Such was the case on Sunday afternoon. My husband and I decided to take the long route home from the city in order to visit my grandma, who recently moved into a nursing home. The road we were to take was detoured. We followed the detour through beautiful countryside. We had never been in this area before and were taken with its loveliness. We talked about coming back on another weekend to pick apples at one of the orchards we passed.
Then, like an oasis for weary travelers, a vision appeared.
With a screech of the brakes and a quick turn, we were in the parking lot and walking up to the tasting room at the winery. In Minnesota, this is a rare site and we were thrilled. We've visited wineries in Oregon and California but we had no idea something like this could be found in our climate.
The tasting room was lovely. I forgot to take pictures inside, trust me when I say it was gorgeous.
To the left of the tasting room building, there was a garden with a fountain and seating. Gardens and large mowed grass areas surrounded the area.
After tasting the wines and purchasing a number of bottles of the excellent wines. We each got a glass of wine and wandered around the grounds. The smell of wood smoke was in the air. A short walk from the tasting room, a fire smoldered. The only thing that could have made the day any better was to have a picnic lunch packed for to go with our wine on these beautiful grounds.
I had a glass of white wine called "Autumn Sky" It is made from a blend of two grape varieties which have not yet been named. They were developed by the late Elmer Swenson, a grape breeder, who developed a number of grapes for cold climates. My husband had a Rose wine called "Crimson Delight" This wine was made from the "Frontenac" grapes which were developed by the University of Minnesota.
We finished the wine and walked toward the vineyard. Some of the smaller grapes have a light colored netting over them. They needed to be protected from the birds.Woodland Hill Winery started planting grapes in 2005. The winery has been open for the last two years. They have seven acres of grapes and grow seven different varieties of grapes.
They were picking grapes the afternoon we were there. There was a gate with a sign that said "employees only" and it was surrounded by an electric fence, I suspect to keep the deer out. We walked up the hill a bit further and found an open gate and saw the grape picking was in full swing.