The kitchen partner and I snuck up to Nowthen yesterday to enjoy the fall sunshine and some Minnesota wines. Goose Lake Farm and Winery was the first winery we visited when we moved to Minnesota way back when. If you live in or visit the Twin Cities area, be sure to make Goose Lake one of the stops your list. With more than 40 different wines to choose from (including a sparkling rosé I could have for brunch, lunch, dinner…or all three!) there’s lots get excited about. The drive is about 50 minutes from downtown Saint Paul, perfect for a sunny Fall afternoon.
When you get there, don’t be surprised to see peacocks, goats and assorted other farm animals wandering around the 70-acre farm and vineyard. It is a farm after all. Goose Lake has a unique goal behind their wines: with the exception of cranberries all of the fruit that goes into the wines is grown on-site. From the Minnesota-bred cold hearty grapes to the rhubarb, there are few wines more local than theirs. Whatever mother nature gives them in fresh produce is what they’re able to bottle each year. Even the chickens help with the wine, doing their part to control the bug population so the fruit can remain 100% pesticide free.
Tastings start at $5, but what’s really exciting are all the extras happening this season at the winery. Their tasting room if full of wine and wine merchandise, local canned goods, and chocolates from Bear Paw Chocolates in Elk River, MN. Oh. My. Let me tell you about the chocolates. If you thought 40+ wines sounded good, now imagine them served with a fresh handmade piece of dark chocolate. Or the chocolate covered caramel nut piece of heaven that came with our tasting pass. Swoon.
Saturdays and Sundays in October also feature horse-drawn buggy rides, a food truck, and Sangria Sunday. (Yup. Bring your friends ‘cuz it’s sold by the pitcher!) If you’re interested in learning how to make you’re own fruit wines, Goose Lake also offers classes and winemaking supplies. Something for everyone!!
Goose Lake Farm & Winery
6760 213th Avenue NW
Elk River, MN 55330