Cold Climate Wine Competition 2017: La Crescent, Marquette reign supreme

The Growler was on hand to help judge the 2017 International Cold Climate Wine Competition, which always gives us a good barometer on the state of local wine. The competition is open to any winery using non-Vinifera, cold-hardy grape varieties to make wine, and some of the region’s finest wineries were among the winners this … [ Read more]

Drink these Minnesota-made 2016 gold medal wines

The Growler was on hand to help judge the 2016 International Cold Climate Wine Competition. We’ve found that the quality of cold-hardy wines has grown exponentially in the last five or six years. Local wineries are accruing a much better grasp on growing and bottling these new wine grape varieties that are suited to the upper Midwest. Our … [ Read more]

U of M releases “Itasca,” a new white grape for dry wines

The University of Minnesota’s grape breeding program has released a new variety. Itasca, the fifth-cold hardy variety released by the U of M since 1999, has high sugar levels but lower acidity, making it a prime candidate to be vinified as a dry wine. The U of M’s previous white varieties, La Crescent and Frontenac … [ Read more]

2015 International Cold Climate Wine Competition

The very best in cold climate wine was sipped, spit and judged in St. Paul on Tuesday. The results are in for the 2015 International Cold Climate Wine Competition, and The Growler was there to taste it all. Here’s all you need to know: 2015 Winners and Standouts MN Governor’s Cup (Best MN Wine) and Best … [ Read more]

Leidel’s Hebron Cider

 By John Garland Mitch Leidel’s family has been on the same plot of land north of La Crescent, MN since the mid-1800s. His great-grandfather planted the orchard in 1917, on which his grandfather worked his entire life. Looking for new sources of revenue to keep the farm alive, Leidel’s Cider was born after consultation with Levi Funk (a … [ Read more]