AWG Correspondent

Mark and Sonja

Windcrest Winery Photos

Windcrest Winery Review

Region: Nebraska

Reviewed: May 3, 2014 by Mark and Sonja
Published: May 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 it. Small signposts begin to point you there, but only after you're on country roads. Originally named "Whispering Vines," Dale Lilyhorn changed the name to Windcrest when he found out the former title was already trademarked, but he kept the elegant "L" logo, inside a shield, winding like a vine.

While the exterior could easily be mistaken for a run of the mill storage facility complete with neon OPEN sign, the interior has a completely different feel. To the left of the entry is a nice seating area with high-top tables and comfortable high-top chairs and a flat screen television showcasing pictures of the vineyard. To the right is the tasting bar which is simple and stylish. The room is modern, clean, and well organized.

If slightly brusque, Dale Lilyhorn is nevertheless a passionate winemaker. He speaks of his wines as though they are children – describing the characteristics of each in great detail both orally and in his tasting notes. He appears to be a one-man operation at Windcrest, and we were impressed at how well he managed his relatively busy tasting room entirely unassisted, receiving his guests in a timely manner and stepping out from behind the bar to greet those whom he could not service right away.

Presently, Windcrest Winery offers a fairly limited selection of wines. There are twelve in total, but three of them are derivations of cherry wine, and three more are differing approaches to edelweiss. We give Windcrest some credit for being creative. A dry edelweiss isn't anything we've encountered before, and his pear wine was crisp and natural, not overly sweetened. There's also a tart red wine being made of St. Vincent grapes that we wouldn't mind serving to guests. The tasting notes recommend it go with pizza, and that sounded pretty good to us.

All things considered, Windcrest Winery doesn't rank amongst our favorites in the area. There are just too many other great places nearby – places with better ambiance, places with better wines. That being said, if you're looking for a winery that is off the beaten path and that most of your friends will not have heard of, or if you've really got a thing for edelweiss or cherry wine, Windcrest might be just the place you’re looking for.

Address & Contact Information: 3110 W. Branched Oak Rd. Raymond, Nebraska 68428. Telephone: 402-783-2875, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Mon-Thurs 3:00-9:00, Fri-Sat 10:00-9:00, Sun 12:00-9:00.

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