I took a trip down to southern Minnesota this past weekend and saw we would go right past Four Daughters Winery. Detour time! I didn’t know too much about this place before we left, which made it a little more fun. Sometimes I over plan and it ruins all the surprises.
Pulling up, I realized that we were going to a much bigger vineyard than we’ve ever been to. Not only in size but they had serious curb appeal too. They had excellent signage from the road and even a few cars turning in. This would not be a hobby farm.
Four Daughters Winery
Four Daughters Winery started as a way to bring a family together. The daughters had all moved out to different parts of the country and their parents were trying to lure them back to the family farm. They embarked on a new adventure and planted some grapes with the intention of building a large winery. It was a learning experience from the start. They planted the Marquette, Frontenac, Brianna, Edelwiess, Frontenac Gris, and the Saint Croix grapes.
Wineries in Southern Minnesota have its own set challenges. The land is so fertile that the grapes grow too well. Wine grapes need to struggle a little more, to give the maximum amount of flavors. Grown to plump and you end up with a watered down version. They have to prune them throughout the year to keep them optimal wine grapes.
Four Daughters Winery had 10 different wines to sample on their tasting menu. Each tasting is a flight of 5 wines. Instead of picking out your wines, you pick from having a flight of Red or Whites. You can also buy by the glass. I got a glass of the Brianna. It’s a semi-sweet wine that had banana like notes. I highly recommend it.
Loon Juice Cider
We found that they had more than just wine too. They had a series of their own line of Hard Ciders, known as Loon Juice Cider. They are made from locally grown Honey Crisps apples. Four Daughters has been making this since they opened and have been bottling it as well. I tried the “Grow a Pear” and it was quite nice. It almost reminded me of a bubbly wine. It might have something to do with the fact they ferment it with Champagne yeast. Loon Juice Cider can be purchased locally too and comes in a wide variety of flavors.
If we hadn’t just eaten, we probably would have ordered something there as well. They have a full-service menu with a chef on hand. The Executive chef is very helpful when it comes to food allergies. They have multiple menus to assist anyone’s needs. The chef is so good in fact that they host their own Chopped Challenge. If you are unfamiliar with the TV show, constants are given a weird basket of ingredients and have to create something fabulous. At Four Daughters, the attendees are asked to choose a food and they create the meal right in front of you.
My kids enjoyed drinking specialty sodas. They felt like grownups as they got to have a glass of delicious bubbly poured for them.
Where to Buy
You can buy Four Daughters wines through their website, or at a lot of local stores. Their heaviest distribution is in Rochester, but it is found throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas in both liquor stores and in restaurants. I was delighted to find this weekend that they are even at Total Wine. Though the selection is limited. I recommend going down there yourself and visiting.
78757 State Highway 16
Spring Valley, MN 55975