There are many great wineries in Southern Minnesota, but which ones are the best? We’ve compiled a list of the 15 best, based on our own experiences and research.
From large, well-known wineries to small, family-run operations, there’s something for everyone on this list. So whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy a leisurely lunch or a romantic evening, you’ll find the best wineries here.
You may nay think grapes could grow in a cold climate like MN, but they can. The University of Minnesota has been growing all kinds of unique grapes for our climate.
Edelweiss– Less hardy than other grapes, it makes a white-seeded table wine, like a concord.
Frontenac– Make a red and sore wine and ports. It has flavors of cherry and plum with high acidity.
Frontenac Banc– Produces a white wine.
Frontenac Gris– Produces a white wine with notes of peach flavor. It can be high in acidity.
La Crescent– Makes a white wine with flavors of apricot, citrus, and tropical fruit.
Marquette– Makes a red wine with notes of cherry, berry, black pepper, and spice.
Itasca– A new grape was just introduced in 2017. Because of how long it takes for vines to mature through the fermenting process, we are just starting to see these grapes in wines around Minnesota. The Itasca grape makes white wine, with high sugar levels.
Clarion– Growers will start putting them in the fields starting in 2023. It creates a white wine with notes of pear, citrus, melon, apricot, and chamomile.
Wineries in Southern Minnesota
Cannon River Winery
421 Mill St W, Cannon Falls, MN 55009
Nestled among the picturesque rolling hills of Minnesota’s Sogn Valley, Cannon River Winery’s vineyard is home to over 9,000 vines on 40 acres of land.
The location was selected for its ideal soils, high elevation, and south-facing slopes. The Vineyard provides all of the qualities needed for excellent grapes.
They consistently make delicious, award-winning wines crafted by hand in at the Winery in downtown Cannon Falls. Cannon River Winery’s Vineyard is downtown along the river.
The winery is in a historic building and they have taken great lengths to persevere it. Inside you’ll find a stunning bar top. Get a flight of wine. After your drink, make sure to head downtown and explore the sights.
They offer a variety of wines to suit any taste, and our knowledgeable staff is always on hand to help you find the perfect bottle.
Cannon River Winery’s Vineyard is also home to a delicious restaurant, Bitchin’ Kitchen serving up seasonal fare made with locally sourced ingredients. Whether you’re in the mood for a light lunch or a hearty dinner, they’ve got you covered.
Make sure to check their event page to find out what’s going on. Most weekends you’ll find live music. And during harvest time, you can take part in grape picking on the vineyard.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic setting for a date night or a fun-filled day with friends, our Vineyard is sure to please you.
Four Daughters Vineyard
78757 MN-16, Spring Valley, MN 55975
Four Daughters Winery is a family-owned vineyard and winery situated on a picturesque bluff in Spring Valley in southern Minnesota. The Four Daughters’ name derives from the founders and their four daughters who were all born and raised on the property.
The vineyard and winery are open to the public for tastings and tours, and they offer a variety of events throughout the year, such as live music on the patio, vineyard walks on their 6 acres vineyard, and wine education classes.
The Four Daughters Winery is committed to sustainable viticulture practices and producing high-quality wines that reflect the unique terroir of the Mississippi River Valley.
The Four Daughters Winery was started in 2010 by the Vogt family. The land has a problem where grapes grow too well.
The Four Daughters Winery produces a variety of red, white, and rosé wines. The wines are made with Minnesota-grown grapes in the vineyard, and the winemaking team strives to create Minnesota wines that reflect the terroir of the Mississippi River Valley.
The winery is open for tastings and wine-making tour, and they offer a variety of events throughout the year, such as live music on the patio, vineyard walks, and wine education classes.
In addition to wine, you can also get the popular Loon Juice Cider and Sunflake Wines. They also have a great restaurant inside.
Make sure to check out Four Daughters Vineyard for a good time!
Alexis Bailly Vineyard
18200 Kirby Ave S, Hastings, MN 55033
Alexis Bailly Vineyard in Southern MN boasts a beautiful vineyard, winery, and stunning event center that are perfect for any special occasion. The talented staff at Alexis Bailly Vineyard work tirelessly to ensure that each and every event is truly unforgettable. From weddings and anniversaries to corporate functions and holiday parties, they have the perfect event space to suit your needs.
They planted their first vine in 1973 and their grape-growing experience is now in the hands of the second generation.
They have a wide selection of wines to choose from Frontenac, Seyval Blanc, Country Reserve, or a chocolate Reserve. You can even get their Voyageur wine, voted the Best Wine in MN by MN Monthly.
The vineyard itself is a picturesque setting that is perfect for a romantic evening stroll or an afternoon picnic. The winery is a great place to unwind with a glass of wine after a long day. The event center is a gorgeous space that can accommodate a large group for a special event.
During the winter, you can rent a private heated Yurt. Have a picnic with a bottle of wine.
Alexis Bailly Vineyard also serves an assortment of picnic items, like artisan cheese and crackers, apples, and snacks to pair perfectly with your tastings.
If you are looking for a special place to have a glass of wine, look no further than Alexis Bailly Vineyard in Southern MN. You will not be disappointed!
Hastings is a wonderful place to explore. I highly recommend checking out some of the nearby fun! 18 Things to do in Hastings Minnesota Along the Great River Road
Parley Lake Winery
8280 Parley Lake Rd, Waconia, MN 55387
Parley Lake Winery is one of the most beautiful vineyards in Southern Minnesota. The vineyard and winery are set among rolling hills and woods, and the views are simply stunning. The wines are exquisite, and the events and activities are top-notch.
The Parley Lake Winery is family-owned and operated, and they take great pride in their wines and their events. They offer a wide variety of wines, from dry to sweet, and they are all made with the highest quality grapes.
The winery is open year-round, and they offer a variety of events, including wine tastings, concerts, and special dinners.
They have over 125 acres on their vineyard and orchard. Their wines have won over 200 medals in national wine competitions.
Their wines are made with Minnesota cold-hardy grapes. You’ll find wines like Frontenac Blanc, Frontenac Gris, Marquette, and La Crescent.
On the weekends you’ll find ticketed concert events and live music in their barn.
If you’re looking for a unique, beautiful scenery, and relaxing place to visit, Parley Lake Winery is the perfect spot. The wines are outstanding, the views are incredible, and the events are top-notch. You won’t be disappointed.
Morgan Creek Vineyards
23707 478th Ave, New Ulm, MN 56073
Morgan Creek Vineyards is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery located in Southern Minnesota. They grow and produce a variety of wines, from dry reds and whites to sweet dessert wines. We also offer a variety of events throughout the year, including wine tastings, vineyard tours, and special events. Their goal is to provide a memorable wine-drinking experience for all of our customers.
Morgan Creek Vineyards was established in 1993 and produced its first vintage in 1998. They are a regional leader in the Minnesota Farm Winery Industry and produce distinctive national award-winning fine wines.
Morgan Creek Vineyards is open for wine tastings and vineyard tours year-round. They offer multiple levels of wine tastings, to public or private experiences. You can also do Private wine tastings for diners with four-course meals.
You can also stop into Morgan Creek Vineyards for European-inspired cuisine.
Crow River Winery
14848 MN-7, Hutchinson, MN 55350
Crow River Winery is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery located in Southern Minnesota. They grow our own grapes on-site as well as producing award-winning wines.
Throughout the year, they host a variety of events, including a corn maze and grape stomp.
The Crow River Vineyard is situated on a picturesque piece of land overlooking the Crow River. The vineyard was planted and a few years later the empty building nearby was added to the property. Soon they had a winery. They now produce up to 4,000 cases of wine a year.
Crow River Winery is unique in that they have vineyards spread out over multiple Vineyards in Hutchinson. Their newest vineyard is the Itasca Vineyard with 1,077 Itasca vines.
The Crow River Winery is open year-round for wine tastings, tours, and special events. You can get a variety of unique wines, from dry reds and whites to sweet dessert wines. They also have a full-service restaurant on-site, offering a taste of the local flavors of Minnesota.
One of their biggest events is their Grape Stomp. This is a day filled with laughs, messy feet, and great music.
Later in the season check out their corn maze and pumpkin fun!
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a fun-filled day trip, Crow River Winery is where to go.
Want to try grape stomping? Crow River isn’t the only winery to offer tournaments. Check out: The Complete List of Minnesota Grape Stomp Festivals
Chankaska Creek Ranch
1179 E Pearl St, Kasota, MN 56050
Chankaska Creek Ranch is a hidden gem in southern Minnesota. Tucked away in the bluffs of the Minnesota River Valley, this working ranch and vineyard is a must-see for any wine lover or nature enthusiast.
The Chankaska Creek Ranch is a family-owned and operated business that has been in operation for over 10 years. The vineyard and winery are located on the ranch with 13 acres of vines.
The vineyard produces a variety of red and white wines, as well as sparkling wine. The best wines are made using traditional methods, and the grapes are grown in the vineyard’s own microclimate.
In addition to the wine, they also distill Brandy, Whiskey, Gin, Rum, and Vodka. Stop in for a wine tasting or spirit tasting. You can do a wine tasting with three 2 oz pours or a Spirits Tasting with three spirits each.
Like any great winery, they also have food options onsite. Offering up quick bites like bruschetta and deserts to wood fire pizzas.
The Chankaska Creek Ranch is open for tours and tastings year-round. Visitors can also take part in a variety of events like their Wine and Sculpture Stroll and specialty events.
3572 Old Tyler Rd, Red Wing, MN 55066
Looking for a place to take a romantic getaway or celebrate a special event? Look no further than Falconer Vineyards in Southern Minnesota. This picturesque vineyard and winery offer stunning views, delicious wines, and a variety of events throughout the year.
The vineyard itself is a beautiful sight, with rows of grapevines stretching out across the rolling hills. The winery offers a variety of red and white wines, made with grapes from the vineyard and those grown in the northern United States. You can enjoy a glass of wine on the patio, or take a bottle to go.
If you’re looking for a more intimate dining experience, the vineyard also offers a vineyard bistro. They feature Wood-Fired Pizzas.
Throughout the year, the vineyard also hosts a variety of events. From live music to wine tastings, there’s something for everyone. Check the website for a full list of events.
So whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a beautiful setting for a special event, or just a place to enjoy some delicious wine, Falconer Vineyards is the perfect destination.
Make sure to spend some time in Red Wing and explore the fun things to do!
Vintage Escapes Winery
8950 Dodd Rd, Kilkenny, MN 56052
Vintage Escapes Winery is a hidden gem in Southern Minnesota. The vineyard and winery are nestled in a picturesque setting, and the dining and events are top-notch.
The vineyard and winery at Vintage Escapes are both beautiful and serene. The grapes for the wine are grown on-site, and the wine is made in small batches.
They have 3 acres of vineyards containing Marquette, Frontenac, and Itasca Grapes. They started with only three wines, but have grown to a dozen more.
The vineyard is also home to a variety of other plants and flowers, which make it a beautiful place to stroll around.
They provide full table service inside the rustic tasting room. You can also relax with a drink outside on the patio, deck, and grass area. Enjoy the live music during one of their events as you overlook the vines.
Having a quick bite at Vintage Escapes is exquisite. Stop and gets a cheese and charcuterie plate, or a flatbread. From wine tastings to live music, there is always something going on.
If you are looking for a hidden gem in Southern Minnesota, look no further than Vintage Escapes Winery. The vineyard, winery, dining, and events are all top-notch, and you are sure to have a great time.
Three Oaks Vineyards and Winery
73505 225th St, Albert Lea, MN 56007
Three Oaks Vineyards and Winery is a family-owned and operated business located in the heart of Southern Minnesota’s beautiful bluff country. They produce high-quality wines and offer a unique dining and event experience.
The vineyard was planted in the spring of 2011 with Frontenac Gris and Marquette grapes. They added the West Vineyard and tastings room in the spring of 2017.
They offer a variety of red and white wines, as well as a selection of sweet Mary Fruit-inspired wines.
The winery is open year-round for tours, tastings, and private events. We offer handcrafted meats and cheeses sourced from local vendors. They pair perfectly with their wines.
We invite you to come and enjoy the unique experience at Three Oaks Vineyards and Winery!
10832 Fischer Hill Dr, Plainview, MN 55964
Whitewater Wines is a hidden gem in Southern Minnesota. The vineyard and winery are set among the picturesque bluffs of the Whitewater River. The perfect setting for a romantic getaway or a day trip with friends.
Whitewater Wines is a small family-run winery, located in a rural setting. They have 30 acres of prairie, hardwood, and vineyard. The grounds have walking trails and two points to explore.
The vineyard and winery offer a variety of wines to choose from. There are dry, bold reds and whites with wonderful oak flavors.
There are fresh, semi-sweet whites and smooth, easy-drinking fruit blends. There are special seasonal wines and bubbly that come and go.
The wines are only available onsite, so make sure to stock up while you are there.
Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a fun day trip with friends, Whitewater Wines is the perfect destination.
I highly recommend picking up at least one MN Guide Book. There are so many great adventures you can have if you only know how to find them all. I’ve read them all, and here are some of my favorites: 10 of the Best Minnesota Travel Guides Every Day Tripper Needs
Urban Forage Winery and Cidery
2001, 3016 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
The newest winery to hit the streets is Urban Forage Winery and Cidery in Minneapolis, MN! They are the perfect solution for those that want Minnestoa Farm Fresh Wines but don’t want to drive to the farm.
Located in the heart of Minneapolis, their tap room is a small but cozy place to get your wine, ciders, and mead. The production is all done on-site.
Everything is sourced locally and 100 percent gluten-free. In addition to their cider, mead, and grape wine, they also have unique fruit and vegetable wines. They also have five ciders on tap a house-made soda,
Urban Forage sources its grapes from local farmers in the Minneapolis area. They also work with a number of small, family-run vineyards in the Midwest. All of their wines are made with 100% Minnesota grapes.
The Urban Forage team is passionate about its products and the community they serve. They host regular events at their cidery and winery, including live music, food trucks, and educational seminars.
Schram Vineyards Winery
8785 Airport Rd, Waconia, MN 55387
Looking for a unique and special wine-tasting experience near the Twin Cities? Look no further than Schram Vineyards in Waconia, Minnesota.
This family-run vineyard and winery produce high-quality wines using grapes sourced from their own vineyards as well as from other growers in the region.
They offer a variety of red, white, and sparkling wines, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
In addition to their regular wine-tasting events, Schram Vineyards also offers a variety of special events throughout the year.
They’ve recently hosted a cheese-pairing event and a chocolate-pairing event, and they have plans for more food- and wine-related events in the future.
Whether you’re looking to try something new or you’re a seasoned wine-lover, Schram Vineyards is sure to have something for you. So head on over and enjoy a taste of Minnesota’s finest wines!
What should you know before your first tasting?
Absolutely nothing! Half the fun of wine tastings is getting to talk with the makers and learn more about the wines.
When you first get in you’ll get a list of wine options. Usually, you’ll get a note card to check off what you’d like to try. They’ll order the drinks from light to dark to ensure you have a proper tasting.
As you drink, feel free to take notes on what you loved, and what you can skip. Get a full glass after or purchase some to take home without.
Want to learn more?
Wines are very location specific. I have read tons of books like Windows on the World Complete Wine Course and the Wine Bible, but they focus on International Wines. We make a different product here, as we use cold hearty grapes.
Most growers use their own blend of grapes and include some from other states too. I recommend Wine Folly to get a better understanding of the wine-making progress and possible pairing options.
What winery will you visit first?
If you’re looking for a great place to enjoy a leisurely lunch or a romantic evening, Southern Minnesota is the perfect spot. With so many great wineries to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you.