NAPA OF THE NORTH WINE TRAIL: Weekend wine tour

Red Wine with Autumn Decoration

The fickle climate of the Northland doesn’t always lend itself to images of vineyards and a vast array of wine varietals. But did you know all within a couple of hours of the Twin Ports you can treat yourself to a weekend circle tour of wine-tasting?

Start your tour at the NORTH SHORE WINERY and the SAWTOOTH MOUNTAIN CIDER HOUSE on beautiful Lake Superior off Highway 61, (on the same road going to the Lutsen Ski Hill.)

Chuck Corliss, a long-time Lutsen visitor and homeowner, and his wife, Kim Schroeder, an avid North Shore fan, are the founders of North Shore Winery and the Sawtooth Mountain Cider House. Both have long had an interest in wine, vineyards, and wine-making.

The idea to build a winery took off when the two began discussing retirement plans. They knew they wanted to live in Lutsen so they could ski, mountain bike, sail, and golf, but weren’t sure what to do with the rest of their time. Because they are lovers of all things wine and Lutsen was lacking a winery, they quickly landed on the North Shore Winery idea.

The pair pours wine and cider by the glass, served along with some pretty tempting Minnesota cheeses. The winery and cider house is located at 202 Ski Hill Road, Lutsen, and is open daily providing tastings and tours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Next, head on over to Bayfield, WI and take in the SEVEN PONDS WINERY. Formerly All Sisters’ Winery, this treasure is located on 150 acres of green space including (obviously) seven ponds, numerous apple orchards, and a newly planted vineyard. All Sisters’ Winery was founded in 2012 by Caitlin Hauser with help from her mother, Renate.

In 2016, Caitlin sold her shares to her brother Ian, and Seven Ponds Winery was born. The quaint winery offers a unique learning experience about wine made from Wisconsin-grown, cold-hardy grape varietals. Taste all the wines Seven Ponds Winery has to offer for just $5 and take your glass home with you as a memento.The best part is, you can enjoy a glass of wine on the deck as you take in the beauty of the fall scenery.

Currently the vineyard boasts 1500 vines of Marquette, Brianna, and Adalmiina grapes. Planted in June of 2016, these vines are expected to be mature enough to harvest for wine in 2019.The winery is located at 87380 Betzold Rd., Bayfield and is open May through Oct., Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Nov. through April by appointment.

Another stop on your trip should be the BAYFIELD WINERY and HAUSER’S SUPERIOR VIEW FARM. Bayfield Winery began fermenting its first batch of wine in the fall of 1995, using old bulk milk tanks in the converted packing shed. In 1996, with four flavors of apple wine, the business began selling wine in the historic red barn.

There are now 12 varieties of wines from very dry to very sweet all from different varieties of apples, pears and other fruits.The winery outgrew the old packing shed and built a new production facility and office space about a half mile from the original farm in 2008.The tasting room is still located in the historic barn.

And bonus – there’s a lot more here than wine! Hauser’s Superior View Farm began with Grandpa Hauser selling perennial flowers and apples as a way to earn extra income for his family during the great depression. Today, Hauser’s Superior View Farm is one of the largest producers of northern field grown perennial flowers in the country, and also sports 2000 apple trees on 30 acres of land.

Be sure to treat yourself to such delectable delights as blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, and cherry jam. You can also find plum jelly, raspberry jelly and apple butter. A big hit has been apple syrup, which also makes a mouth-watering ice cream topping! Trust us on this one. For wine tasting hours, call 715-779-5404.

On the way back north, drop down to Highway 2 and check out the WHITE WINTER WINERY in Iron River, WI. White Winter Winery was established in 1996, and has since produced international award-winning meads, as well as cider, spirits and sparkling fruit drinks. Each glass showcases the unique subtleties of the flowering plants of the region. The unique honey flavors are further showcased by the fruits, such as blueberries, grown right here in the Northland.

Tour the winery and visit the mead tasting room to experience mead from start to finish. No appointment is necessary for this tour during normal business hours. You can call (715) 372-5656 to set up a private tour if regular business hours don’t accommodate your plans. White Winter Winery is located at 68323 Lea St. in Iron River. The winery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Written by Holly Kelsey-Henry for Duluth.com the Magazine.

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