Not many people likely think of Minnesota as a top wine producer when thinking of winemaking. And generally speaking, they’re right, as viticulture is not a significant economic power in the state.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t many great wineries here to try out! Midwestern wine is starting to make a surge in popularity due to its unique cold-temperature growing season.
Let’s take a look at this topic and identify a few of the best wineries in this fascinating state.
Minnesota is a Midwestern state located near the Canadian border and just to the west of Wisconsin.
It is renowned for many things, including the Twin Cities, the Mall of America, a few sports teams like the Vikings, and for being the birthplace of both Bob Dylan and Prince.
In relatively recent years, Minnesota has joined the world of viticulture and has opened up around 60 different regional wineries across the state.
Though still relatively small as a market, more and more people find that Minnesota has a lot to offer regarding winemaking.
Popular Wines from Minnesota
Like many Midwestern states, Minnesota typically has a relatively cold climate, even towards the bottom third of the state, which is where more of the state’s grapes are grown.
However, this area also has reasonably sandy and gravelly soil, which works very well for grape growing.
Famous wines in this region include Frontenac Gris, Marquette, Frontenac, and La Crescent, a few wines you don’t hear about all that often.
12 of The Best Wineries in Minnesota
Minnesota’s cold-growing temperatures typically produce a relatively dry and acidic grape, one that works well for many wines.
This dryness and acidity are common for many Midwestern wineries, so make sure you are prepared for this unique wine style before stopping at any of the wineries listed below.
Map of The Best Wineries in Minnesota
1. Morgan Creek Vineyards and Winery
- Website: Morgan Creek Vineyards
- Phone Number: (507) 947-3547
- Address: 23707 478th Ave, New Ulm, MN
One thing that immediately stands out about this winery is its unique tasting environment.
They have the only underground aging cellar in Minnesota, which is excellent if you know wine.
Underground aging typically helps wine age much better due to the natural coolness of the basement and its shelter from the sun. As a result, this winery typically has some of the best aged wines in the state.
During your wine tastings, you can self-direct yourself and your friends through various delicious wines, choosing which serves your needs the most.
This popular option may also include guided tours that include checking out the property, drinking near the vines, and exploring the prep rooms.
These private experiences may be booked in advance to ensure guests get more personal attention.
Another thing that stands out about this winery is its commitment to sustainable agricultural practices.
While many wineries now pay lip service to this concept or have recently switched to sustainable ideas, Morgan Creek has been sustainable since 1993.
They focus on minimizing vine waste, pay attention to their overall potential waste, and work hard to keep their practices safe and clean.
As for their wines, their Marquette blend is particularly renowned for its vanilla and pepper aftertastes. There are also leather, oak, berry, and cedar aromas that make it quite attractive and enjoyable.
These factors make Morgan Creek a great option for people looking to enjoy a winery that cares about them and the environment.
A few other amenities you may experience include:
- Concert events, including a regular Jazz Nite celebration
- Morning Toast breakfasts with delicious food and wine
- Handicap accessible areas that serve the whole community
2. Cannon River Winery
- Website: Cannon River Winery
- Phone Number: (507) 263-7400
- Address: 421 Mill St W, Cannon Falls, MN
The Sogn Valley is one of Minnesota’s best-kept secrets. Its fascinating beauty is truly something to behold and is something worth checking out in any way possible.
For example, Cannon River Winery sits right among the hills along this valley, stretching throughout 40 acres of land to provide an almost unbelievable view that makes visiting here worth it.
Thankfully, the wine is good too!
One nice thing about this winery is that it’s close to both the Twin Cities and Rochester, meaning it should be reasonably easy to stay in these areas and drive down for a visit.
Their food is also quite enjoyable, including several meat and cheese trays, alongside a handful of flatbread pizzas and sandwiches. You’ll get filled up when you visit this winery, that’s for sure.
This winery also offers a Crew Club Membership that provides multiple benefits that make it worth the purchase if you enjoy wine.
You get 20% off on all your purchases on the day you create the account and 10% after that.
You also get a free yearly tasting for six people, one for four on your birthday month, quarterly 20% sales deals. This package is one of the best wine club options available.
When trying out their wines, I found that the Gunflint Red and White were a fantastic and unique combination of flavors.
They create a strong and somewhat fruity aftertaste with hints of strawberry and raspberry.
But, of course, as is typical with Minnesota wineries, you can’t go wrong with the Marquette. The Minnesota Marquette here is almost to die for, and I’m sure you’ll love it.
Here are a few amenities you get when visiting:
- A fall festival where you can create wine and enjoy it yourself
- Attractive outdoor venue for parties and weddings
- Plenty of outdoor concert experiences throughout the year
3. Crow River Winery
- Website: Crow River Winery
- Phone Number: (320) 587-2922
- Address: 14848 MN-7, Hutchinson, MN
Like the Sogn Valley, the Crow River Watershed is the kind of natural destination you only find in the Midwest.
This area includes fantastic hills, valleys, lakes, ponds, and much more.
Crow River Valley winery takes advantage of this scenery to produce views that will take your breath away. Sitting on their patio and watching the sun go down is something you’ll never forget.
Beyond its beautiful scenery, Crow River Winery also offers a broad array of different amenities that make it worth visiting.
These include a relaxing tasting room where you can hang out with friends and family.
In addition, the on-site bistro includes a variety of tasty meals that use locally sourced ingredients that are fresh and safe to enjoy, no matter what you order.
Another thing you’ll notice with this winery is its dedication to a good time. They host a broad array of events, from live music to group meals and even yoga!
These experiences make each visit to Crow River Valley a unique experience, one that you and your friends will remember forever.
I strongly recommend booking in advance to ensure that you get the best private experience.
Taste tests confirm that the Township Marquette (naturally!) is one of the best wines in this winery, though the Red Porch, Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry Wine, and the Red Coyote are all pretty good.
One thing I found with this winery is that it crafted dessert wines fairly well, though most of its wines were pretty dry.
That makes this a diverse and engaging option for many people!
Amenities to consider include:
- The Luce Line Trail, where you can hike and check out the beautiful scenery
- Multiple events, including the Grape Stomp, Pumpkin Fest, and Yoga at the Winery
- A local eating event that includes fantastic foods from area restaurants
- Available for weddings and other events
- Annual Corn Maze event
4. Alexis Bailly Vineyards
- Website: Alexis Bailly Vineyards
- Phone Number: (651) 437-1413
- Address: 18200 Kirby Ave S, Hastings, MN
Are you a dessert wine fan that loves sweet wine after a hearty dinner?
Then, Alexis Bailly Vineyards might be the destination for you! This winery started in 1973 and is technically the first vineyard in Minnesota!
Since then, they’ve hit many unique milestones, including releasing the first 100% Minnesota-grown wine and opened the state’s first tasting room in 1978.
The great thing about Alexis Bailly Vineyards is that they’ve never rested on their laurels and continue innovating and changing over the years.
Yes, their dessert wines are easily their most popular options and are well worth the investment if you enjoy sweet wines.
However, they also create many other wine types, providing Minnesota wine lovers with a state-grown experience that they’ll love.
For the best experience, I strongly suggest focusing on their red wines.
These are among the most complex, diverse, and enjoyable in the state. There are plenty of taste notes here, including rich leather and chocolate tastes and fairly minimal acidity.
In addition, I enjoyed their Golden Gris and Country White varieties, though their Voyageur is often considered the best wine in the state.
Combine these high-quality wines with a fantastic wine club and beautiful scenery, and you have a winery that you know you can trust.
It’s the kind of place where you might find yourself relaxing for hours and meeting new friends. The friendly staff also makes this winery an enjoyable experience, as you rarely feel like you’re bothering them or causing them any frustration.
A few amenities here include:
- Sunday afternoon jazz concerts that provide some great music
- A beautiful sculpture garden you can explore with your family or friends
- A dog-friendly atmosphere, as long as your pup is leashed
5. Parley Lake Winery
- Website: Parley Wake Winery
- Phone Number: (952) 442-2290
- Address: 8280 Parley Lake Rd, Waconia, MN
If you plan on staying in the Twin Cities any time soon and want a fantastic wine experience, you should check out Parley Lake Wineries.
Just a few minutes away from the Minnesota-St. Paul airport, this winery has won over 50 gold medals in international wine competitions, which is a huge deal.
Without exaggeration, I can say that their wines are some of the best-regarded in the state.
They typically create a variety of white wines with a handful of reds, often creating limited-batch wines that may come and go before you have a chance to enjoy them.
That’s why their wine club is such a significant investment!
In addition, they often sell these limited-edition wines through their club and provide them at lower prices that will satisfy your inner bargain hunter.
Expect 15% discounts when joining this club.
While their tasting room is typically open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you can book private events, as needed, including weddings and even corporate experiences.
Typically, they provide some catering help when booking in this way, giving you a better all-around experience.
Additionally, you may purchase these tickets online or in person to give yourself a chance to check out its beautiful scenery.
As for their wines, the Marquette is a standard option for most people and is something you shouldn’t miss.
However, the Apples and Vines variety is also pretty great, as it uses a fairly sweet taste profile to capture your taste buds. The Frontenac varieties are also suitable, including the Brand, Gris, and Limited Edition Reserve.
Amenities you may experience here include:
- Helicopter ride with a taste testing package!
- The acclaimed ArtStock art festival, which includes local art and many events
- Live music throughout the season, including many jazz groups
- Holiday celebrations, including Valentine’s taste tests for you and your partner
6. Wild Mountain Winery
- Website: Wild Mountain Winery
- Phone Number: (651) 583-3585
- Location: 16906 Wild Mountain Rd, Taylors Falls, MN 55084
The best Minnesota wineries take advantage of the state’s sheer natural beauty to draw in customers and keep them coming back for more.
Wild Mountain Winery is no different.
You get a beautiful view of the St. Croix River, where you can travel before or after your winery experience to fish or even swim. Alongside the river, expect a lot of wildlife, like birds, deer, and more.
To match this rural experience, Wild Mountain Winery uses somewhat rustic decorative elements, including wooden signs, old-fashioned seating options, and many farm-style buildings to make their winery feel lived-in and enjoyable.
It’s the kind of place you just feel comfortable visiting, and the friendly smiles on the guests and servers will make your experience even more enjoyable.
Now, before I go on any further, I have to ask an important question: do you love pizza?
Of course, you do! Most people do!
That’s another reason why you should visit this winery. They serve wood-fired pizzas, including sausage and pepperoni, pepperoni, and a six-pack pizza with multiple meat types.
If you’re not a meat-lover fan, you can instead try their gourmet cheese and cracker servings.
Many people rave about their pizzas, and they look fantastic! However, it all comes down to the wine quality when choosing a winery.
And this winery more than qualifies. The Marquette is awesome, and its many reds and whites will provide a taste variety you can’t beat.
Even better: you can enjoy a glass of wine while hanging out with your dog on their pet-friendly premises.
Other amenities include:
- A nearby campground you can enjoy yourself or with your family
- The unbelievably beautiful scenery that you can explore at your leisure
- Fun and engaging acoustic music events that will keep you engaged
7. Schram Vineyards, Winery & Brewery
- Website: Schram Vineyards
- Phone Number: (952) 442-5105
- Address: 8785 Airport Rd, Waconia, MN 55387
Visiting Schram Vineyards is a lot like going to your best friend’s house and having a good time.
For example, you can break out the bocce ball set while you’re here and throw a few balls for fun or simply sit on the patio, chat, and enjoy some wine.
With a barn-style design and a large variety of tasty wines, you can’t go wrong trying out this winery if you want a relaxing and fun experience.
Visitors can buy a diverse range of wines, including reds, whites, roses, and desserts.
You can also purchase various beers if you’re a craft brew fan.
Their online store includes most, if not all, of these products, meaning you can get the wine you want to be delivered to your front door.
First, however, you should check out the tasting room to get the best experience with this winery. The relaxing environment, comfortable seating, tasty snacks, and friendly faces will keep you coming back for more.
They aim for a rural atmosphere, and they more than achieve, as you keep expecting someone to shout “howdy ya’ll!” whenever you walk into the room.
Don’t forget their wine club: you can not only get inexpensive wines and beers but also recipes for making your brews!
A few of the best wines here include the Sparkling Frontenac Blanc, Blueberry Bumbley (although this is a honey wine, I urge you to try out blueberry wine itself as well as Maine wineries who are well known for their blueberry wines), Semi-Sparkling Rose, Frontenac, and Merlot.
These wines are all top-notch and will provide you with plenty of great tasting experiences. Even better, you get access to a surprising range of unique amenities that make your visit enjoyable.
These amenities include:
- Food trucks that come and go to provide diverse taste options
- In-depth tours of the winery that show you how wine is made
- Concerts, wine festivals, yoga experiences, and many other events
8. Carlos Creek Winery
- Website: Carlos Creek Winery
- Phone Number: (320) 846-5443
- Address: 6693 County Rd 34 NW, Alexandria, MN
Carlos Creek is one of the largest wineries in Minnesota by land area, with about 160 acres around a beautiful lake scenery.
Carlos Creek also has the unique advantage of being named the first Federally Approved Viticulture Area in the state.
This means the federal government approved their winemaking procedures and quality, and has named it a valuable addition to the region’s viticulture area.
This broad property range means you can enjoy a little natural beauty or even hike along the edges of their vineyards.
Many people look through the vineyards to check out the different grapes on display, which can be a both fun and fascinating experience.
You may also learn more about the different options available to you by checking out your grapes in this way.
If you love pizza with your wine, you’ve also come to the right place! This winery is almost as renowned for its pizza as it is for its viticulture!
You get a pretty good variety of options, though don’t expect as much as you’d get at your local pizzeria.
Do anticipate high-quality food, though, as this winery takes its food seriously and wants you to enjoy yourself while you visit.
As for their wines, they tend towards the drier range, with Freizeit, Draga, and Neuhaus providing some excellent varieties.
However, you can also find some reasonably good off-dry/semi-sweet options and even a few sweet wines that should meet your taste preferences.
Other amenities that you may experience when you visit this destination include:
- Largest barrel aging program in the state
- Live music every weekend that will get your feet tapping
- The three-day Grape Stomp Festival will get you laughing
- Fantastic scenery that matches any other winery in the area
9. WineHaven Winery & Vineyard
- Website: WineHaven
- Phone Number: (651) 257-1017
- Address: 10020 Deer Garden Ln, Chisago City, MN
Do you like family-owned businesses that care about their community? How about wineries that provide sustainable practices that better the environment?
You’ll love Winehaven Winery!
This winery was the first opened in Chicago County in 1995 and has been passed down to each new generation to create a consistent and serious wine quality.
In fact, Winehaven may be operating at their peak ability right now, as they were voted the “Best Fruit Wine” award in a recent San Francisco wine competition!
Their relatively sweet and fruity wines are top-rated.
In addition, they include options like Raspberry Wine, a unique Deer Garden Red, a fantastic Sangria, Cranberry Wine, Stinger Mead (or honey wine), and many more uniquely tasty options.
Over the years, Winehaven has become one of the most popular mead options in the area. Their mead is very high-quality, and their facility offers many surprisingly fun entertainment options.
For example, you can ride in a horse-drawn carriage throughout the area’s 50 acres or even visit a nearby food truck, which often includes sandwiches, pizzas, tacos, and other hand-food options.
If you don’t mind bees and are interested in seeing where Winehaven gets its honey for mead, you can take a tour of the property, including the vineyards and the beehives.
These hives are regularly updated and kept in great shape to avoid issues.
In addition, by keeping their honey production on-site, Winehaven helps create a consistent mead quality that is honestly fairly hard to top in the area.
- Event bookings including weddings
- Annual rhubarb festival that brings together many people in the area
- The Wine Slushy festival is fun for both kids and adults
- Regular live music that should keep you well entertained
10. Northern Hollow Winery
- Website: Northern Hollow Winery
- Phone Number: (320) 266-8691
- Address: 6916 Canary Road, Graston, MN 55030
Northern Hollow Winery is a family-owned and operated winery that started around 17 years ago.
Since its debut, it has expanded to become one of the great secrets of the Minnesota viticulture scene. However, it’s not yet as popular as a few other options you’ve read on this list.
However, that could change soon! More and more people are discovering this winery, so its low-key nature and homey atmosphere may quickly dissipate.
I don’t usually do this, but I strongly urge you to try it out soon to ensure that you get a chance to enjoy it.
That’s because you can enjoy great wine in a relaxing atmosphere while checking out fun events like bingo, bonfires, painting classes, and more.
You can also try a wood-fired pizza to get the taste experience you want at a price that you can easily afford while you visit.
Typically, Northern Hollow specializes in red wines, which provide a unique array of taste options.
I found the American Rebel, Voyageur, Aurora Red, and Viking options to be quite interesting. However, there are many other wines you may enjoy.
Amenities of this winery include:
- The always popular Artfest competition every year
- The Craft Beverage Trail that includes many great drinks
- On-site peacocks that add a little color to the winery
11. Whitewater Wines
- Website: Whitewater Wines
- Phone Number: (507) 534-1262
- Address: 10832 Fischer Hill Dr Plainview, MN 55964
Whitewater Wines reminds me of Northern Hollow because it has a low-key, friendly, and inviting atmosphere.
It tends to host smaller groups and parties, meaning that you can set up private events, if you like, as long as you make a reservation for any group number over six.
Meeting this low-key style is the rather cozy and comfortable tasting room.
It’s not huge but focuses on comfort and relaxation. That element makes it a great place to visit with your partner or if you just want to meet a few new people in an intimate and relaxing environment.
However, the outdoor experience here is probably the best part of this winery.
Its comfortable chairs and beautiful outdoor view give you a unique insight into this winery you can’t get in any other way. You may also enjoy the bar-based interior, which feels comfortable and relaxing for most guests.
As for the wines, I strongly suggest the Frontenac, Elba Red, Unequivocal, and Easy blends. These options are among their most popular and pair well with foods, like casual picnics and pizza.
Amenities you may experience when visiting this high-quality winery include:
- Expansive outdoor patio in a beautiful rural setting
- Some light snacks and areas for picnic lunches
- Two nearby ponds you can visit with your family
12. Garvin Heights Vineyards
- Website: Garvin Heights Vineyards
- Phone Number: (507) 474-9463
- Address: 2255 Garvin Heights Road, Winona, MN 55987
Garvin Heights is a classy place opened by a couple dedicated to serving tasty wine in a welcoming atmosphere.
The interior is comfortable and relaxing, with soft colors and some old-fashioned decorations that unite the fairly rural decoration style typical with Minnesota wineries.
Like many vineyards, Garvin Heights focuses on Minnesota-grown grapes but also imports some from nearby Wisconsin.
This choice brings in a bit more diversity to their wines but sticks with Midwestern options. In this way, you should get a consistent level of taste, in spite of the grape differences.
This diversity of grapes also helps this relatively small (five-acre) winery provide white, rose, red, blended grape, fruit, and dessert-style wines.
Surprisingly, this winery also tends to go against the grain of other Minnesota wineries by providing higher-quality wines than reds.
That’s not to say that their reds aren’t good.
But their white Frontenac Blanc, La Crescent, Brianna, and Edelweiss varieties are fantastic. The same quality is also there with the fruit and dessert wines, meaning you can’t go wrong with your selections.
A few other amenities include:
- Event-hosting opportunities that include wine catering
- Multiple event options, including wine markets and state fairs
- The beautiful scenery that makes your visit hard to top
Overall Best Minnesota Winery
Choosing between these options was hard, but I have to go with Crow River Valley.
This winery includes delicious wines and fun activities and has an active on-site bistro.
While other wineries have some pretty good food and even food trucks, this on-site bistro provides broader food selections and tips my hand, ever so slightly, towards this great winery.
What do you think about these winery options? Do they fit your needs and feel suitable for your tastes? Or do you know any other winery in Minnesota that deserves to mention?
Don’t be afraid to reach out and let me know! I genuinely think that these are the finest Minnesota wineries in the state. But I know that other people may have opinions or insights that I appreciate learning more about from any readers interested in contacting me.