Prairie Creek Vineyards Review
Address: 2254 13th Rd Central City,Nebraska 68826.
Phone Number: 308-940-1370
Tasting Hours: Fri 4:00-8:00, Sat 1:00-6:00, Sun 1:00-5:00
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 7/4/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
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 the town turned up that night. When we pulled in, the smell of ribs on the barbecue wafted over and lured us closer to the door, while a performer who sounded startlingly like Darius Rucker played his guitar from atop a flatbed trailer surrounded by picnic tables on the front yard. The entire setup was fairly quaint, certainly busy, and well worth the twenty-minute drive over from St. Paul.
Knowing that most people won’t arrive on a special holiday, there’s still plenty to appreciate at Prairie Creek Winery. The tasting room was small, well decorated, and quite modern, with an additional side room that could be opened for special events and parties. The exterior grounds are simple, but a walk through the grapevines isn’t out of the question, and there’s something about the nearby farms that lends a certain something to ambiance of the Nebraska wine scene. The owners, Nick and Kristen, are a young and energetic couple, who were pleased to talk to us about their work even on a busy night, and the friendly staff did a great job of concealing just how swamped they really were.
We started with the white wines, which we certainly enjoyed. The shortcoming of the white wine list was that they are currently only offering four wines, all of them on the sweeter side, yet a few of them, in particular the Seyval, boasted more crispness and citrus flavors than are typically found in the sweet white offerings this region is known for.
There were also four reds available to taste, and all of them thinner and medium bodied. “Good summer reds,” Sonja remarked. Made from grapes traditionally used in the region such as Frontenac and Marquette, they range in character based on how they were made. The Merida’s oak-aging resulted in noticeable tannins and, as a result, was our favorite.
Like many Nebraska wineries, Prairie Crossing is also experimenting with fruit wine. Nick and Kristen went for plums, over some of the easier options, and were rewarded. The plum wine from 2013 is a nice offering for anyone who enjoys sweeter fruit wines.
Every time we’re passing through central Nebraska, our friends Tylr and Sabrina take us to a different winery in the area, and we have yet to be disappointed. The terroir and the varieties are far from traditional, yet the artists on the plains who are crafting them into wines are doing good work for those who are open-minded enough to give them a try. If you find yourself near Central City, don’t miss out on Prairie Creek Vineyards.