THE WINNER IS: Woodland Hill Winery
On a scenic, winding country road on the outskirts of Delano sits one of Minnesota's newer and most beautiful wineries. After planting in 2005, making a commitment to the land (to use no herbicides and only natural compounds and fertilizers), and first harvesting in fall 2007 owners Katie and Mike Dickerman have been reaping accolades ever since.
No wonder. The setting is picturesque (pretty buildings surrounded by pine and oak trees and well-tended flower gardens); the wines are top-notch (winning eight medals at the 2010 International Cold Climate Wine Competition); the tasting room/boutique a delightful place to spend time; and the winery calendar is filled with fun activities all year, from sleigh rides and teas to Girls Nights Out, art fairs, German festivals and holiday dinners.
In season, there's live music on the covered patio, winery tours, wine tastings and more. The gorgeous setting is also making Woodland Hill a new favorite option for weddings and events.
Woodland Hill Winery won big this year at the International Cold Climate Wine Competition which was held at the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus on Tuesday Aug. 24th.
A panel of 21 experts will taste and judge wines from commercial wineries in 17 states. The competition is the only event of its kind for wines made from fruit grown in cold climates.
The competition is a partnership between the Minnesota Grape Growers Association, the Minnesota State Fair and the university, which developed several of the cold-hardy grapes used to make the wines in the competition.
Woodland Hill Winery won a total of 8 Medals.
Vinny's Red won a Gold and a Silver Medal
Northwoods Red, Days End both won a Silver Medal
Up North Red, Crimson Delight, Autumn Sky and Volonte™ all won a Bronze Medal
December 6, 2009, By Carol Stender NPR
Delano, Minn. (AP) - What once was corn and soybean ground now has more than 4,000 grape vines growing on it.
The vineyard near Delano sits on seven of 20 acres Mike and Katie Dickerman purchased six years ago. It has several rows of wooden posts (more than 2,500 in all) with more than 10 miles of wire to hold the vines. All those grapes plus rhubarb from their 400 rhubarb plants and locally grown apples and strawberries are used to make the Dickerman's Woodland Hill Winery wines.
Although their venture is fairly young, they spent time before purchasing the land to learn more about commercial winemaking, developing their business plan and research grape production and hardy grape varieties.
Their interest in winemaking started innocently as they visited local wineries while on vacation and when they lived in Connecticut, Michigan and North Carolina. When they moved back to Minnesota with their daughter, Alana, Mike dabbled in home wine and beer production at their Woodbury home. He was excited at the results and eagerly discussed starting a winery with Katie.
Delano winery has a familial feel to it
With only their second batch of wines, a Delano couple are establishing themselves
as accomplished Minnesota vintners.
Mike Dickerman, owner of the Woodland Hill Winery, has a half-dozen grape varieties growing at his 6.5-acre vineyard west of Delano. Among them: the University of Minnesota-developed â€œLa Crescent,â€ the wine of the week.
There are a raft of West Coast wineries that proudly call themselves "[Our name] Family Vineyards." Nowhere would such a brand name be more appropriate than at Woodland Hill Winery, if it weren't for that gosh-darned Upper Midwest reserve.
Â My husband and I celebrated our 15th anniversary last week. Each year, we choose a different dining experience, usually coupled with a movie or a play, which is my top choice. This year, though, we opted for some wine tasting and a dinner.
A few weeks ago, I was informed of the relatively new winery near Delano, Woodland Hill Winery. It offers a tasting room with a small charge for wine tasting. On weekends, visitors can also take tours and observe the wine-making process.
The winery is set on some beautiful acreage outside of Delano and is overlooking Fountain Lake. Beautiful trees also adorn the property. There is inside as well as outside seating.