About Me:

We’ve always enjoyed having a glass of wine with dinner – our first date ended with a bottle of white out on the back deck of what is now our home, and another of our earlier dates involved a series of half-off Living Social deals that included complimentary wine tastings at local wineries. So it didn’t surprise anyone who knows us well when we skipped the more traditional Caribbean honeymoon and spent the days immediately after our wedding in Sonoma and Napa Valley. We had a wonderful time, and it was a great start to married life (we even went so far as to skip the spa in order to free up time for more tastings), but we also learned something about ourselves. Enjoying wine was quickly becoming more of a passion than a hobby.

Calafia Cellars   0
5.0
5.0
10/21/2017

Randle Johnson is a slender man, appearing to be perhaps in his late 50’s, with graying hair, a gentle smile, and a persistent warmth and generosity of spirit that he unknowingly projects with every firm handshake and warm embrace. The senior winemaker for the esteemed Hess Collection, Randle has lived and worked in the Napa Valley since before the valley’s name was meaningful outside of California. A native to the state and an insider to the industry, Randle dresses casually, speaks softly, and is part artist, part sage. A graduate of UC Davis, he has a resume as long ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Castello di Amorosa   0
4.5
8/23/2017

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”


From the moment we approached the Castello di Amorosa, I felt as if I ought to be carrying a rapier on my hip, ready to duel. The crow of roosters as we crossed the drawbridge into the shadows of the turrets was almost too much, almost too real, and began taking me back to my boyhood, where my friend Christopher and I would spend hours on green lawns sword fighting with wooden weapons fashioned by our fathers in their respective woodshops. I was the Dread Pirate ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.5
4.0
5.0
5.0

Makovicka Winery   0
4.0
8/15/2017

“Makovicka” is a name that I, like so many Nebraskans, grew up with in the 1990’s, though I grew up far from the little Hamlet of Brainard from whence the family hails. The Makovickas I knew from television were fullbacks for the Cornhuskers and helped to power my beloved alma mater to three national championships in four years shortly before my own arrival at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The Husker faithful, myself included, will always remember the name Makovicka from Nebraska’s glory days in the mid and late ‘90’s, when Coach Tom Osborn and our Huskers ruled the ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
4.0
4.5

Arbor Day Farm   0
4.0
7/25/2017

As a boy, one of my favorite stories was that of The Lorax by Theodor Geisel, better known to most of us as Dr. Seuss. The story resonated with my boyhood self well into adolescence, in part perhaps because of the whimsical, furry little Muppet-like protagonist I’d grown to adore, and in part I think because of that orange little wombat-looking thing’s noble arborist mission. The Lorax “speaks for the trees” and, though unsuccessful, defends them against the greedy, capitalistic evils of the world to the very end. During my boyhood era, my father’s bright orange 1975 Honda Civic bore ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
4.0
4.5

Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard   0
4.0
7/6/2017

Not far down the road from The Arbor Day Lodge in Nebraska City sits the Historic Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard, founded by Richard Kimmel in 1925. A Nebraska City high school graduate and veteran of The Great War, Kimmel was a banker, a farmer, and one of the early arborists in a state that would soon come to be known for a love of the comfort that only trees can offer on the harsh plains of the Missouri River Valley. Shortly after planting his orchard, Richard Kimmel married Lauarine Oetgen, a neighbor who was, amongst other things, an accomplished painter ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
4.0
3.5

Palmaz Vineyards   0
5.0
5.0
6/15/2017

The tectonic plates that slammed together to form Mount George and the other noteworthy peaks at the southern end of the Napa Valley had long since settled by the time that Henry Hagan arrived in California in 1852. Drawn north from San Francisco by the allure of untamed wilderness and unbridled natural beauty, the industrious Hagan founded Cedar Knoll Vineyard and Winery in 1881 and set about the business of viticulture with the spirit of a pioneer. Hagan experienced success with his wines, growing grapes in the unheard of Napa Valley and serving them mostly to locals in the ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Honig Vineyard and Winery   0
5.0
5.0
6/9/2017

Michael Honig stepped casually into the room dressed in a sport coat and blue jeans, his hair ever so slightly mussed, the faintest beginnings of a five o’clock shadow beginning to form upon his jawline as the afternoon progressed; he was the quintessential image of the Napa Valley, the combination of a down-to-earth agriculturalism that exists all over the continent and a multimillion dollar juice fermentation industry that requires men like Michael to exist simultaneously in both worlds, perhaps walking the vineyards in the morning, and doing less desirable things like meeting with persistent journalists in the afternoon. The ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Ballentine Vineyards   0
4.5
6/2/2017

So many of the historic wineries of the Napa Valley exist in stone and splendor, chateaus in name or in appearance, carved into massive hillsides, previously the toys of those wealthy enough to experiment with wine in a place that, at that time, no one was sure could produce it. Their names are famous, as are their structures and their wines – Far Niente, Chateau Montelena, and others, and they thrive on reputations as elaborate as their wineries. In their resurrected post-prohibition state, they employ world-class winemakers who make excellent wine and offer tours of their beautiful ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.5
4.0

Ledson Winery & Vineyards   0
5.0
5.0
5/11/2017

The Ledson Winery in Sonoma is about people. I didn’t yet realize that the first time my wife, Sonja, and I visited the grand estate on our honeymoon many years ago. At the time, it seemed like just another grandiose winery in the Sonoma Valley, producing fantastic wines because, well, because that was what it was there for. Over the years, and many return visits, however, both Sonja and I came to understand that Ledson wasn’t like some of the other wineries we had visited. There is something that makes it special, unique even, and far more personal in how ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Salvestrin Estate Vineyard & Winery   0
5.0
5.0
5/3/2017

A heavy fog lay draped across an historic block of vineyard, dividing the world into two at eye level and serving as a curtain to partially shield the world – and the vines -- from the bright and rising sun. I took in this scene, idyllic, serene, and indistinguishable in time, from my second story vantage point, the window beside my bed providing a beautiful view of the landscape below, and beyond them, Napa’s valley floor.


I looked over at my wife, who had stealthily turned herself into a tightly wrapped burrito after I had exited the bed but ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Rombauer Winery   0
4.0
4/6/2017

When I think of Rombauer wines, I think first of overstatement. Their famous Zinfandel typically sits just under a hot 16%, while their notorious Chardonnay, unaffectionately known as “cougar juice” by many in the wine industry, tastes a lot like an oak stave slathered in butter. These are observations, not insults, please understand, yet they also serve to illustrate the rather paradoxical experience that is visiting the Rombauer tasting room in the Napa Valley, where understatement, even litotes, are not what one might expect to experience.


Up a winding, paved driveway, past cultivated hillside vineyards and into a ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
3.5
4.5
4.0

Ladoga Ridge Winery   0
4.0
3/29/2017

There are seven towns in the world named "Ladoga," two in Russia and five in the United States. The two in Russia are located in Leningrad Oblast, and the five in the states being located in California, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Ladoga is also the name of two lakes, the first being the largest lake in Europe, and the second a methane lake on Saturn’s moon, Titan. In this case, Ladoga is also the name of a series of deep, dense soils that drain well and are good for supporting various forms of flora, for example, grapevines.

... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
4.0
4.0

Pine & Brown Estates   0
4.5
2/21/2017

This past spring, I attended an event that boasted around 40 small producers all from the Napa Valley. Included in the cost of admission was an inexpensive crystal glass and a coupon for $20 off a single bottle. I tasted around 50 Cabernet Sauvignons that day, in addition to a myriad of other wines, most of them truly excellent, before I used my coupon to purchase a single bottle of Cabernet, a Pine & Brown 2013, to take home and share with my wife. I asked winemaker Tom Rees to sign it, a request which he obliged with a flourish ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.0

John Anthony Vineyards   0
5.0
5.0
2/10/2017

The sun was coming down rather intensely on a late afternoon in Napa, occasionally ducking behind a cloud for a moment, only to reemerge shortly thereafter with renewed tenacity. I was in one of my favorite places in the entire world, but I was burdened by a seemingly unfair number of pressures and considerations. I had been unceremoniously notified by text message that a long time friend had died earlier that day; it was not unexpected news, but neither was it welcome. However, I had been in an intensive daylong course and was thereby unable to do what I might ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.5

Tedeschi Family Winery   0
5.0
5.0
1/31/2017

Down a little dirt road in the small, up-valley town of Calistoga in the Napa Valley, there sits yet another vineyard, tiny by the standards of the area as a lone acre planted with Cabernet, along with a few modest structures and a scattering of stunted trees. In some ways, it’s quite like many of the other small establishments seemingly untouched by time in this agricultural area known best for precious grapes and the wine that can be made from them. On this particular property, the lonely acre is planted to the coveted Cabernet Sauvignon, and a handful of peacocks ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
4.5

Reverie   0
5.0
5.0
1/17/2017

On my recent trip to the Napa Valley, I visited so many tasting rooms that pretty soon they all began to look alike: polished wooden racking, dark marble bars, big windows for lighting, a few stained oak barrels for ambiance, and maybe a small rack of assorted kitschy trinkets for sale – you know, corkscrews and golf balls and baseball caps, that kind of thing. Beautiful though these places often are, my favorite experiences in the Napa Valley, I have found, are almost always had outside. Often, however, one runs into the difficulty of not being able to both ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Tamber Bey Vineyards   0
5.0
5.0
12/7/2016

While Robert Redford was filming The Horse Whisperer, he would regularly make his way down the winding mountain paths to the valley floor near Calistoga, nestled neatly amidst the two mountain ranges in the northern part of the Napa Valley, in order to visit his friend Carol Green. Carol had built her horse ranch in wine country with little regard for the economic promises of the booming viticultural industry that was rapidly evolving all around her, preferring instead to design and construct a horse ranch in the style of those she’d seen in Kentucky to pursue her own equestrian interests. ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Pellet Estate   0
5.0
5.0
11/17/2016

Lately my wife, Sonja, has been pestering me about getting rid of my old Jeep Wrangler. It isn’t practical, she says, for a family man, what with the two doors, the convertible top, and the height, still I can’t bring myself to part with it. Sure, it’s a bit cold in the winter and a bit hot in the summer. No, it doesn’t get very good mileage with the top down and, yes, it’s slow to start up once in a while. And, of course, the suspension is, well, I’m not entirely sure it has suspension. But I love that ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Chateau Montelena Winery   0
5.0
5.0
11/2/2016

You’ve heard of Chateau Montelena. I pen (type) that line with a high degree of confidence because you’re reading this review on a web page devoted to wine, and if you’re at all interested in wine, then you’re familiar with the Napa Valley. And if you’re familiar with the Napa Valley then you’re quite likely to know that it wasn’t until a blind wine tasting in France in 1976 that anyone outside of California cared at all about the wines being made in the United States. And if you’ve heard of that tasting, known today as the “Judgment ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.5

Titus Vineyards   0
5.0
5.0
9/29/2016

My wife became pregnant during the winter of 2014, and in September of the following year, little Titus was born. Somewhere between those two points in time, I discovered something that interested me greatly: One of the most outstanding Cabernet Sauvignons on the market, then and now, shared the name we intended to give to our son. I had to know more, and immediately thereafter I visited their web page. By July, I was calling the winery, asking about purchasing large format bottles of their wine in the 2015 vintage to stow away for my unborn son. By October, after ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Mermaid Winery   0
4.0
9/15/2016

It was a gloomy afternoon in Chesapeake, Virginia. Having checked into our hotel and run a few necessary errands, we decided that the rainy afternoon was better spent indoors than on the beach. Scanning various apps for suggestions and knowing in our minds that the answer had to involve wine, we quickly located Mermaid Winery, an urban winery located in the heart of nearby Norfolk.

The tasting room at Mermaid was closed due to a private event, so instead we enjoyed our wines the restaurant adjacent to the tasting room. Walking in, we were greeted by ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
5.0
5.0
4.0

Chatham Vineyards   0
4.5
8/31/2016

Down a dusty country road that looks as if it came straight out of a James Taylor song sits Chatham Vineyards, where John Wehner crafts his Church Creek wines. The Chatham estate, which adorns the Bordeaux-like labels of Wehner’s wine, was built in 1818 and named for the English 2nd Earl of Chatham, a looming example of period architecture that sits adjacent to the property of the winery, towering over the tightly planted vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and other European varietals. The name “Church Creek” is another holdover from colonial times, this one even further back ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
5.0
5.0
3.5

Schramsberg Vineyards   0
5.0
5.0
7/14/2016

The northern Napa Valley was still a thickly forested, rugged terrain, and a difficult place to navigate when Jacob Schram set forth to establish the second winery in the area, one year after Charles Krug had opened up shop just a little ways to the south. Krug was a Prussian immigrant, Schram a German; both left their homeland before the Franco-Prussian War would resurrect the German Reich as a world superpower. Only a decade earlier, slightly more, California had officially become a state, the 31st. This was uncharted territory at that time, and something about the raw, dense, uninterrupted ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
5.0
5.0

Far Niente Winery   0
5.0
5.0
7/12/2016

The “noble experiment” that was Prohibition, the result of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, lasted from 1919 to 1933 and did irreparable damage on multiple fronts. To the economy as well as to the personal welfare of many early vintners and distillers, Prohibition shut down all but a couple of select wineries that managed to find a loophole in the law by producing communion wines for sacramental purposes. And to the American wine drinker, who rather than go without wine began producing his own wines in his bathtub using whatever grapes he could ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Rowe Ridge Vineyard & Winery   0
3.5
7/8/2016

Prohibition may have been repealed nationally in 1933, but the state of Kansas was a bit slow to catch on, and for years, the state legislature did everything within their power to impede the growth of the alcohol industry in any form, including wine. For that reason, the boutique winery movement got a late start in Kansas, with most of the state’s only thirty-some operations springing up within the last few decades. Such was the case with Marc and Pam Rowe’s venture into oenology, Rowe Ridge Vineyard and Winery, established in 2007. However, while they waited 74 years ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.5
3.0
4.5
3.5

Loess Hills Vineyard and Winery   0
4.0
6/24/2016

The flood of 2011 is one that most residents on both sides of the Missouri, both in Nebraska and Iowa, won’t soon forget. Bridges and, in places, even the interstate washed out, farmland was flooded, and houses were destroyed. For me, it meant taking the long way to Kansas City, which added more than an hour to the three-hour drive, and I didn’t return to Iowa for years after. Natural disasters destroy crops and businesses all the time, though it seems fair to say that few if any are impacted more profoundly than a small winery. And, of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
3.0

Niobrara Valley Vineyards   0
4.0
6/17/2016

Ever since we took our honeymoon in Sonoma, people have been giving us wine as gifts. This is a good thing. Sometimes, however, it comes in masses, for example at Christmas or our anniversary, and when this happens bottles often get tossed into the cellar un-catalogued and en masse for another day. Such was the fate of an inconspicuous bottle of red wine with a diamond-shaped, felt label bearing a yucca plant (a spiky prairie bush) with a hand-written year on the label, a gift from Mark’s dad who, amongst other things, sells wine.

Several months ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
3.5
4.5
3.0

Sutter Home Winery   0
3.5
6/9/2016

I got one for ya: The manager of a wine bar, a sommelier, two wine writers, and two college students are all sitting on a front porch one evening drinking expensive Napa Cabs, and they unanimously conclude that Sutter Home is easily one of the most important wineries in the entire wine industry. What’s the punch line? There isn’t one. This isn’t a joke. It happened at my house last Sunday night, and I remain convinced that our hypothesis is true.

Everybody gets their start in wine somewhere, and for so many of us, perhaps even for ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
3.5
4.0
3.5

Grgich Hills Estate   0
5.0
5.0
5/25/2016

Forty years ago, the name “Napa Valley” meant little to anyone who wasn’t already living there. To those in the wine industry, it was something of a cute experiment, the residents of the area apparently harboring some vague and unrealistic notion that they could make wine that the rest of the world might be willing to drink from grapes they were growing in orchards originally cleared for plums. But forty years ago this month, that position was reversed almost overnight when in one fell swoop at the famous Judgment of Paris, Napa Valley wines bested French wines in a ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.5

Cedar Hills Vineyard   0
4.0
5/10/2016

Clay and Heidi Schultz had been wanting to open their own winery for a while when a small, established one came on the market in 2014. Pooling their resources, they took a leap of faith and purchased Cedar Hills Vineyard and Gardens, a tiny boutique winery known largely for their fruit wines outside the rural Nebraska town of Ravenna, about a half hour from Grand Island.

Pulling into their gravel parking lot, it isn’t difficult to see what appealed to the Schultz’s about the place. On top of a hill overlooking the South Loup River ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
3.5
4.5
4.0

Vermeil Wines   0
4.0
4/29/2016

As a lifelong fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, Coach Dick Vermeil is one of my sports heroes. He may never have brought a Super Bowl victory to my team, but he brought a sense of calm and compassion, of quiet dignity and integrity that few programs in the NFL or any other league have ever experienced. Dick Vermeil is the epitome of class, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that, in his retirement, he has turned to wine as a means of passing time.

The story goes that, decades ago, the Vermeil family owned vineyard land ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.5
4.0
4.0

Charles Krug   0
4.5
4/22/2016

Peter Mondavi (moan-dah-vee), for much of his early life Peter Mondavi (mon-day-vee), died on February the 20th, 2016, in his home in St. Helena, California, just about two weeks prior to my visit to his winery. My flights were already booked, and I had born no real expectation of meeting the legendary figure of Napa Valley viticulture and owner of the Charles Krug Winery, the oldest in the valley. Still, as I progressed slowly up the winding drive toward the utterly massive stone structure on a rainy afternoon in early March, his absence was unmistakable.

Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.0
4.0
4.5

Volker Eisele Family Estate   0
5.0
5.0
4/15/2016

There was a time in history, no doubt, when the valley carved by the Napa River was truly an image of Eden, pure and unspoiled, a place genuinely and fully worthy of being likened to the garden of Biblical lore. Today, though still an undeniably special and, to many, enticing place, one cannot help but notice that steel, diesel-fueled Caterpillars outnumber the insects significantly on the drive up Highway 29, and the inquisitive will soon discover that the once family-driven enterprise of commercial viticulture that made the valley famous has in many instances transitioned to a corporate enterprise. Names like ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Trefethen Vineyards   0
5.0
5.0
4/8/2016

It wasn’t enough, of course, that our low-budget flight from Omaha landed in San Francisco at almost midnight, nor that the flight had been delayed in Denver by nearly half an hour, pushing back our landing time significantly. No, that wouldn’t have been enough. But being as the assignment is to review wineries and not to write a personal narrative, I’ll fast-forward briefly, past the ambulance ride, to the part where my wife, Sonja, sat patiently beside me at three o’clock in the morning in the ER in San Francisco. Tugging gently at my IV to see if it would ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
5.0
5.0
4.5

Hourglass Vineyard   0
5.0
5.0
4/1/2016

The Napa Valley is as old as it is well-known, though what few realize is just how diminutive the nation’s most famous wine region truly is. Accounting for less than 5% of California’s total wine production, from point to point, the Napa Valley runs no more than thirty miles in length, from Mt. St. Helena in the north to Carneros in the south. Side to side, from the Mayacamas range in the west to the multiple noteworthy landmarks of the east, including Howell Mountain and the Chiles Valley AVA, the Valley tapers in the middle, like ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery   0
3.5
1/25/2016

The tasting room of the Holy-Field Vineyard and Winery is just off the interstate and quite conveniently located a short jaunt from the Legends development in Kansas City. A somewhat unimpressive one-story structure, it nevertheless has event space and a homey general-store feel to it. The tasting bar is in the back of a formidable gift shop where all things wine and kitsch can easily be purchased. Behind the tasting room bar is a wall entirely covered in various medals, ribbons and awards that the winery has earned over the years. Out front, a very old dog defies ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.0
3.5
3.5

Wine Barn Winery & Vineyard   0
4.0
12/8/2015

Five minutes earlier, we had driven past Arthur Bryant’s new location and the stadium where Sporting KC play their games. It was hard to believe, with that in mind, that so shortly thereafter we were pulling out of a tunnel made of trees and into a clearing, with a vineyard running along a gently sloping hill and a small pond out of which a covered veranda sprung, connected to the bank by a small footbridge. It was beautiful, rural, and a dramatic change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Kansas City where we had spent our weekend.
Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.5
4.0
3.5

Junto Wine   0
4.0
11/12/2015

We pulled off of the gravel road a half hour outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, where Mark used to live, and examined the odd juxtaposition of items: outside a large, corrugated steel building, in which one might store a tractor or other similar implements, was a gorgeous hillside vineyard and an elaborate, multi-tiered fountain. We didn’t work too hard to reconcile these things to one another before stepping inside and realizing that the elaborate and elegant tasting room was picking up where the fountain left off. While the outside of the Junto tasting room is nothing to look at, the ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
4.5
4.0

Jowler Creek Winery   0
3.5
2/23/2015

Driving longitudinally down I-29 between Omaha and Kansas City, it's unlikely drivers will miss the large signs positioned to let them know that Jowler Creek Winery is coming up fast. Not far from Saint Joseph and a short drive north of Kansas City, Jowler Creek is located several miles off of I-29, down a dusty road that will quickly allow visitors to forget the otherwise urban environment from whence they're likely to have journeyed.

Driving up the gravel road to Jowler Creek, one might at first think they're approaching the house of the owners, and indeed ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
3.5
3.5
3.5

Riverwood Winery   0
3.0
2/13/2015

Off the beaten path, about a fifteen-minute drive through rolling hills from Westin, Missouri, Riverwood Winery sits just off the highway in a repurposed, old school building. The hallways, once full of children, are now lined with rustic lamps and barrels which presumably contain wine. Inside a massive room that must once have been a cafeteria are two separate tasting bars and a vast expanse of a gift shop, selling everything from wine and mulling spices to racks, corkscrews, and more. And out back, where children no doubt once had recess, today patrons can sit underneath the beautiful old ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.5
2.5
4.0
3.0

Sweet Baby Vineyard   0
3.0
2/9/2015

Google maps isn't always your friend. Upon setting out for Sweet Baby Vineyard, we found ourselves in a residential area that didn't seem like the type of place you'd find a winery. We pulled in the driveway of a large red house and had the sneaking suspicion we were in the wrong place. A call to Sweet Baby confirmed it, and although we had found the house of the owner, we weren't at the actual winery. The young lady that answered the phone chuckled and told us we were welcome to let the dog out and then proceeded to ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.0
3.0
3.5
3.0

Flag Hill Winery & Distillery   0
3.5
2/2/2015

New Hampshire's largest commercial vineyard is located, well, on top of a hill, and with a flag out front. Fair enough. What it (arguably) lacks in creativity in a name, however, Flag Hill Winery, and winemaker Brian Ferguson, makes up for with diversity, creativity, and charm.

Upon parking, visitors might first get the sense that they are walking into a general store. A gift shop occupies much of the space, with a tasting bar towards the back where wine as well as spirits are tasted. While many New Hampshire wineries make European-style wines using ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
3.5
4.0
3.5

Pirtle Winery   0
4.0
1/26/2015

Wineries come in all shapes and sizes. We've seen sprawling estates with long winding drives and castle-like structures, quaint awning-covered small town shop fronts, and even a few that take on the shape of a barn. Pirtle Winery ranks high in the unique structures category, and lucky for us, we visited on a Sunday just in time for communion. Well, maybe not, but we did enjoy some heavenly wine in Pirtle’s tasting room, a repurposed church in the town of Westin, Missouri.

From the outside, you still might mistake Pirtle for a church if you were ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.5
4.5
4.0

Amigoni Urban Winery   0
5.0
5.0
1/20/2015

Amigoni Urban Winery gives new meaning to the old line "You're not in Kansas anymore" for a couple of reasons. First, you're literally not in Kansas, you're in Missouri, "Kansas City" being one of the great geographical misnomers of the vast Midwest. The second reason, however, matters far more to wine lovers: in an area of the country devoted largely to grapes that can manage to grow in the less than ideal climate of the central Midwest, the Amigoni family has managed to grow vinifera in the fertile soil that surrounds Kansas City.

While some of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.0
5.0
5.0

Jewell Towne Vineyards   0
4.0
1/14/2015

To be the oldest winery in one of the original thirteen colonies is an impressive thing to be able to tout. It's only after you've been in the area a while that it may don on you that New Hampshire's wine industry is pretty young. Planted in 1982 and located in South Hampton, Jewell Towne Vineyards opened their doors in 1994 and is a charming stop from start to finish.

The exterior of the Jewell Towne Tasting room is reminiscent of an old school house while the inside is adorned with pine from floor to ceiling ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
4.0
3.5

Fulchino Vineyard   0
5.0
5.0
1/7/2015

Al Fulchino is a straight shooter if ever there was one; he probably got that from his grandfather, Andrew Fulchino, from whom he inherited his wine press at the age of twenty one. Al welcomes visitors into his family winery with a charming smile, and on the day we visited, still wearing his work shirt from taking care of the grounds around the area. We immediately liked him, as he beckoned us toward the tasting bar so that we could share in the craft that was passed down to him through his family. Once the owner of a series of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

LaBelle Winery   0
5.0
5.0
12/31/2014

Legend has it that Amy LaBelle started making wine in her small, Boston apartment using berries she purchased at Whole Foods. It’s a fun story, and one that the tasting room manager, Jen Pratt, enjoys telling as she pours samples of LaBelle’s outstanding wines from behind a splendid bar, housed inside one of the largest and most architecturally impressive wineries in New Hampshire.

The tasting room is lined with shelves displaying all varieties of LaBelle’s wines. They stand meticulously placed like little vino soldiers, highlighted by large red lamps. The tasting room also serves as ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Prairie Creek Vineyards   0
3.5
12/23/2014

Independence Day has always offered us interesting wine experiences. Our first July 4 together, Sonja spilled no less than three glasses of wine, breaking one glass and only managing to actually imbibe about one glass from the entire bottle. (She also spilled one of Mark's beers that night.) This past July 4, knowing that we enjoy wine, our friends Tylr and Sabrina took us to Central City, Nebraska, to experience the sights, sounds, and taste of Prairie Creek Vineyards.

We're not really sure how big Central City is, but it's a fair bet that most of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
4.0
4.0
3.0

Big Cottonwood Vineyards & Winery   0
4.0
12/17/2014

There's nothing fancy about Big Cottonwood Vineyard and Winery. That said, if and when you find yourself in Omaha, it's worth knowing that this little gem upon the prairie is less than an hour's drive north. We recommend you plan to spend the afternoon.

There's nothing fancy at all about Big Cottonwood Vineyard and Winery, and there really doesn't need to be. Founded by Deb and Rick Barnett in 2008, the little aluminum building just off of their house, not far from the pond with pretty flowers planted in the front, is a place for ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
3.0

Silver Hills Vineyards & Winery   0
4.0
12/12/2014

Forty-five miles north of Omaha, amidst the rolling hills planted primarily with corn and soybeans, a winery rests "just off the beaten path," as they write in their brochures. Silver Hills Vineyards and Winery, located not far from Tekameh, Nebraska, is one of the many small wineries to pop up in Nebraska's famous farmland in the past fifteen years or so. The brainchild and dream realized of Phil and June Simpson, it's the sort of place you'd like to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon. So we did just that.

When asked how he started making ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.0
4.0
4.0

Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery   0
4.0
12/3/2014

Brownville, Nebraska, is a tourist destination unto itself. With incredible historic houses to tour, an entire main street (and an old school) full of used bookstores, a working steamboat, and the mighty Missouri rushing past just yards away from all of it, Brownville would be an easy place to spend a day getting lost and found again in an historical town on America’s Great Plains. As special and as much fun as used bookstores, cute cafes, and antiquated river travel can be, however, the town would be incomplete without its winery.

Located at the far end of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
4.0
4.0
4.0

Alfalfa Farm   0
3.0
11/12/2014

Not far north of Boston, maybe a half hour drive from Logan Airport in light traffic, sit two immense silos on one of the oldest farms in Massachusetts. Sprawled between the two massive round structures is a sign that reads “Alfalfa Farm,” which can be seen for miles. The farm sits atop a hill on one side of a valley, the views from the patio on a warm summer afternoon are enough to occupy your mind as you sit and enjoy a glass of locally crafted wine.

The wines offered at Alfalfa Farm are produced ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
2.0
4.0
2.5

Nissen Wine   0
4.0
11/6/2014

Just outside of Hartington in Nebraska’s upper east corner, along Scenic Byway 12, better known as “The Outlaw Trail,” a somewhat grandiose new tasting room sits atop a hill, overlooking a lush green vineyard and several neighboring farms. Planted in 2003 and first opened in 2006, the Nissen Winery is the realization of a dream for the Nissen brothers, Tim and David. The new tasting room is open to the public, though the second story isn’t quite finished yet. On a beautiful summer afternoon it didn't much matter as we elected to sit out on the vast patio. ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.0
4.0
4.0

Cuthills Vineyards   0
4.5
10/16/2014

Ed Swanson, the founder and owner of Cuthills Vineyards located in Pierce, Nebraska, has easily forgotten more about viticulture than the majority of people will ever know. Ed is a pioneer; he planted Cuthills Vineyards in 1985, and opened the doors to his winery in 1994, years prior to any other similar operation in the state. We arrived unannounced for a tasting one morning, and found Ed inside his great barn of a tasting room preparing for another day of working at his winery. He welcomed us in with a smile.

Over the years, we've found ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
5.0
5.0
3.0

Mill River Winery   0
4.0
9/29/2014

Rowley, Massachusetts, is home to a charming town square and market area untouched by time for hundreds of years, wharfs dotted with excellent seafood restaurants where diners can take in the classic seaside view, as well as two charming veterinarians, truly lovely people who are wonderful friends of ours, and whose wedding gave us occasion to visit the area. Additionally, Rowley is also home to Mill River Winery. Built in a renovated antique mill on the edge of a lush, green New England forest, Mill River is a must-visit for anyone who finds themself in this rural area of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.0
4.0
4.0

Nashoba Valley Winery   0
4.0
9/8/2014

As we entered the doors of Nashoba Valley Winery, we weren't quite sure what to expect. Our first visit to a winery on the east coast, let alone in Massachusetts, would be a new adventure. We didn't know what kind of grapes were grown in Massachusetts, and we were surprised to find so many wines similar to those found in Nebraska. St Croix, Marechal Foch, and Vignoles stood out as known varietals from our home state, but others would emerge as we paid other Massachusetts and New Hampshire wineries a visit.

When we ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.5
4.0
3.5

17 Ranch Winery   0
3.5
7/22/2014

Ellen Burdick is a no-fuss, no-muss sort of lady. Straight forward, yet kind and gentle in her mannerisms, Ellen opened the 17 Ranch tasting room for us on a day it is not normally scheduled to be open and reminded us of our grandmothers as she smiled and ushered us inside. When we arrived, she had the front door propped ajar to let in the fresh air and welcomed us to step up to the bar. We probably could have talked to Ellen for hours, listening to her stories of anything from ranching, to winemaking, to her fond ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
3.5
5.0
5.0
2.5

Three Brothers Vineyard   0
3.5
7/15/2014

We had a sinking feeling as we pulled into the parking lot of 3 Brothers Vineyard and Winery. There were no other cars in the parking lot, and the sign in the small window next to the door read “Closed”. We had driven an hour from North Platte to the rural town of Farnam, Nebraska, and were over three hours from our home in Omaha. Not being able to visit the 3 Brothers tasting room would have been a disappointment to say the least. We hopped out of the car and approached the front door of the tasting ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
3.0
5.0
5.0
3.0

WunderRosa Winery   0
4.0
7/8/2014

Everyone from Billy Joe Armstrong to Adam Duritz has done a rendition of "Big Yellow Taxi," and yet there is little evidence to suggest that the message, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone," has ever truly set in with us. Or so it felt as we covered nearly eighty miles from our home in Omaha to visit WunderRosa Winery in Roca, Nebraska, for the first time, in spite of the fact that, until recently, one of us had lived and worked only a few miles away from Roca for the past ten years. C'est la vie. ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
4.0

Feather River Vineyards   0
4.0
7/2/2014

Deep ruts scarred the muddy, dirt roads leading south from Interstate 80, near North Platte, that took us to Feather River Vineyards. These roads, lined by relatively young but blooming trees on either side, soon lead into the thirty-five planted acres of vineyard that Feather River maintains, making it one of if not the largest planted vineyard in the state of Nebraska.

Upon entering the tasting room, we were given a warm greeting and started our tasting. We were well attended to the entire time, and Connie, who was very knowledgeable, took the time to ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.5
4.0

SchillingBridge Winery & MicroBrewery   0
4.0
6/26/2014

Schilling Bridge Winery and Microbrewery is located in Pawnee City, Nebraska, a few hours' drive from our home in Omaha. Founded in 2005, their wines and beers alike can be found in grocery stores around the state. In addition to being both a winery and a microbrewery, Schilling Bridge also has a liquor license, which enables them to serve mixed drinks and function as a public house.

We deposited our dog on the empty back patio the afternoon of our visit and stepped inside for a tasting. The tasting room reminded us a little of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
4.0
3.5

Mac's Creek Vineyards & Winery   0
4.5
6/22/2014

"This I'll Defend." The motto of the Scottish Clan MacFarlane is prominently featured in the logo of the McFarland family of Lexington, Nebraska, the proprietors of Mac's Creek Winery and Vineyards. Though the McFarland's have lived in central Nebraska for more than a hundred years, this hint into their heritage is a nice touch and a fitting tribute to the fact that Nebraska, like so many others, is a state of immigrants and dreamers. Easily one of the most recognizable wineries in Nebraska for their reputation and presence in retail stores, we stopped by Mac's Creek last week ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
5.0
5.0

Soaring Wings Vineyard   1
4.5
6/18/2014

The expression “Don’t quit your day job” doesn’t apply to Jim Shaw; he has two of them, but both qualify as passions more than they do work. A commercial airline pilot for Delta, Jim and his wife Sharon founded Soaring Wings Vineyard and Brewing ten years ago, in the summer of 2004. Jim’s life as a pilot accounts for everything from the name of his winery to the propeller on the wall behind the tasting room bar, and of course the birds, dragons, and other winged creatures that can be found on the colorful labels of his craft. Technically ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.5
4.0

Superior Estates Winery   0
5.0
5.0
6/16/2014

Superior, Nebraska, is an awfully long way from South Africa, and yet Dominic Burke, winemaker for Superior Estates and a certified oenologist made the journey from his home country years ago, in order to share his knowledge and passion for winemaking, and to craft the absolutely excellent wines that you can try if you venture to visit Superior, the small town just over the border from neighboring Kansas. Located not far from Red Cloud, Nebraska, home to author Willa Cather, Superior Estates Winery is a gem upon the harsh and bitter prairies of Cather’s skillfully rendered prose, ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Sage Hill Vineyard & Winery   0
4.5
6/12/2014

To say that Parks, Nebraska, is in the middle of nowhere might offend the middle of nowhere. Two hours south of Ogallala, within view of the borders of both Kansas and Colorado in the very southwest corner of the state, sits the tiny town of no more than twenty-five people. As we drove down the gravel road that would eventually lead to the winery, we began to wonder if we would ever find the place or if this journey off the beaten path would be worth it.

When we finally arrived, the quaint and ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.5
5.0
5.0
4.0

Windcrest Winery   0
3.0
5/24/2014

"You can do it your way, or my way," said Dale Lilyhorn, as he explained his tasting method to us. I don't have a way, we each thought, but we humored the big man all the same. "Your way," explained the owner and winemaker of Windcrest Winery, just north of Lincoln near Raymond, Nebraska, "is you pick five wines to try. My way you get to try all of them." Unsure of why our way was clearly so inferior, we chose his way.

You have to look for Windcrest Winery, or you're liable to miss ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.0
3.0
4.0
3.0

Cellar 426   0
4.0
5/22/2014

Just off of exit 426, equidistant between Lincoln and Omaha on the far eastern side of the state of Nebraska, Richard and Amy Hilske are hard at work on a passionate project that threatens to revolutionize the wine industry in Nebraska. The only way to get to Cellar 426 is to follow the signs and traverse the dusty Nebraska back roads. Upon arrival, however, you’re likely to forget where you are… or where you’re going.

The tasting room at Cellar 426 is bright and cheerful, mainly due to the large wall of windows that greet you ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.5

Deer Springs Winery   0
4.0
5/21/2014

Winemaker Jennifer Reeder takes a lot of pride in her work, producing the award-winning wines of her family-owned, historic Nebraska vineyard. After driving several miles of country roads east of Lincoln, visitors pull into a farmstead-like facility that may very well evoke nostalgia for many on the Great Plains. A well-manicured lawn rests below the canopy of mighty old trees, and in front of the farmhouse that has been converted to a tasting room, children and families play games like bocce and croquet, or listen to live music on the lawns.

Inside, the tasting room is ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.5
3.5

Miletta Vista Winery   0
4.5
5/20/2014

Though we have needed its heat and light for thousands of years, fire is often a destructive force, engulfing homes, forests, and the occasional winery. In the dry summer heat of 2012, Miletta Vista Winery, located just north of St. Paul, Nebraska, succumbed to the flames, extinguishing five years of hard work and progress for Mick and Loretta McDowell. Just two years later, however, the only hint that the winery was burnt to the ground can be found framed on the tasting room wall, or else spoken on the lips of the staff and locals who clearly recall ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
5.0
5.0

Glacial Till - Ashland   0
5.0
5.0
5/19/2014

Ashland, Nebraska, is a midway point between Lincoln and Omaha, the largest cities in the state. Ashland is home to the Strategic Air and Space Museum, where, amongst other things, one can stare straight into the cockpit of an SR-71 Blackbird. It’s also the home of the tasting room of Glacial Till Vineyard, a considerably more subtle yet no less wonderful place to spend an afternoon. There, one can find a selection of some of the tastiest wines the Midwest has to offer, in addition to a wonderful second-story art gallery displaying fine original works of art, ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.5

James Arthur Vineyards   0
4.5
5/19/2014

Spring was in the air as we approached the exterior of James Arthur Vineyards. A tree adorned with white flowers grew beside the path leading to the entrance with a quaint bench nestled underneath. Tulips and daffodils sprung up from the earth and a chorus of frogs filled the air with their welcome song.

North of Lincoln, Nebraska, near the quiet town of Raymond sits James Arthur Vineyards, a legend among Nebraska wineries, and one of the few names that those outside the state may recognize. Founded in 1996, the 8,000 square foot facility is ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.5
4.5
4.0

Prairie Crossing Vineyard & Winery   0
4.0
5/10/2014

After a few miles of drifting carefully up and down the rolling hillsides surrounding the quaint and inviting hamlet of Treynor, Iowa, we arrived at a well-kept farmstead with a gnarled old tree out front and a sign that read “Prairie Crossing Vineyard and Winery” just below the lowest branches, green and budding on a windy April afternoon. To the east of the farmhouse, a vineyard adorns the gradually sloping hillside, while behind it a gazebo sits to the left of a small building with a patio overlooking the vines. Next to the smaller building, a larger one is ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
3.0
4.5
4.0

Vine Street Cellars   0
5.0
5.0
4/30/2014

It would be easy to start listing our experiences between Napa Valley and Vouvray that weren’t nearly as satisfying as the one we had at Vine Street Cellars, located in Glenwood, Iowa, but we’ve been asked to keep this to around 500 words.

After approaching the brick storefront, just off the cute little town square of Glenwood, we stepped inside and immediately felt at ease. The gorgeous interior of Vine Street’s tasting room could easily belong to a well-known California vintner, but instead this treasure is the property of rural Iowa. A ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
5.0
5.0
4.5

Vine Street Cellars   0
5.0
5.0

It would be easy to start listing our experiences between Napa Valley and Vouvray that weren’t nearly as satisfying as the one we had at Vine Street Cellars, located in Glenwood, Iowa, but we’ve been asked to keep this to around 500 words.

After approaching the brick storefront, just off the cute little town square of Glenwood, we stepped inside and immediately felt at ease. The gorgeous interior of Vine Street’s tasting room could easily belong to a well-known California vintner, but instead this treasure is the property of rural Iowa. A ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
5.0
5.0
4.5

Prairie Crossing Vineyard & Winery   0
4.0

After a few miles of drifting carefully up and down the rolling hillsides surrounding the quaint and inviting hamlet of Treynor, Iowa, we arrived at a well-kept farmstead with a gnarled old tree out front and a sign that read “Prairie Crossing Vineyard and Winery” just below the lowest branches, green and budding on a windy April afternoon. To the east of the farmhouse, a vineyard adorns the gradually sloping hillside, while behind it a gazebo sits to the left of a small building with a patio overlooking the vines. Next to the smaller building, a larger one is ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
3.0
4.5
4.0

James Arthur Vineyards   0
4.5

Spring was in the air as we approached the exterior of James Arthur Vineyards. A tree adorned with white flowers grew beside the path leading to the entrance with a quaint bench nestled underneath. Tulips and daffodils sprung up from the earth and a chorus of frogs filled the air with their welcome song.

North of Lincoln, Nebraska, near the quiet town of Raymond sits James Arthur Vineyards, a legend among Nebraska wineries, and one of the few names that those outside the state may recognize. Founded in 1996, the 8,000 square foot facility is ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.5
4.5
4.0

Glacial Till - Ashland   0
5.0
5.0

Ashland, Nebraska, is a midway point between Lincoln and Omaha, the largest cities in the state. Ashland is home to the Strategic Air and Space Museum, where, amongst other things, one can stare straight into the cockpit of an SR-71 Blackbird. It’s also the home of the tasting room of Glacial Till Vineyard, a considerably more subtle yet no less wonderful place to spend an afternoon. There, one can find a selection of some of the tastiest wines the Midwest has to offer, in addition to a wonderful second-story art gallery displaying fine original works of art, ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.5

Miletta Vista Winery   0
4.5

Though we have needed its heat and light for thousands of years, fire is often a destructive force, engulfing homes, forests, and the occasional winery. In the dry summer heat of 2012, Miletta Vista Winery, located just north of St. Paul, Nebraska, succumbed to the flames, extinguishing five years of hard work and progress for Mick and Loretta McDowell. Just two years later, however, the only hint that the winery was burnt to the ground can be found framed on the tasting room wall, or else spoken on the lips of the staff and locals who clearly recall ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
5.0
5.0

Deer Springs Winery   0
4.0

Winemaker Jennifer Reeder takes a lot of pride in her work, producing the award-winning wines of her family-owned, historic Nebraska vineyard. After driving several miles of country roads east of Lincoln, visitors pull into a farmstead-like facility that may very well evoke nostalgia for many on the Great Plains. A well-manicured lawn rests below the canopy of mighty old trees, and in front of the farmhouse that has been converted to a tasting room, children and families play games like bocce and croquet, or listen to live music on the lawns.

Inside, the tasting room is ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.5
3.5

Cellar 426   0
4.0

Just off of exit 426, equidistant between Lincoln and Omaha on the far eastern side of the state of Nebraska, Richard and Amy Hilske are hard at work on a passionate project that threatens to revolutionize the wine industry in Nebraska. The only way to get to Cellar 426 is to follow the signs and traverse the dusty Nebraska back roads. Upon arrival, however, you’re likely to forget where you are… or where you’re going.

The tasting room at Cellar 426 is bright and cheerful, mainly due to the large wall of windows that greet you ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.5

Windcrest Winery   0
3.0

"You can do it your way, or my way," said Dale Lilyhorn, as he explained his tasting method to us. I don't have a way, we each thought, but we humored the big man all the same. "Your way," explained the owner and winemaker of Windcrest Winery, just north of Lincoln near Raymond, Nebraska, "is you pick five wines to try. My way you get to try all of them." Unsure of why our way was clearly so inferior, we chose his way.

You have to look for Windcrest Winery, or you're liable to miss ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.0
3.0
4.0
3.0

Sage Hill Vineyard & Winery   0
4.5

To say that Parks, Nebraska, is in the middle of nowhere might offend the middle of nowhere. Two hours south of Ogallala, within view of the borders of both Kansas and Colorado in the very southwest corner of the state, sits the tiny town of no more than twenty-five people. As we drove down the gravel road that would eventually lead to the winery, we began to wonder if we would ever find the place or if this journey off the beaten path would be worth it.

When we finally arrived, the quaint and ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.5
5.0
5.0
4.0

Superior Estates Winery   0
5.0
5.0

Superior, Nebraska, is an awfully long way from South Africa, and yet Dominic Burke, winemaker for Superior Estates and a certified oenologist made the journey from his home country years ago, in order to share his knowledge and passion for winemaking, and to craft the absolutely excellent wines that you can try if you venture to visit Superior, the small town just over the border from neighboring Kansas. Located not far from Red Cloud, Nebraska, home to author Willa Cather, Superior Estates Winery is a gem upon the harsh and bitter prairies of Cather’s skillfully rendered prose, ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Soaring Wings Vineyard   1
4.5

The expression “Don’t quit your day job” doesn’t apply to Jim Shaw; he has two of them, but both qualify as passions more than they do work. A commercial airline pilot for Delta, Jim and his wife Sharon founded Soaring Wings Vineyard and Brewing ten years ago, in the summer of 2004. Jim’s life as a pilot accounts for everything from the name of his winery to the propeller on the wall behind the tasting room bar, and of course the birds, dragons, and other winged creatures that can be found on the colorful labels of his craft. Technically ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.5
4.0

Mac's Creek Vineyards & Winery   0
4.5

"This I'll Defend." The motto of the Scottish Clan MacFarlane is prominently featured in the logo of the McFarland family of Lexington, Nebraska, the proprietors of Mac's Creek Winery and Vineyards. Though the McFarland's have lived in central Nebraska for more than a hundred years, this hint into their heritage is a nice touch and a fitting tribute to the fact that Nebraska, like so many others, is a state of immigrants and dreamers. Easily one of the most recognizable wineries in Nebraska for their reputation and presence in retail stores, we stopped by Mac's Creek last week ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
5.0
5.0

SchillingBridge Winery & MicroBrewery   0
4.0

Schilling Bridge Winery and Microbrewery is located in Pawnee City, Nebraska, a few hours' drive from our home in Omaha. Founded in 2005, their wines and beers alike can be found in grocery stores around the state. In addition to being both a winery and a microbrewery, Schilling Bridge also has a liquor license, which enables them to serve mixed drinks and function as a public house.

We deposited our dog on the empty back patio the afternoon of our visit and stepped inside for a tasting. The tasting room reminded us a little of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
4.0
3.5

Feather River Vineyards   0
4.0

Deep ruts scarred the muddy, dirt roads leading south from Interstate 80, near North Platte, that took us to Feather River Vineyards. These roads, lined by relatively young but blooming trees on either side, soon lead into the thirty-five planted acres of vineyard that Feather River maintains, making it one of if not the largest planted vineyard in the state of Nebraska.

Upon entering the tasting room, we were given a warm greeting and started our tasting. We were well attended to the entire time, and Connie, who was very knowledgeable, took the time to ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.5
4.0

WunderRosa Winery   0
4.0

Everyone from Billy Joe Armstrong to Adam Duritz has done a rendition of "Big Yellow Taxi," and yet there is little evidence to suggest that the message, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone," has ever truly set in with us. Or so it felt as we covered nearly eighty miles from our home in Omaha to visit WunderRosa Winery in Roca, Nebraska, for the first time, in spite of the fact that, until recently, one of us had lived and worked only a few miles away from Roca for the past ten years. C'est la vie. ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
4.0

Three Brothers Vineyard   0
3.5

We had a sinking feeling as we pulled into the parking lot of 3 Brothers Vineyard and Winery. There were no other cars in the parking lot, and the sign in the small window next to the door read “Closed”. We had driven an hour from North Platte to the rural town of Farnam, Nebraska, and were over three hours from our home in Omaha. Not being able to visit the 3 Brothers tasting room would have been a disappointment to say the least. We hopped out of the car and approached the front door of the tasting ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
3.0
5.0
5.0
3.0

17 Ranch Winery   0
3.5

Ellen Burdick is a no-fuss, no-muss sort of lady. Straight forward, yet kind and gentle in her mannerisms, Ellen opened the 17 Ranch tasting room for us on a day it is not normally scheduled to be open and reminded us of our grandmothers as she smiled and ushered us inside. When we arrived, she had the front door propped ajar to let in the fresh air and welcomed us to step up to the bar. We probably could have talked to Ellen for hours, listening to her stories of anything from ranching, to winemaking, to her fond ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
3.5
5.0
5.0
2.5

Nashoba Valley Winery   0
4.0

As we entered the doors of Nashoba Valley Winery, we weren't quite sure what to expect. Our first visit to a winery on the east coast, let alone in Massachusetts, would be a new adventure. We didn't know what kind of grapes were grown in Massachusetts, and we were surprised to find so many wines similar to those found in Nebraska. St Croix, Marechal Foch, and Vignoles stood out as known varietals from our home state, but others would emerge as we paid other Massachusetts and New Hampshire wineries a visit.

When we ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.5
4.0
3.5

Mill River Winery   0
4.0

Rowley, Massachusetts, is home to a charming town square and market area untouched by time for hundreds of years, wharfs dotted with excellent seafood restaurants where diners can take in the classic seaside view, as well as two charming veterinarians, truly lovely people who are wonderful friends of ours, and whose wedding gave us occasion to visit the area. Additionally, Rowley is also home to Mill River Winery. Built in a renovated antique mill on the edge of a lush, green New England forest, Mill River is a must-visit for anyone who finds themself in this rural area of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.0
4.0
4.0

Cuthills Vineyards   0
4.5

Ed Swanson, the founder and owner of Cuthills Vineyards located in Pierce, Nebraska, has easily forgotten more about viticulture than the majority of people will ever know. Ed is a pioneer; he planted Cuthills Vineyards in 1985, and opened the doors to his winery in 1994, years prior to any other similar operation in the state. We arrived unannounced for a tasting one morning, and found Ed inside his great barn of a tasting room preparing for another day of working at his winery. He welcomed us in with a smile.

Over the years, we've found ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
5.0
5.0
3.0

Nissen Wine   0
4.0

Just outside of Hartington in Nebraska’s upper east corner, along Scenic Byway 12, better known as “The Outlaw Trail,” a somewhat grandiose new tasting room sits atop a hill, overlooking a lush green vineyard and several neighboring farms. Planted in 2003 and first opened in 2006, the Nissen Winery is the realization of a dream for the Nissen brothers, Tim and David. The new tasting room is open to the public, though the second story isn’t quite finished yet. On a beautiful summer afternoon it didn't much matter as we elected to sit out on the vast patio. ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.0
4.0
4.0

Alfalfa Farm   0
3.0

Not far north of Boston, maybe a half hour drive from Logan Airport in light traffic, sit two immense silos on one of the oldest farms in Massachusetts. Sprawled between the two massive round structures is a sign that reads “Alfalfa Farm,” which can be seen for miles. The farm sits atop a hill on one side of a valley, the views from the patio on a warm summer afternoon are enough to occupy your mind as you sit and enjoy a glass of locally crafted wine.

The wines offered at Alfalfa Farm are produced ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
2.0
4.0
2.5

Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery   0
4.0

Brownville, Nebraska, is a tourist destination unto itself. With incredible historic houses to tour, an entire main street (and an old school) full of used bookstores, a working steamboat, and the mighty Missouri rushing past just yards away from all of it, Brownville would be an easy place to spend a day getting lost and found again in an historical town on America’s Great Plains. As special and as much fun as used bookstores, cute cafes, and antiquated river travel can be, however, the town would be incomplete without its winery.

Located at the far end of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
4.0
4.0
4.0

Silver Hills Vineyards & Winery   0
4.0

Forty-five miles north of Omaha, amidst the rolling hills planted primarily with corn and soybeans, a winery rests "just off the beaten path," as they write in their brochures. Silver Hills Vineyards and Winery, located not far from Tekameh, Nebraska, is one of the many small wineries to pop up in Nebraska's famous farmland in the past fifteen years or so. The brainchild and dream realized of Phil and June Simpson, it's the sort of place you'd like to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon. So we did just that.

When asked how he started making ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.0
4.0
4.0

Big Cottonwood Vineyards & Winery   0
4.0

There's nothing fancy about Big Cottonwood Vineyard and Winery. That said, if and when you find yourself in Omaha, it's worth knowing that this little gem upon the prairie is less than an hour's drive north. We recommend you plan to spend the afternoon.

There's nothing fancy at all about Big Cottonwood Vineyard and Winery, and there really doesn't need to be. Founded by Deb and Rick Barnett in 2008, the little aluminum building just off of their house, not far from the pond with pretty flowers planted in the front, is a place for ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
3.0

Prairie Creek Vineyards   0
3.5

Independence Day has always offered us interesting wine experiences. Our first July 4 together, Sonja spilled no less than three glasses of wine, breaking one glass and only managing to actually imbibe about one glass from the entire bottle. (She also spilled one of Mark's beers that night.) This past July 4, knowing that we enjoy wine, our friends Tylr and Sabrina took us to Central City, Nebraska, to experience the sights, sounds, and taste of Prairie Creek Vineyards.

We're not really sure how big Central City is, but it's a fair bet that most of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
4.0
4.0
3.0

LaBelle Winery   0
5.0
5.0

Legend has it that Amy LaBelle started making wine in her small, Boston apartment using berries she purchased at Whole Foods. It’s a fun story, and one that the tasting room manager, Jen Pratt, enjoys telling as she pours samples of LaBelle’s outstanding wines from behind a splendid bar, housed inside one of the largest and most architecturally impressive wineries in New Hampshire.

The tasting room is lined with shelves displaying all varieties of LaBelle’s wines. They stand meticulously placed like little vino soldiers, highlighted by large red lamps. The tasting room also serves as ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Fulchino Vineyard   0
5.0
5.0

Al Fulchino is a straight shooter if ever there was one; he probably got that from his grandfather, Andrew Fulchino, from whom he inherited his wine press at the age of twenty one. Al welcomes visitors into his family winery with a charming smile, and on the day we visited, still wearing his work shirt from taking care of the grounds around the area. We immediately liked him, as he beckoned us toward the tasting bar so that we could share in the craft that was passed down to him through his family. Once the owner of a series of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Jewell Towne Vineyards   0
4.0

To be the oldest winery in one of the original thirteen colonies is an impressive thing to be able to tout. It's only after you've been in the area a while that it may don on you that New Hampshire's wine industry is pretty young. Planted in 1982 and located in South Hampton, Jewell Towne Vineyards opened their doors in 1994 and is a charming stop from start to finish.

The exterior of the Jewell Towne Tasting room is reminiscent of an old school house while the inside is adorned with pine from floor to ceiling ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
4.0
3.5

Amigoni Urban Winery   0
5.0
5.0

Amigoni Urban Winery gives new meaning to the old line "You're not in Kansas anymore" for a couple of reasons. First, you're literally not in Kansas, you're in Missouri, "Kansas City" being one of the great geographical misnomers of the vast Midwest. The second reason, however, matters far more to wine lovers: in an area of the country devoted largely to grapes that can manage to grow in the less than ideal climate of the central Midwest, the Amigoni family has managed to grow vinifera in the fertile soil that surrounds Kansas City.

While some of ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.0
5.0
5.0

Flag Hill Winery & Distillery   0
3.5

New Hampshire's largest commercial vineyard is located, well, on top of a hill, and with a flag out front. Fair enough. What it (arguably) lacks in creativity in a name, however, Flag Hill Winery, and winemaker Brian Ferguson, makes up for with diversity, creativity, and charm.

Upon parking, visitors might first get the sense that they are walking into a general store. A gift shop occupies much of the space, with a tasting bar towards the back where wine as well as spirits are tasted. While many New Hampshire wineries make European-style wines using ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
3.5
4.0
3.5

Pirtle Winery   0
4.0

Wineries come in all shapes and sizes. We've seen sprawling estates with long winding drives and castle-like structures, quaint awning-covered small town shop fronts, and even a few that take on the shape of a barn. Pirtle Winery ranks high in the unique structures category, and lucky for us, we visited on a Sunday just in time for communion. Well, maybe not, but we did enjoy some heavenly wine in Pirtle’s tasting room, a repurposed church in the town of Westin, Missouri.

From the outside, you still might mistake Pirtle for a church if you were ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.5
4.5
4.0

Sweet Baby Vineyard   0
3.0

Google maps isn't always your friend. Upon setting out for Sweet Baby Vineyard, we found ourselves in a residential area that didn't seem like the type of place you'd find a winery. We pulled in the driveway of a large red house and had the sneaking suspicion we were in the wrong place. A call to Sweet Baby confirmed it, and although we had found the house of the owner, we weren't at the actual winery. The young lady that answered the phone chuckled and told us we were welcome to let the dog out and then proceeded to ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.0
3.0
3.5
3.0

Riverwood Winery   0
3.0

Off the beaten path, about a fifteen-minute drive through rolling hills from Westin, Missouri, Riverwood Winery sits just off the highway in a repurposed, old school building. The hallways, once full of children, are now lined with rustic lamps and barrels which presumably contain wine. Inside a massive room that must once have been a cafeteria are two separate tasting bars and a vast expanse of a gift shop, selling everything from wine and mulling spices to racks, corkscrews, and more. And out back, where children no doubt once had recess, today patrons can sit underneath the beautiful old ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.5
2.5
4.0
3.0

Jowler Creek Winery   0
3.5

Driving longitudinally down I-29 between Omaha and Kansas City, it's unlikely drivers will miss the large signs positioned to let them know that Jowler Creek Winery is coming up fast. Not far from Saint Joseph and a short drive north of Kansas City, Jowler Creek is located several miles off of I-29, down a dusty road that will quickly allow visitors to forget the otherwise urban environment from whence they're likely to have journeyed.

Driving up the gravel road to Jowler Creek, one might at first think they're approaching the house of the owners, and indeed ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
3.5
3.5
3.5

Junto Wine   0
4.0

We pulled off of the gravel road a half hour outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, where Mark used to live, and examined the odd juxtaposition of items: outside a large, corrugated steel building, in which one might store a tractor or other similar implements, was a gorgeous hillside vineyard and an elaborate, multi-tiered fountain. We didn’t work too hard to reconcile these things to one another before stepping inside and realizing that the elaborate and elegant tasting room was picking up where the fountain left off. While the outside of the Junto tasting room is nothing to look at, the ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
4.0
4.5
4.0

Wine Barn Winery & Vineyard   0
4.0

Five minutes earlier, we had driven past Arthur Bryant’s new location and the stadium where Sporting KC play their games. It was hard to believe, with that in mind, that so shortly thereafter we were pulling out of a tunnel made of trees and into a clearing, with a vineyard running along a gently sloping hill and a small pond out of which a covered veranda sprung, connected to the bank by a small footbridge. It was beautiful, rural, and a dramatic change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Kansas City where we had spent our weekend.
Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.5
4.0
3.5

Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery   0
3.5

The tasting room of the Holy-Field Vineyard and Winery is just off the interstate and quite conveniently located a short jaunt from the Legends development in Kansas City. A somewhat unimpressive one-story structure, it nevertheless has event space and a homey general-store feel to it. The tasting bar is in the back of a formidable gift shop where all things wine and kitsch can easily be purchased. Behind the tasting room bar is a wall entirely covered in various medals, ribbons and awards that the winery has earned over the years. Out front, a very old dog defies ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.0
3.5
3.5