ST. PAUL, Minn. (Oct. 15, 2014) — During the last decade, the number of Minnesota farm wineries has grown exponentially. Today, the Minnesota Grown directory boasts a listing of 36 member wineries. This is up considerably from 10 listed wineries in 2004 and 15 in 2009. This boom in Minnesota wineries is spurred by the research and development of winter hardy, Minnesota specific grape varieties by the University of Minnesota.
“The industry is growing tremendously, and this year will be no different. I think you will find growers don’t compete, we complement each other,” shared John Maloney of Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls. “If the wine industry is going to be a destination for consumers, we need to work together. We are very supportive of one another and the overall growth of the Minnesota wine industry.”
The University of Minnesota initiated a breeding program for wine grapes in the mid-1980’s and today is recognized as one of the top wine grape programs in the United States! They have, to date, developed four outstanding grape varieties to craft excellent wines. These include Frontenac, Frontenac gris, La Crescent, and Marquette. These varieties make Minnesota wine production more efficient and economical for producers. Because the varieties are unique to Minnesota, you can also expect the wine to be unique to the state.
“Visiting a farm winery is the perfect way to enjoy the fall season,” shares Minnesota Grown spokesman, Paul Hugunin. “Farm wineries provide a fun, unique outing leading to long-lasting memories. Plus, people who purchase from a Minnesota producer will keep their dollars at work in the local economy!”
A Minnesota fall like this one is the perfect time for day trips or weekend getaways, and a Minnesota farm winery is the perfect destination. When visiting one winery just isn’t enough, it’s time to try a wine trail. Wine trails are groups of wineries located within close proximity to each other. Because Minnesota’s growing conditions and landscapes vary throughout the state, wine trails often have their own distinct identity when it comes to the wines they produce and the experiences they offer! A list of six wine trails can be found at www.mngrapes.org.
Find one of 36 local farm wineries nearest you by searching the FREE Minnesota Grown Directory online at www.minnesotagrown.com or by calling 1-800-657-3878 for your printed copy. The online directory makes it easy to find farms via product, city, zip code, or the interactive map.