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.