AWG Correspondent

Mark and Sonja

Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard Photos

Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard Review

Region: Nebraska

Reviewed: June 14, 2016 by Mark and Sonja
Published: July 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 and a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and together they made a life for themselves on the eastern edge of Nebraska.

Set in the lush, rolling hills of the Missouri River Valley in southeastern Nebraska, the setting of Kimmel Orchard is something out of Little House on the Prairie. It has the feel of an old-time general store, with weathered wood and other natural materials serving as the primary building blocks of the sprawling one-story building that houses a tasting bar, retails space, and more. Sonja and I casually rolled up late one afternoon and heard the thunder crashing over our heads. We were glad to step inside and out of the rain.

Red wines, white wines, and fruit wines abound, all bearing the Kimmel Orchard label with an image of the structure and a windmill featured on it. Though all were enjoyable, the fruit wines may have been the most interesting, with a wider selection than many local wineries offer and offerings such as “Apple Pie” to keep us entertained as we waited patiently to see whether or not the rain would subside prior to the tasting room closing down for the evening.

In addition to wine tasting, Kimmel Orchard offers hayrack rides, fruit processing sessions, harvest festivals, and the opportunity to pick everything from apples to vegetables, whatever is in season. In this way, Kimmel Orchard is transformed from a wine tasting to a destination. Though we had only enough time to taste the wine and glance around until ultimately the rain stopped falling, we didn’t miss the fact that this would be a great place to bring our family in the future.

The Kimmel Education and Research Center was opened as an extension of the University of Nebraska in 2005. The Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard Educational Foundation is a registered 501(c)3, a non-profit that extends the campus of UNL deep into the southeast corner of the state. Good for a brief, late afternoon stop and shelter from the rain, it’s also a place to visit to get a real sense of what life might have been like on the plains prior to the incessant distraction of iPhones, fantasy sports, and whatever that bizarre little robot-disc that vacuums my living room is named. For more information, visit, or visit Kimmel Orchard in person. It’s certainly an experience.

Address & Contact Information: 5995 G Rd. Nebraska City, Nebraska 68410. Telephone: 402-873-5293, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-5:00, Sun 11:00-5:00.

Overall Rating:  

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance

More information about Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard

Explore Nebraska wineries