Minnesota Wine Country

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Only at the Minnesota State Fair, taking place August 25 through Labor Day!

Open: 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Located on Underwood St., between Judson and Carnes avenues

small_flightMinnesota wine? You betcha! With the number of local wineries doubling in just five years to nearly 60, Minnesota’s cold-hardy winemakers welcome fairgoers to join them in raising a glass, and discover what’s new on the Minnesota wine scene at Minnesota Wine Country, the only one-stop shop for local wine and wine-inspired food at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Starting Thursday, August 25, Minnesota Wine Country introduces award-winning wines and new gourmet food and fun at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair. This year’s Minnesota Wine Country will feature the best in Minnesota wine including 12 award-winning and best-selling wines from across the state, a wine-inspired menu including five new gourmet selections, free food and wine tastings plus entertaining and educational presentations by top local wine and food experts, as well as free music on the patio.

 

Award-Winning Local Wine; Two New Sparkling Wines Now Available

Today in Minnesota, there are nearly 60 wineries and more than 600 vineyards across the state producing internationally award-winning wines. Fairgoers can experience the unique opportunity to learn about the unique cold-hardy grapes developed and grown in Minnesota, while being able to try 12 of the best-selling and award-winning red, white, fruity and sparkling wine made by eight different Minnesota wineries. New to the wine menu for 2016: Two new sparkling wines including Sparkling Apple from Saint Croix Vineyards in Stillwater and Frontenac Sparkling Rose from Falconer Vineyards in Red Wing. Other new wines include Sogn Blanc from Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls, Brianna from Garvin Heights Vineyards in Winona, Frontenac from Saint Croix Vineyards, Barn Quilt Red from Parley Lake Winery in Waconia and Raspberry Rhubarb from Forestedge Winery in Laporte. Minnesota wine will be sold by the glass ($7 for 5 ounces; $7 for sparkling wine), or in flights ($10), at 1271 Underwood St. between Carnes Avenue and Judson Avenue at the State Fair. A fresh, wine-inspired menu will also be available.

New Wine-Inspired Fair Food: Candied Bacon Donut Sliders and More

BaconDonutSlidersEach night, fairgoers can enjoy live jazz, classical, world beat and salsa music on the patio, while enjoying local wine and food from Minnesota Wine Country’s wine-inspired menu. Tasty new items include the most-talked about candied bacon donut sliders, salmon and shrimp sliders, veggie sliders, blueberry pomegranate wine smoothies and cherry port ice cream, as well as returning favorites wine fried brie, deep fried kalettes, sriracha cheese balls and raspberry wine smoothies, served by Mintahoe Catering and Events.

Local Experts Present Free Wine and Food Tastings, and Entertaining Demos

In addition to the Minnesota wine and food available for purchase, 10 free wine and food tastings and educational presentations will take place, featuring local experts in wine and food. Held Friday, Aug. 26 through Sunday, Sept. 4, these free presentations will feature wine and food pairings, cooking and sangria demos, and more. Fairgoers can stop by, grab a glass of Minnesota wine, and hear presentations including “Wine and Chocolate Pairings: Certifiably Delish!” by local sommelier and wine awards judge Leslee Miller, “The Great Minnesota Get-Together: Where Fair Food Meets Local Wine” by chef instructor Mike Shannon, “Making Wine Without Grapes” by Winehaven Winery owner Kyle Peterson,  “Wine & Cheese: Explore Minnesota” by Redhead Creamery co-owner Alise Sjostrom, “Making Minnesota Sangria” by chef Jenny Breen, and much more. Presentations take place at 3:30 p.m. each day. Minnesota Wine Country will also feature free, live music featuring local artists every evening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. See below for a complete schedule.

 

Minnesota Wine Country is open from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily at 1271 Underwood St. between Carnes Avenue and Judson Avenue at the State Fair across the street from the Agriculture/Horticulture Building. Information and times for all of this year’s speakers is available below. Follow Minnesota Wine Country on Facebook and Twitter for the most up to date information about Minnesota Wine Country happenings at the State Fair.

 

Minnesota Wine Country is represented by:

 

Daily Education & Entertainment Schedule:

Thursday, August 25
6:30 to 9:30 PM
Old Soul
Enjoy the best in Minnesota wine and food paired with free, live music with a coffeehouse vibe performed by local musicians Old Soul.

 

Friday, August 26
3:30 PM
Making Minnesota Sangria
presented by Jenny Breen, Co-Owner and chef of Good Life Catering
Sangria provides a delicious mix of wine and fruit over ice: the perfect cocktail to cool off on a hot day. Chef Jenny Breen will show you how to turn this Spanish favorite into a local specialty by using Minnesota wine and fresh, seasonal fruit.

6:30 to 9:30 PM
The Worldbeats
Enjoy the best in Minnesota wine and food paired with free, live music performed by local artists The Worldbeats.

 

Saturday, August 27
3:30 PM
Wine & Cheese: Explore Minnesota
presented by Alise Sjostrom, Cheesemaker and Co-Owner of Redhead Creamery
Where do you go for some of the world’s best wine and cheese? You may be surprised to learn that more and more people are answering “Minnesota!” We’ll share some of the award-winning tastes from both long-time and up-and-coming wineries and cheesemakers from within our borders. Your new favorite pairing may be just a car ride away.

6:30 to 9:30 PM
Mike Salovich with Marcus Wise
Enjoy the best in Minnesota wine and food paired with free, live acoustic guitar music performed by local artists Mike Salovich and Marcus Wise.

 

Sunday, August 28
3:30 PM
Exploring Minnesota Wine Country: Trails, Tours and Tastings
presented by Lauren Voigt, founder of Minnesota Uncorked
Take the weekend (or just a day), and escape into Minnesota’s wine country. Explore wineries and wine trails, discover new flavors and uncover all the fun to be had with wine across the state.

6:30 to 9:30 PM
Pushing Chain
Enjoy the best in Minnesota wine and food paired with free, live music performed by local country folk duo Pushing Chain.

 

Monday, August 29
3:30 PM
Making Wine Without Grapes
presented by Kyle Peterson, owner of Winehaven Winery
Have you ever encountered a man in a beekeeping suit? How about a man in a beekeeping suit talking about making honey wine, also known as mead? Learn about how this ancient beverage is experiencing a renaissance right here in Minnesota.

6:30 to 9:30 PM
Old Soul
Enjoy the best in Minnesota wine and food paired with free, live music with a coffeehouse vibe performed by local musicians Old Soul.

 

Tuesday, August 30
3:30 PM
Wine & Chocolate Pairings: Certifiably Delish!
presented by Leslee Miller, Sommelier, Amusee
Tempt your senses with an exciting Wine & Chocolate Pairing presentation with one of Minnesota Wine Country’s most enthusiast speakers, sommelier Leslee Miller of Amusée. Sample a number of Minnesota wines paired to a variety of delicious chocolates, as Leslee leads you through the how-tos of pairing these two tasty treats together!

6:30 to 9:30 PM
Salsa Dance Night
Show off your salsa dance skills or learn how to salsa dance with a local instructor. Take a spin on the dance floor while enjoying the best in Minnesota wine and food!

 

Wednesday, August 31
3:30 PM
Minnesota Wine & Food on a Stick: Perfect Fair Pairings
presented by Leslee Miller, Sommelier, Amusee
We all have our favorite fair foods, from the classic cheese curd to corn dogs on a stick. But have you ever tried them with wine? In this lighthearted and fun presentation, sommelier Leslee Miller will talk about the basics of picking a wine to go with a dish, and the ways that great Minnesota wines will make your favorite fair foods sing!

6:30 to 9:30 PM
Mike Salovich with Marc Anderson
Enjoy the best in Minnesota wine and food paired with free, live acoustic guitar music performed by local artists Mike Salovich and Marc Anderson.

 

Thursday, September 1
3:30 PM
The Great Minnesota Get-Together: Where Fair Food Meets Local Wine
presented by Mike Shannon, Chef Instructor and Speaker
The treasure trove of food that can be found at the Minnesota State Fair is endless. The Minnesota Wine Country experience has grown every year with wines from all over the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Join Chef Mike as he combines his favorite fair foods in an exciting and fun way, and pairs them with delicious Minnesota wines.

6:30 to 9:30 PM
Old Soul
Enjoy the best in Minnesota wine and food paired with free, live music with a coffeehouse vibe performed by local musicians Old Soul.

 

Friday, September 2
3:30 PM
Minnesota Wine: Unique Factors and Flavors
presented by Steve Zeller, Co-owner of Parley Lake Winery
Is Minnesota home to great wines? You betcha! You may be surprised to learn that Minnesota is home to over 600 vineyards and more than 40 wineries. Learn just what it is that makes Minnesota wines successful and the unique flavor characteristics of our region.

6:30 to 9:30 PM
The Worldbeats
Enjoy the best in Minnesota wine and food paired with free, live music performed by local artists The Worldbeats.

 

Saturday, September 3
3:30 PM
The Story Behind Minnesota’s Own Cold-Hardy Grapes
Peter Hemstad, grape breeder and co-owner of St. Croix Vineyards
Meet the man who helped breed the popular cold-hardy grapes designed to survive our harsh winters, and renowned for making award-winning Minnesota wines. Learn about the new varieties, and try Marquette, Frontenac, Frontenac Gris and Frontenac Blanc grapes and compare them to the final product: Minnesota wine.

6:30 to 9:30 PM
Rhythm of the Saints
Enjoy the best in Minnesota wine and food paired with free, live music performed by local drum performance ensemble Rhythm of the Saints.
 

Sunday, September 4
3:30 PM
Minnesota Wine & Food: More Than Just Food on a Stick
presented by Allison Wagner aka The Savvy Lush
In Minnesota, State Fair food is only an annual sensory experience. However, sensory experiences can happen year round with local wines. See how Minnesota wine is emerging as a major player as the Savvy Lush breaks down wine and explains how to create wine and food pairings that are delicious and memorable.

6:30 to 9:30 PM
Old Soul
Enjoy the best in Minnesota wine and food paired with free, live music with a coffeehouse vibe performed by local musicians Old Soul.

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