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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.
The History of 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 grapes with the intention of building a large winery. And it worked, their kids soon came back to help build it all. It was a learning experience from the start.
They planted the Marquette, Frontenac, Brianna, Edelwiess, Frontenac Gris, and the Saint Croix grapes.
The Southern MN Winery Challenges
Wineries in Southern Minnesota have their own set of 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 too plump and you end up with a watered-down version. They have to prune them throughout the year to keep them optimal wine grapes.
The Tastings Room
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, which I love.
Most people pick all of one color, anyway. 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
They have more than just wine too. Four Daughters Winery 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 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.
Dining At Four Daughters Winery
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 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 Winery, the attendees are asked to choose food and they create the meal right in front of them.
Four Daughters Winery is home to live music and dueling pianos. Throughout the year, they have new reasons to stop in and see what’s going on inside. Head over to their website to find out what’s happening this weekend.
Other Things to Know
The Winery is located off of the main highway, on some smaller roads but we found it easy to find using GPS. They had a large parking lot out front and was easy to spot from the road.
Yes. Of all the Wineries I’ve been to this has been the most kid-friendly experience. My kids enjoyed drinking specialty sodas that were poured out into glasses, making them feel like grownups.
When I asked the owners about this, they said they have kids too and love to make them feel special.
Just because this is a kid-friendly establishment, don’t think that you’ll find kids running around like crazy. They still have to be well-behaved.
Where to Buy?
You can buy Four Daughters wines through their website, or at a lot of local stores. Its heaviest distribution is in Rochester, but it is found throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas in both liquor stores and in restaurants.
I was delighted to find this weekend that they are even at Total Wine. However, the selection is limited. I recommend going down there yourself and visiting.
Want to know more about Wine?
As you may know, I love wine. But what I’ve found is that Minnesota Wines are different from most other wines in the region. That’s because of its terroir, or location.
Every type you drink will be a little different because of the growing conditions. Even within the same city, I’ve found that the wine taste can change dramatically.
If you want to know more about Wine, check out a book called Wine Folly. It provides a great introduction to wine and how to look good at your next wine tasting.
Other Things to Do Around the Four Daughters Winery
Other Attractions to Visit
If you love wine as much as I do, make sure to check out other great Minnesota wineries close to the Twin Cities. Whitewater Wines in Planview is also another great winery to check out nearby. Also, only 30 minutes from Four Daughters is the SPAM Museum. You’ll have a great time!
Where to Stay
If you are looking to stay a little longer to explore the area, the closest big town is Rochester. For a fun stay, consider going to the Towers Kahler Grand Hotel. There is also the Carley State Park Campground and the Whitewater State Park Campground close by if you like to rough it.
Would I go again?
I would love to head back and try some of their food if I had more time. I just got a wine passport and I’m looking to fill it up.