The Perfect Summer Night at Cannon River Winery
Traveling through Cannon Falls you will notice many historical buildings. In their downtown alone, 29 buildings are on the National Register of Historical Places. Just because it’s rooted in 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.
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The History of the Cannon River Winery
Since the Winery is part of the historic district, the owners, John and Maureen Maloney have taken a great deal of effort to preserve a lot of the original building details. The event space upstairs has the natural wood floors that served as the town’s 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.
History doesn’t stop there. Cannon River Winery was one of the first Wineries to produce in Minnesota. Their vineyard is a few miles away.
What to do at Cannon River Winery
The Cannon River Winery has blended History with a fun wine experience. It’s for this reason that my husband and I wanted to visit the winery.
The Tasting Room
You can sample 15-20 different wines that are produced on-site. Cannon River Winery’s most popular varieties are St. Pepin and the GoGo. Their wines appeal to those with a sweeter pallet.
What I loved about Cannon River Winery was that they offer a traditional tasting of 1oz pours along with wine flights. The flight gives you three 2oz pours. For the novice drinker, this could be a riskier purchase. For someone who knows what they are looking for, it was a great way to get a little more.
Often time’s my husband and I will go to a winery, and their tastings offer more tastings we wanted to try in the first place. We’ve learned to ask for two of one type, instead of suffering through wine we knew we didn’t want in the first place.
The Atmosphere Music
The atmosphere at Cannon River Winery was my favorite part. With the downtown setting, surrounded steel barrels and aging wine, I was right at home. It was a beautiful night, so the staff had the doors rolled up, allowing the breeze to come right in. They also had patio seating outside. But the part that brought everything together was the live band. Most weekends the Winery has different bands scheduled to play.
Take Part in the process
What makes the Cannon River Winery unique is that they let guest take part in the Fall Harvest.
Meeting at the Vineyard a few miles away, guests can take part and help pick the grapes. After the picking is done, everyone heads back for a tasting and dinner. You are also invited back in the spring to sample the wines from the grapes you picked. The vineyard is not open to the public unless you are renting it out for a wedding and other special events.
Other Things to Know
Wine tastings cost, $1.25 per 1oz poor, or $6 for a glass. A flight will set you back $7.50. Their price average for most wine tastings in Minnesota. If you have a MN Passport, your tasting is free. The Passport Club is a great way to save a little money and try new wineries. It costs $25 for 10 wine tastings. They are supposed to be available for purchase at the wineries but call ahead first to see if they are in stock. Otherwise, get one online at Cannon River Winery.
Cannon River Winery is located at 421 Mill Street West, in Cannon Falls MN. From the Twin Cities, head south on 52 to the Cannon Falls exit. Turn Left on Main Street then another Left on 4th street. Turn left on Mill Street. There is a large parking lot next to the winery.
Can you bring kids?
Officially, yes. But I don’t think there was much for the kids to drink. We opted to leave the kids home on this adventure and do a date night. The venue was busy with little room to let the kids wiggle.
Where to Buy?
If you have ever had any wine at the State Fair Grandstand, you’ve already had a sample of their wines. It is one of the Top 5 Reasons to Visit the MN State Fair! They can also be purchased in over 350 different liquor stores and restaurants in the state.
Other Things to Do Around Cannon River Winery
Other Attractions to Visit
Take a stroll downtown and visit shops that line Main Street. But my favorite part about Downtown Cannon Falls is the waterfall that goes through the center of town. If you are looking for something more adventurous, you can also Kayak, Canoe or Float down the river in a tube with Cannon Falls Canoe and Bike. They also rent Bikes for those wanting to hit the Cannon Valley Bike Trail.
Want to know more about Wine?
When I first went to wineries, I knew nothing about what I was sampling and the process. But then I picked up a book called Wine Folly. It opened my eyes to the wine industry and gave me the confidence to ask more questions on my visits, I’m now excited to try out the different blends and can have meaningful conversations with the servers. If you want a boost in confidence, consider picking up a copy of that book.
Would I go again?
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 Sogn 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. If you are looking for more wineries close to the Twin Cities, check out my list of 11 Wineries and Vineyards Minutes from the Twin Cities.