Traveling through Cannon Falls you will notice a lot of historical buildings. In their downtown alone, 29 buildings are on the National Register of Historical Places. Just because it’s rooted in the history, don’t expect things to be quiet. Just follow the music to Mill Street and you’ll find a welcoming party for you at Cannon River Winery.
Cannon River Winery History
Since the Winery is part of the historic district, the owners, John and Maureen Maloney have taken a great deal of effort to preserving a lot of the original details. The event space upstairs has the natural wood floors that served as the towns Dance Hall in the 1920s. They’ve kept the original limestone walls and exposed brick. During the summer, you will often find a band playing downstairs keeping the tradition alive.
The history doesn’t stop there. Cannon River Winery was one of the first Winery’s to start producing in Minnesota. Their vineyard is located a few miles away. It is open to the public during their Fall Harvest. During the Harvest, you get to help harvest the grapes, do a tasting and see the process of wine making. You are also invited back in the spring to sample the wines from the grapes you picked. They also open up the vineyard for Weddings and other large events.
At any given time you can sample 15-20 different types of wine that is produce on site. Cannon River Winery’s most popular varieties are the St. Pepin and the GoGo. Most of their wines appeal to those with a sweeter pallet. They offer a traditional tasting of 1 oz pours along with wine flights. The flight gives you three 2 ounce pours. For the novice drinker, this could be riskier purchase. For someone who knows what they are looking for, it might be a better option. One of the benefits my husband and I found that you didn’t feel pressured to try more wine than you wanted by committing to 6 tastings. You also got to savor each glass.
The decor and atmosphere is very relaxing. Tables were set out all over the place and a live band was playing. Because it was so nice out, people were hanging out outside on the patio and the big roll-up doors were open. You never felt like you were hanging out in an indoor bar.
Where to Buy
If you have ever had any wine at the St. Fair Grandstand, you’ve already had a sample of their wines. They can also be found in over 350 different liquor stores and restaurants in the state.
My husband and I found this to be a charming pit stop. My favorite wine ended up being the White Sogn Blanc, but the Blush Song Blanc came in a close second. When you are done, take a stroll in downtown and check out the falls just a block north of winery. It makes for a fun little day trip.
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