North Folk Winery: Building a winery one timber at a time

By Randy Gutzmann Mike and Ann Tessneer were hobby winemakers for many years before deciding to take their hobby to the next level in 2008, when they decided to open a winery called Stark Wines. Mike even described the winery as “a hobby gone wild” in an interview with a reporter from the Cook County […]

Garvin Height Vineyards: Beautiful bluffs, growing grape vines and flavorful wines

By Randy Gutzmann Winona is a beautiful river town, a wonderful destination for a drive down the Mississippi River valley, and home to Garvin Heights Vineyards. The winery is located on the scenic bluffs high above the river, offering a unique view of five different valleys on Winona’s edge. A recent visitor wrote on TripAdvisor: […]

Northern Vineyards Winery: A favorite winery in a favorite town

By Randy Gutzmann I bought my home just outside of Stillwater in 1986. My job at the time had me traveling 50 to 60 percent of the time, and it seemed like I had little time to explore the historic town and beautiful St. Croix River Valley that brought me to the area in the […]

The Prairie, Northwoods and Good Wine Meet at Grape Mill Vineyard and Winery

By Randy Gutzmann I have fond memories of my first visit to northwestern Minnesota and the Red River Valley area. The first time I visited was in college to see a couple of my fraternity brothers’ farms. One grew sugar beets and potatoes, and the other raised registered Herford cattle. I would never have dreamt […]

Penny Aguirre: Richwood Winery Owner, Wine Maker and U.S. (Patent) Agent

By Randy Gutzmann Calling all wine lovers, vacationers, scenery admirers and individuals looking to relax and unwind: Your mission, should you accept it, is to meet U.S. agent (and winery owner) Penny Aguirre at Richwood Winery. You’re welcome. Penny is another woman who has left a lasting impression with me.  I’ve known Penny for a […]

Buffalo Rock Winery: The story of the owner, winemaker, and most importantly, mother of two

By Randy Gutzmann I’ve had the chance to meet and watch many Minnesota winery owners who see what they are doing as a “work of love” and who see working together through the Minnesota Farm Winery Association equally as important.  I’m proud to report Nicole Dietman from Buffalo Rock Winery is one of those people. […]

Round Lake Vineyards and Winery: A Southwestern Minnesota Oasis

By Randy Gutzmann I set out for Round Lake Vineyards and Winery on a cloudy, rainy day this summer. The trip took me into beautiful southwestern Minnesota, south of Worthington close to the Iowa border. After traveling on U.S. Highway 90, passing power poles, corn and soybeans, the winery is just five miles south of […]

Paula’s Passion: Morgan Creek Vineyards

By Randy Gutzmann For many Minnesotans, the town of New Ulm is known for a long history of locally produced beer and the Schell/Marti family. But what most people may not know is that the Marti family is also in the business of producing great Minnesota wine. Paula and Georg Marti established Morgan Creek Vineyards […]

Painted Prairie Vineyard: Southern (Minnesota) Comfort

By Randy Gutzmann Painted Prairie Vineyard, located just outside of Currie, Minn., is a three-and-a-half-hour drive into the amazingly beautiful landscapes of southwestern Minnesota. I made my trip on a great summer day, practicing my gravel road driving skills as I got close. The journey was well worth the effort. Painted Prairie Vineyard looks like […]

Going Hollywood at Glacial Ridge Winery

By Randy Gutzmann Ron and Kim Wothe opened Glacial Ridge Winery, located north of Willmar between Spicer and New London, in August 2007. If you haven’t been in that part of the state for a while, you should definitely plan to make a trip to go back again. As Kim and Ron say, their backyard […]

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