November 12, 2019

Searching for a unique gift for the holiday season? Look no further than locally grown wines from cold hardy grapes developed in Minnesota.

Our northern climate produces award-winning red, white, rose and other wines from 37 Minnesota Grown wineries across the state – including ice wine, uniquely harvested and typically made in December, said Ray Winter, owner and grower at Indian Island Winery in Janesville.

“You have to leave the grapes till they’re frozen solid in the vineyard. During that time, you have to keep the birds and deer away. It takes two nights down to zero degrees in row,” said Winter, whose family-run business celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. “The flavor is worth the extra work and so unique – very concentrated. You’re not going to get that in California!”

The University of Minnesota has been a leader in developing cold hardy wine grape varieties for over 50 years. Cold hardy varieties thrive in our unique Minnesota climate.

“We have the privilege, living in Minnesota, to be able to drink wine from totally unique grapes that were developed right here in our state,” said Annie Klodd, University of Minnesota Extension Educator. “These cold hardy grapes make beautiful and unique wines ranging from dry to sweet, fruity to complex.”

Wine enthusiasts can purchase ice wine and other varieties direct from the farm or ask for Minnesota Grown wines at the local liquor store.

In addition to wine tasting, many farm wineries offer tours, classes, music, local arts and crafts, and event space rental.

Learn more about Minnesota wine grape varieties and explore Minnesota’s wine trails in this wine guide:


Media Contact
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications