This last week, I had the opportunity to visit the oldest vineyard in Minnesota - Alexis Bailly Vineyard. Located in Hastings, ABV was the first to commercially produce 100% Minnesota grown grapes. This is pretty impressive and needless to say, they are trendsetters. Between their opening in the 1970's to today, Minnesota has added dozens of wineries to the state that grow and produce wine from Minnesota grapes.
Alexis Bailly is charming from the minute you pull up on their grounds. Their property is beautiful and spacious, the perfect place to have a picnic (which they encourage and we did so ourselves), take advantage of the lawn games they provide, or even some live music (on Sundays in the summer they have Jazz music). When you step inside their tasting room, it's like entering a cozy cabin that's ornately decorated with oak barrels, colorful rugs, paintings, and their award winning bottles of wine.
I was able to do a tasting of all of their table wines, my favorite (which I ended up buying a bottle of) was their Voyageur. A bold red, smooth and full of flavor. I also enjoyed their seasonal Sangria and Country Red.
From start to finish, I really did enjoy my time at the vineyard and appreciated the knowledge the staff, as well as the the variety of activities, spaces and products provided. I would definitely visit again.
Do you have a favorite vineyard to visit where you're from?