The Buzz About Mead at Winehaven

By Randy Gutzmann

National Mead Day is right around the corner on Aug. 6, and many people may not know that we actually have a prolific mead maker right here in Minnesota at Winehaven Winery and Vineyard.

Early on in my time getting to know the members of the Minnesota Farm Winery Association, I met Winehaven’s Kyle Peterson. He’s a lawyer by day, and along with his mom Cheri, his dad Kevin, and brother Troy they have literally and figuratively built a great presence for Minnesota wine.

Winehaven’s Visitor Center is located in Chisago City, a place that looks and feels like lake country in northern Minnesota, but in reality is only a 40-minute drive from the Twin Cities metro area. The 50-acre estate is surrounded by three lakes and includes a winery and event center that was newly built in 2013 and sits atop of a hill surrounded by vines. Just the physical ambiance of their location alone makes you want to stop in and visit for a glass of wine.

Winehaven Mead

Mead: It’s the Bees’ Knees

The origins of Winehaven, as Kyle explains it, is all about the bees.

“My family has been making mead for over 50 years,” he explains. “My father and grandfather were among the largest honey producers in Minnesota for several decades. They read stories about mead during the Renaissance period, and tried replicating it using their own honey and modern mead-making techniques.”

Winehaven’s award-winning “Stinger” mead evolved from those early efforts, and in fact, when Winehaven opened in 1995, the mead was their only product. Stinger can be enjoyed on its own, or makes a wonderful mixer for a number of mead-based cocktails like a “Mead-tini,” “Mead-a-Rita” or a summery Mead Cosmo.

Winehaven Wines

Today, Winehaven offers a wonderful variety of grape and fruit wines in addition to Stinger, including Edelweiss white wine; Nokomis, a red wine made with Winehaven’s own patented grape cultivar of the same name; and fruit wines made from raspberries, rhubarb, cranberries and everything in between.

Winehaven has become a cornerstone of the Minnesota winemaking industry, producing highly acclaimed wines, capturing the distinctive flavors of its vineyards and the lakes region. The Peterson family represents four generations of stewardship to the land and five distinct vineyards in the Chisago Lakes area.

More information about Winehaven Winery and Vineyard is available at www.winehaven.com, or find them on Facebook by searching “Winehaven Winery and Vineyard.”

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