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For Minnesota wineries, the road to becoming a competitive force in the wine industry has been long, arduous and fraught with challenge. But in recent years the decades of hard work have finally begun to pay off—and in large part, it’s because winemakers have been embracing wines of place. Two years ago, for the first time, a Minnesota wine made from Minnesota grapes (Carlos Creek Winery’s 2009 Frontenac) won a double gold medal in the prestigious Indy International Wine Competition. Last year, three Minnesota wineries took home double golds.


In the past decade, wineries have been popping up in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, the Dakotas and beyond. More than 1200 wineries are now open for business across an 11-state area. In Minnesota alone, the wine industry has recently been growing at an annual rate of 28 percent. But in cold weather states, making wine from only locally grown grapes has proved challenging.  Many winemakers are looking for flavor profiles with more depth and dimension. And one of the regions Midwest winemakers are sourcing grapes is Lodi, Calif.


We were thrilled to catch up with some of the grape growers and wine makers who were at the Minnesota Grape Growers Association 2013 Cold Climate Conference. Check out our video interviews and get some insight on pruning in -20 and some of the wines Midwest wineries are specializing in.


Upper Midwest wine producers are gathering in Minnesota’s capital city this weekend for Minnesota Grape Growers Association annual Cold Climate Conference, Feb. 21-23. Stay tuned to WineTable for from-the-floor coverage.


The Ripening of Minnesota Wine
By: Whitney Khan
Posted: Oct. 26, 2012

The Minnesota prairie has given way to a crop it’s likely the Swedish and German farmers of a century ago would never have guessed might one day grow alongside the wheat and corn: grapes.


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