New Lake Pepin Wine Trail Opens
A new Lake Pepin Wine Trail has been established along the Mississippi River in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The four wineries on the new wine trail- Villa Belleza, Maiden Rock, Flower Valley and Great River, are all close to Lake Pepin, the widest naturally occurring stretch of the Mississippi River. With an area of about 40 square miles, Lake Pepin is also the largest lake on the Mississippi River according to Wikipedia.
John Marshall at Great River Vineyard said the warm water in Lake Pepin extends the grape growing season by about 20% compared with surrounding areas. This allows grapes to ripen more fully.
The grape growing areas adjacent to Lake Pepin also have sandy loam soils that are different than most soils in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Such soils drain well and therefore are tailor-made for grape growing.
The Lake Pepin Wine Trail Wineries are all either on or near Wisconsin Highway 35 or U.S. 61 in Minnesota. Both highways parallel scenic stretches of the Great River. Highway 61 was immortalized by Bob Dylan in his song “Highway 61 Revisited” which explores the movement of art and culture down the length of the Mississippi.
The four wineries on the wine trail all have their own distinct character:
Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery– One of Wisconsin’s first Cider Houses, Herdie Baisden grows many rare cider apples to create unique hard ciders that are “flavored by Wisconsin.”
Great River Vineyard– The newest winery on the wine trail is on Highway 61 in Lake City Minnesota. Owner John Marshall is an internationally known viticulturalist, and Midwest Wine Press columnist, who has been working with cold hardy grapes for decades.
Villa Bellezza– On the Wisconsin Shore of Lake Pepin, Villa Bellezza has one of the most elegant tasting rooms in the Midwest. Their 2011 Zitella white wine won a bronze at the 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Flower Valley Vineyard- At Flower Valley, guests can walk through the vineyard as they enjoy wines made from estate grown Frontenac Gris, St. Pepin, Prairie Star and other leading grapes that were developed in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
For more information see: Lake Pepin Wine Trail