Looking to unwind a little this weekend? Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery is the place to go. It is where I first fell in love with the Minnesota Wineries lifestyle, even before I learned to really appreciate the flavors wine has to offer. The vineyard is part of the Waconia Vineyards grouping. Located a few minutes west of the Twin Cities, in Waconia, it makes for the perfect place to stop for a relaxing weekend treat.
When the road turns to gravel, you know you are getting close. The first thing you will see in the distance is their tasting room barn. As you pull up to the location, you are greeted with a local food truck outside. Out front, Schram Vineyards has a patio that sprawls along the grounds. There is private seating everywhere. It is perfect for those that are looking for a relaxing drink outside with an amazing view. When the weather isn’t cooperating, head inside and check out their tasting room. They have taken full advantage of their location by having big windows surrounding the place, giving you a view of both the lake and the vines. The only other Winery I’ve visited that rivals Schram in the decor and setting is Winehaven in Chicago Lakes.
The owners, Ashley and Aaron, bought their Waconia property in 2008 with the dream of starting their own vineyard. They bought an old soybean farm and the first thing they did was plant over 4,000 grape vines. Within five years, they were able to start to produce their first commercial vintages. It wasn’t long after that they decided to expand their offerings and by 2014, opened a craft brewery. With any small business, they are constantly growing. Each year their guest can expect to see more additions. This spring, they are adding additional grape plants that will reach maturity in about three years.
When you Schram Winery, you can purchase both Wine tastings and Beer flights. Both cost $10 each. You receive 6 – 1 oz wine samples of your choice, or 4 – 5 oz samples in the Beer flight. They also sell full glasses and bottles there as well. If you are coming with a group of 8 people, make sure to book a tasting first. In addition to the samples, they also offer Winery & Brewery Tours. Make a reservation at least a couple weeks before. All of their wines are aged in barrels and will sit for anywhere from 7 months to 2 years before they are ready for the bottle.
To accompany the wines, they offer cheese plates and pretzels in the tasting room. If you’re looking for something more substantial, check out the food truck they have outside. Their website has a listing of what truck will be visiting. In addition to alcoholic offerings, they do have soda and bottled water as well.
Schram is always holding different events. They host a weekly Bocce Ball tournament and Friday nights you may even catch the live band they have performing there. Their biggest event is in October when they host a Harvest Bon Fire. In early summer they host Hyland Games.
Where to Buy
If you’re looking for some of their concoctions and can’t make it out to the vineyard, check out some of the retail locations that offer their wines. If possible, I defiantly recommend getting out to their place at least once. Between the atmosphere, the drinks, and food, I’m sure that you will find something to fall in love with. They have something for everyone. For more great wineries close to the Twin Cities, check out my guide: 11 Wineries and Vineyards Minutes from the Twin Cities.