In my continuing quest to visit all the wineries in Minnesota I didn't do so well in 2016. I only visited two this passed year and I'm thinking that must be remedied this year. Here's a little bit about the two I did visit. I really enjoyed the blueberry wine in particular at North Ridge Winery. It tasted just like pie filling and I loved it. The couple bottles of it I brought home did not last very long.
North Ridge is a pretty new winery and when I was there had only been open for about 10 months. It'll be a bit over year at this point. One of the owners we spoke with was very personable and open to answering all questions. He also did not mind letting us try whatever we liked. North Ridge additionally had a cider on tap. The next best wine I thought was the Raspberry Explosion which went great with dark chocolate. Raspberry is always a pretty good bet for going with dark chocolate. Sometimes the Raspberry wines are a bit too syrupy for my taste but this one managed to find the balance that keeps it from seeming more like cough syrup. I know it's not acceptable but I love fruit wines with the exception of Blue Loon at Sovereign Estate Winery which is more of a floral aroma and I really enjoyed it a great deal. The light, airy almost romantic scent in floral flavorings is hands down my favorite in liquors, wines and aperitifs.
Some snaps of North Ridge Winery:
The second winery I explored last year was Crow River Winery. Now this is a big place and established as an entertainment venue and wedding venue as well. There is food served in the tasting room and the staff was beyond attentive, taking care of our table as well as giving us an informed and not over wrought tour of the facility. I have to mention that I really enjoyed that everything has crows printed on it because I love the carrions. The one wine for me that stood out here was the cranberry wine. I brought that one home. Cranberries are widely available in the Midwest with them being grown in this part of the country. It was not too shabby of a way to spend a rainy day. Also, as a side note, this is the first place that I saw a fully automated bottling machine. That was interesting to me as most of the other places are at least partially hand bottled.
Here are some pictures from the day: