AWG Correspondent

Mark and Sonja

Cellar 426 Photos

Cellar 426 Review

Region: Nebraska

Reviewed: May 11, 2014 by Mark and Sonja
Published: May 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 as you enter the room. The massive vaulted ceilings, a solid marble bar, stone hearth, and hardwood floors create a sense of awe as you take it all in. The tasting room is large with an open layout and a number of tables to choose from. A set of double doors at the opposite end of the entrance lead to a deck that wraps around the building. In the warmer months, bands are featured on the lawn below the deck, however on the day we visited, the breeze on the deck and a bottle of wine was all we needed to enjoy the view and the fresh air.

Cellar 426 is one of the newest wineries in Nebraska. As such, their limited production is understandable. The day we visited, there was only one true red to try, in addition to a few blush offerings. Though the blushes fit the sweet-wine loving, local palate, the red available, made of Frontenac and named “Big Bold Red,” was truly something special. Complex, with notes of berries and varied spices, this medium-bodied pleaser was oaky and dry, with mild acidity. It is frankly one of the best reds being made in Nebraska currently (and that’s saying something).

The whites at Cellar 426 are very citrusy and light. The award winning “Uplifting” is made from Traminette grapes and has a strong aroma of lemon, though the flavor overall is a mix of various citrus fruits. “Linoma Lighthouse,” named for a nearby landmark, is light and clean and would be perfect on a hot summer day. During the warmer months, Cellar 426 makes a sangria in house from their Linoma Lighthouse, a treat in which you could easily over indulge! Those with a sweet palate will enjoy the selection of whites immensely. If you are a fan of dryer wines, though, the Big Bold Red is for you.

Two short years: That’s all the time it has been since they opened their doors, since Richard and Amy Hilske transformed a dream into one of the most exciting new wineries in Nebraska. Like all two-year-olds, they may have some room to grow, but this winery is moving from crawling to sprinting in record time! If they keep it up, the dusty gravel roads leading to their exquisite tasting room may soon be paved. For now, we recommend that any tourist to Nebraska add Cellar 426 to their list of places to visit. We promise you won’t be sorry.

Address & Contact Information: 1402 Dennis Dean Road Ashland, Nebraska 68003. Telephone: 402-944-8109, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Fri 1:00-7:00, Sat 11:00-7:00, Sun 1:00-5:00.

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