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Local wineries: growing like vines
July 16, 2012

By Kristen Miller
ED News Editor

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, HUTCHINSON, KINGSTON, MN – With the advent of cold-hardy grapes, wineries seem to be springing up all along Minnesota highways.

For those interested in venturing out and seeing what these wineries and vineyards have to offer, the Enterprise Dispatch has provided information on upcoming events at the three area wineries – Millner Heritage Vineyard and Winery, north of Kingston; Crow River Winery of Hutchinson, and Woodland Hill Winery, south of Delano.

Millner Winery

Millner Heritage Vineyard and Winery opened in May 2009 and is located just north of Kingston on Highway 15.

It sits on nine acres of vineyard and is a beautiful setting for weddings, reunions, and other special events.

With 13 varieties of wine to choose from, the Millner wine is a celebration of the Millner family’s Austrian and Hungarian heritage and therefore, all of the wines are Austrian or Hungarian names. Millner now also serves a number of craft and domestic beers.

All wines are made from cold-hardy grapes and are fermented, aged, and bottled on site.

Hours are Thursday from 11 a.m to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours change slightly in the winter months.

Upcoming events include:

• Millner Heritage Anniversary and Ethnic Festival Friday through Sunday, July 20-22. This will include free wine tastings, vineyard and winery tours, ethnic dancers and music, sauerbraten buffet each day, and more. Craft vendors will also be on site Saturday and Sunday.

• Octoberfest and Grape Stomp with grape stomping, craft vendors, musical entertainment, and more, will be Saturday and Sunday, October 6-7.

For more information about Millner Heritage Vineyard and Winery, visit www.MillnerHeritage.com or call (320) 398-2081.

Crow River Winery

Crow River Winery, located at 14848 Highway 7 East, Hutchinson, offers tasting rooms, an education and reception area, and an events center and garden courtyard.

Tasters will find dozens of unique, hand-crafted wines made from cold-climate grapes, fruits, and berries.

Owners Mike and Valerie McBrady began the process of growing grapes seven years ago, starting with one 5-acre vineyard, and expanding to 27 acres among four local vineyards.

Events throughout the year include:

• Sunday Music Series is every Sunday in which the winery has live music from a variety of local and regional talents. Free.

• Garlic Lovers’ Ball, Friday, Aug. 10, will include dinner and dancing in the vineyard. Tickets are $45, seating limited.

This is in conjunction with the Minnesota Garlic Festival in Hutchinson at the fairgrounds, as the winery works closely with the Sustainable Farming Association.

• Jazz on the Vine will be Sunday, Aug. 26 as part of a fundraiser for the Hutchinson Arts Center. There will be a nominal fee to attend.

• Grape Stomp will be Saturday, Sept. 29. Guests will be able to compete in stomping heats, costume and other contests. Fun for all!

• Pumpkin Fest will be Sunday, Oct. 21 with family fun throughout the winery grounds. Pumpkin chucking, kids activities, music, and more.

Regular winery hours are Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit the website at www.CrowRiverWinery.com or call (320) 587-2922.

Woodland Hill Winery

Woodland Hill Winery, located at 731 County Road 30 SE, Delano, opened in spring 2008. Owners Mike and Katie Dickerman planted their first vineyard in May 2005, with their first crop harvested in September 2007.

With 15 wines to choose from, Woodland Hill was awarded eight medals at the 2010 International Cold Climate Wine Competition and was named Best Minnesota Winery by Minnesota Meeting and Events magazine in 2011.

In addition to wine tasting and relaxing on the patio, one can check out a number of events planned for this year.

Events include:

• Friday Night Appetizers every Friday in August. From 6 to 9 p.m., visitors can enjoy live music, food, and wine including a wine tasting and all-you-can-eat appetizers for $15.

• A vineyard picnic Saturday, Aug. 4 starting at 1 p.m. This includes a picnic lunch for two at a private table and consists of a bottle of wine, fresh baked bread, artisan cheese, local meats, olives, fruits, and dessert for $60 per couple. Seating is limited, call for reservations.

• Fourth Annual German Fest Saturday, Aug. 25 from 2 to 6:30 p.m. with live music, German dinner, and dancing. Cost is $15 and includes a glass of wine or beer. Call for reservations.

• Ladder golf tournament, Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. Call to register. Winning team wins a bottle of wine for each player.

• Fourth Annual Grape Stomp is Saturday, September 15 from 1 to 5 p.m. with grape stomping all afternoon, food, and live music. Best stomper wins a bottle of wine.

• Fifth Annual Ladies Night Out, Saturday, Oct. 13 from 4 to 10 p.m. with wine tastings, appetizers, shopping, socializing, and live music.

Cost is $10; limited to the first 300 guests. Call for reservations.

Tasting room hours are Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

For more information or to make reservations for any of the events listed, call (763) 972-4000 or check them out online at WoodlandHillWinery.com.

For more information on other wineries across the state, visit Minnesota Grape Growers Association at http://mngrapegrowers.com.

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