was $5 per person and included 9 wines to sample. They did a great job explaining each wine we were tasting. I personally enjoy both white and red wines, but like a bit on the sweeter side. I ended up loving their "Red" the best as it was just how I liked it; not too dry but with a lot of flavor. 

Tastings of the Day at Northern Vineyards
A few of us purchased a couple bottles and left Northern Vineyards Winery satisfied (and giggly) that we were able to sample so many wines. 

Our next stop brought us to Saint Croix Vineyards, a short drive from downtown Stillwater. The winery was situated on a very charming landscape, complete with picnic tables, lots of greenery and of course the vineyard. 

Outside Saint Croix Vineyards
Once inside, we really enjoyed the rustic-chic atmosphere. There was even live music playing in the corner! We purchased our tickets ($5 per person) and went to the bar to begin our tasting. We were able to sample 7 or 8 wines, and I really liked both the Frontenac Gris (hints of peach and pear) and the Frontenac (robust and earthy with a hint of cherry). Fun fact; both of these wines are developed from the University of Minnesota viticulture program! 

The chilled wine room

Inside Saint Croix Vineyards

After the tastings we went frolicking around the Vineyard for some photo ops. We got some great shots and we left very happy that we could experience both of these great vineyards and they were very bachelorette party friendly. I can't wait to go back (hopefully soon) and enjoy some of the great events put on by both wineries! 

The Vineyard

Are there any great wineries in your area? Let me know!

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