STILLWATER WINERY TOUR
With a historic downtown, gorgeous scenery and a brand new winery, the road trip around Stillwater is full of charming surprises
By Claire Noack
Make the journey to Stillwater for the scenic landscapes, charming downtown on the St. Croix River and the growing community of wine enthusiasts. On your trek east of Minneapolis and St. Paul, stop by the small city of Dellwood located on White Bear Lake to visit their newest attraction, 7 Vines Vineyard. The newly opened vineyard has been years in the making, debuting their first vintages, a 2015 Marquette and 2015 Frontenac, alongside a list of staples made from Napa Valley grapes. Sip on a glass of vino, walk the beautiful grounds or unwind at one of their morning yoga classes.
Next, make your way to Saint Croix Vineyards for a tasting of their award-winning wines in a restored century-old barn. Embrace the fall season with apple picking located on the same property at Aamodt's Apple Farm. With all the quintessential fall activities from wagon rides, apple baked goods, a goat farm and more, this orchard-winery combo is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
For afternoon nibbles, head into historic downtown Stillwater for artisanal cheeses and a laundry list of drinks to pair at The Wedge & Wheel. Bring the kiddos to play at Teddy Bear Park or take in views of the Stillwater Lift Bridge while browsing local boutiques. Visit one of the oldest wineries in Minnesota located right in downtown. Choose from more than fifteen cold weather grape varieties at Northern Vineyards Winery, using only locally grown grapes from the Minnesota Winegrowers Cooperative. Indulge after a long day with diner fare at Leo's Grill & Malt Shop or dig into delicious barbecue dishes at Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque before heading back to the Twin Cities.
7 Vines Vineyard: open Tue.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Closed Mon. and Sat.)
Saint Croix Vineyards: open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Northern Vineyards Winery: open daily, check website for seasonal hours