Road Trip to Minnesota & Wisconsin

OnTheRoad2The Wine Diamonds film crew will be hitting the road soon to spend a few days in Minnesota and Wisconsin filming at wineries and vineyards. We reached out to our wine industry network of friends to help us connect with some of the industry’s leaders, pioneers, up and comers, and a range of big and smaller operations. Big thanks to Mike White (Iowa State University, Viticulture Field Specialist) who provided an exhaustive list of exceptional contacts. Thanks Mike!

Our list is still coming together but we’ve got a great range of visits planned. The following locations are confirmed:

Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery (Kasota, MN)
Indian Island Winery & Winterhaven Vineyards (Janesville, MN)
Northern Vineyards Winery (Stillwater, MN)
Alexis Bailly Vineyard (Hastings, MN)
Great River Vineyard & Lake Pepin Winery (Lake City, MN)
Elmaro Vineyard (Trempealeau, WI)
Danzinger Vineyard (Alma, WI)

Depending on the amount of time spent at each winery we may add a few more stops during our 3 days of filming. Our goal is to be able to spend at least 2 hours with each winery (more at some, less at others).

We’re thrilled to be able to meet, interview and film at these wineries. Please show your support to those wineries that allow us access and show support to our film.



Cold Hardy Grape Vines

Yesterday, by Midwestern standards, was an absolutely lovely day: temperatures near 30 degrees, partly sunny, and a light northerly breeze.  These past few weeks have been brutally cold in the upper Midwest with temperatures plunging to nearly -20f and wind chills cold enough to take your breath away.

Marquette Vines
Marquette Vines in Slumber (red wine grape vine)

Wintertime in the heartland can challenge ones resolve, burst waterlines in your house (as it did at my home a couple weeks ago), and test a grapevines ability to survive.  But, that’s what these new cold hardy grape vines do!  In fact, some of these grape vines can survive cold spells that’d certainly kill off a Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon plant.  These northern vineyards can tolerate some of the coldest temperatures around and still produce a good crop and yield exceptional wines.

Tough plants, resolute growers and creative winemakers converge in the heartland and are building a new bustling wine region.  On this cool January afternoon Kirk (Producer and Director of Photography) and I (Brad) visited a local vineyard to re-shoot a few segments to include in our upcoming fundraising piece (to be hosted on the crowd funding site called, Indiegogo).  Despite snowy wet feet and being chilled to the bone we finished shooting by the late afternoon, then headed back to Kirk’s studio to work on editing.  It’s really coming together and can’t wait to share it with you!!

In the coming week we’ll be visiting one of the up-and-coming traditionally made sparkling wine producers near Decorah.  You’re really going to like meeting this character and trying his new sparklers!  Thanks for following our progress and sharing us with your wine friends.

Thanks to our friend Lucas McIntire and Kirkwood Community College (the Winery at Kirkwood) for allowing us to film at their vineyard.