Following a wine trail
On winery tours, sample fruits of the harvest.
© Beth Gauper
Fat Wisconsin grapes hang from vines right before harvest.
Across the Upper Midwest, vineyards are being planted and wine trails formed.
Vineyards tend to be in very scenic areas, and wine trails allow buyers to meander along pretty country roads, stopping here and there to quaff a glass of wine or have a picnic.
Of all the states, Iowa has been most active in forming wine trails. And why not? There are a lot of farmers in Iowa.
Watch for special tastings and other events along the wine trails, especially in fall.
Here’s where to sample wine in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Iowa Wine Trail: Nine wineries are part of this group in
the Mississippi River Valley, between Decorah and Clinton.
Western Iowa Wine Trail: Six wineries are in the
Loess Hills around Council Bluffs and one to the northeast in Elk Horn.
Heart of Iowa Wine Trail: These 15 wineries are in central Iowa, mostly around Des Moines but as far north as Ames and as far east as Tama.
Scenic Rivers Wine Trail: Seven year-round wineries are in the corner of southeast Iowa, around Fort Madison.
Great River Road Wine Trail: Most of the members of this Mississippi River Valley group are between Red Wing and Winona, but they stretch from Prescott at the mouth of the St. Croix to Marquette in northeast Iowa.
Three Rivers Wine Trail: These five Minnesota
wineries are within an hour of the Twin Cities, in Stillwater, Cannon Falls, Red Wing and Chisago City, in the Cannon, St.
Croix and Mississippi river valleys.
Minnesota Heartland Wine Trail: These seven vineyards are in the far
western suburbs of Minneapolis — Delano, Waconia and Jordan — and in Redwood Falls, Spicer, Clara City and
Minnesota Sips of History Trail: Three wineries in Jordan, Redwood Falls and near New Ulm are part of this trail along the Minnesota River, which includes a brewery and historic sites.
Fox River Valley Wine Trail: These five wineries are in and around Green Bay in eastern Wisconsin.
Door County Wine Trail: There are seven wineries on Wisconsin's popular peninsula on Lake Michigan, from Algoma to Fish Creek.
Wisconsin River Valley: This isn't an official trail, but it's fun to visit the vineyards along the Wisconsin River Valley, from Spurgeon and Weggy near Muscoda to Botham near Barneveld and Wollersheim in Prairie du Sac.
Northern Illinois Wine
Trail. This trail includes 15 wineries between the Chicago suburbs, the Starved Rock area and Galena.
Shawnee Hills Wine Trail: Thirteen wineries are part of this group in southern Illinois.
Heartland Rivers Wine Trail: Twelve wineries are
sprinkled through southwest Illinois, many not far from St. Louis.
Wabash Valley Wine Trail: Five wineries are part of this 30-mile trail along the Wabash River, in southeast Illinois and southwest Indiana.
Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail: Seven
wineries line this sliver that stretches into Grand Traverse Bay north of Traverse City, Mich.
Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail: There are 18 wineries along
the spine of this peninsula north of Traverse City, Mich., wrapped by the warm waters of Lake Michigan.
Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail: Ten wineries occupy the hills between Ann Arbor, Lansing and Battle Creek.Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail: Twelve vineyards and 10 tasting rooms are in the wine country between Saugatuck, Kalamazoo and New Buffalo in southwest Michigan.
Last updated on October 9, 2012
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