On the wine trail

In November, taste the fruits of the harvest on winery road trips.

Wine tasting at a vineyard.

As fall winds down on forest trails, the season is just gearing up on wine trails, where groups of wineries invite folks to take a little drive, sample the wares and maybe take home a few bottles.

Since wineries tend to be in very scenic areas, that's not such a bad idea. And in late autumn, many offer special events to put buyers in the holiday spirit.

Here are the 2021 events on wine trails in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Mississippi River Valley

Great River Road Wine Trail : Most of the members of this Mississippi River Valley group are between Red Wing and Winona, but they stretch from Prescott at the mouth of the St. Croix to Marquette in northeast Iowa.

For the Holiday Harvest Wine & Food Festival Nov. 13-14 in 2021, an advance ticket for $30, $15 for Sunday only, buys a wine glass, bottle tote and wine and food tastings at all 12 wineries.

Iowa Wine Trail : Eleven wineries are part of this group in the Mississippi River Valley between Decorah and Clinton.


In Galena, Nouveau Wine Weekend Nov. 19-20 includes a Friday parade, tastings, music and vineyard tours the weekend before Thanksgiving.


Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail : There are 25 wineries along the spine of this peninsula north of Traverse City, Mich., wrapped by the warm waters of Lake Michigan.

A tasting tour of Wollersheim Winery.
A tour guide pours samples at Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin.

During Toast the Season Nov. 5-7 and 12-14, it's offering samples of wine paired with local cuisine.

Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail : Ten wineries line this sliver that stretches into Grand Traverse Bay north of Traverse City, Mich.

Its Great Macaroni & Cheese Bake-Off, which pairs wine with comfort food, is very popular.


Wisconsin River Valley : This isn't an official trail, but it's easy to go from one vineyard to another in the Wisconsin River Valley, from Spurgeon and Wild Hills near Muscoda to Botham near Barneveld and Wollersheim in Prairie du Sac.

Wollersheim Winery holds a free Ruby Noveau Tasting on the third Thursday of November, and A Vintage Christmas, with festive foods and carolers.

For more about Wollersheim, see A vintage vineyard.

More wine trails

Many other wineries welcome visitors in fall as well as year-round.

For more, see Following a wine trail.

Last updated on November 2, 2021

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