AWG Correspondent

Mark and Sonja

Makovicka Winery Photos

Makovicka Winery Review

Region: Nebraska

Reviewed: May 29, 2016 by Mark and Sonja
Published: August 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 NCAA. Go Big Red. But all good things must end, and these days, the Makovicka’s of Brainard have applied their good name to a new endeavor in the Cornhusker State. Makovicka Winery has recently emerged on the state’s budding viticultural scene as producers of quality Nebraska wines, and recently my family paid them a visit.

Located on the map where “Road U” meets “Road 31” just northeast of the tiny town of Brainard, maybe an hour outside Omaha, the tasting room at Makovicka Winery is small, well kept, and relatively new. A bar sits on the wall opposite the door, and to the left is a bathroom large enough for my parents, with their arthritic knees and bad backs to change my infant son upon the floor. Sonja and I pulled up in the parking lot and, moments later, so did my parents, coming from the other direction on the dusty gravel roads of rural eastern Nebraska. Both of us at the time drove silver CRV’s, a reality that, in my younger, hipper youth would have caused me pain, and today often produces a slight smile. We sat inside, briefly, so that I could run our tasting glasses back and forth from our table to the bar while my parents became reacquainted with their infant grandson and my wife received a much-needed respite. We snacked on locally made artisan cheeses and chatted for quite a spell. After we were done tasting from Makovicka Winery’s extensive list of wines, we move out onto the deck overlooking the vineyards, and there enjoyed the sun and the view, a bit more cheese and, of course, a bottle of wine. I found a dry white which I judged to be one of the better dry whites I’ve had in the area; it was refreshing on a warm spring day.

The day moved too quickly, as peaceful time with wine so often does. People moved in and out of the little tasting room freely, keeping the place very busy almost the entire time we were there. After an hour or so on the deck in the sun, we said our goodbyes and headed to our respective silver Hondas. Sonja and I had but a short drive back to Omaha, around an hour, while my parents had a more daunting journey ahead of them, with over 200 miles separating them from our ranch out in the Sandhills. We apologized for keeping them so late, and as they hugged little Titus goodbye, they assured us it was worth it.

Looking back on it, one of the reasons I enjoyed the Makovicka Winery so much was because it’s a small, family owned operation, much like the little bookstore my parents run in Valentine. Spending time there with my family, my growing family at that, seemed fitting, and it’s a place we’re likely to return to in the future. For now, whether you’re with your family or on your own, remember that Makovicka Winery in Brainard, Nebraska, isn’t far from Lincoln and Omaha, and is a terrific place to visit.

Address & Contact Information: 2091 31 Rd Brainard, Nebraska 68626. Telephone: 402-545-2173, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Fri-Sat 1:00-9:00, Sun 1:00-5:00 and by appt..

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