We’ve compiled a shopping guide for those of us who like to shop locally and appreciate wine. We visited several wineries in southeastern Minnesota and found a collection of gifts ranging from quirky to classy. We even discovered a few gift ideas for non-wine drinkers.
SHOPPING BETWEEN THE WINES
We started our tour at Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery located in Spring Valley. Vicky Vogt, co-owner, says, “We’re changing up the [merchandise] all the time. There’s always something different in our shop.”
They have wine bottle travel bags, cocktail napkins and kitchen towels. They carry unique wine racks, constructed with rustic looking bearings, wrenches and other iron parts that Vogt’s husband, Gary, creates. These unique wine racks are $145 each.
One of our selections from Four Daughters is a small, wooden sign with the saying “Cheer Up, Wine A Little,” and it’s only $4. Another gift item is a wine bottle ornament. The ornament coils around and rests on top of the bottle, reminiscent of a grapevine bursting with grapes. It’s priced at $18. There’s something for everyone in this gift shop and at every price point.
FROM CLASSY TO SASSY
Post Town Winery is located on the west side of Rochester on the Highway 14 frontage road. Their gift selection is sprinkled throughout the tasting room and the new special event room. If you’re looking for unique jewelry, there are sterling silver wine glass earrings and necklaces in a variety of crystal colors for $15. For your glam friends there’s a pink rhinestone wine bottle opener for $12 and coasters with sassy wine sayings. There are also prints and framed original photography by the Post Town Winery’s wine chemist, Kate Bierle.
Cannon River Winery, located in Cannon Falls, has gifts situated throughout the building. We encourage you to meander around the facility to see what they have to offer. They have wine glasses with their logo, insulated jute totes for $20 and gift bags with sayings. Our selection from Cannon River Winery is a decorative plate reminiscent of old-world, wine-themed art and a silver-colored display unit. It’s perfect for serving cheese and crackers or sitting on a shelf.
If you’re in the Winona area, check out Garvin Heights Vineyard. Linda Seppanen, co-owner of the winery says, “There are certain things people know I always have. The items are economical and functional. I keep wine openers on-hand. I carry the ones with a foil cutter, Teflon-coated spiral and hinged arm to get the cork out.” The prices range from $4.95 to $16.95.
Seppanen says they have wine glasses for various holidays or events. They are featuring holiday wine glasses sold separately or in sets. The wine glasses are $12.50 each or a set of six for $60. We’re also highlighting a quirky, ceramic, high-heel shoe that functions as a wine bottle holder for $26.99. There are jewelry, purse hangers, aprons and locally made wooden stoppers too.
GIFTS FOR TEA DRINKERS
The next stop on our tour is Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery in Rochester. If your holiday shopping list includes a gift for a tea drinker or wine lover, Salem Glen is the place to shop.
They have a wall of tea displayed as well as ceramic Tea Forte™ steeping cups with infusers in a variety of patterns. We love the Lotus Steeping Cup with Infuser that sells for $13. The gift box of Tea Forte Single Steeps® pre-portioned loose leaf teas Lotus collection includes Darjeeling Quince (organic black tea), Mountain Oolong (organic oolong tea), Lemon Lavender (organic herbal tea), Orange Jasmine (organic green tea) and Vanilla Pear (organic white tea). The vast tea selection also has a three tin Tea Forte sampler. It features Hazelnut Truffle, Sweet Orange Spice and Bombay Chai black teas for $13.50.
The wine bottle and wine glass wall hangers on display at Salem Glen are created by John Tapager. Or, if you prefer, there is a standing (non-wall hanging) holder. There is a variety of locally made garden accessories, hand-stitched towels and a gorgeous wooden wine box available at Salem Glen.
Each winery has a vast selection of gifts. We highlighted several items to get you started, but we agree that the best shopping requires both wine tasting and time to browse.
Nicole Czarnomski is a freelance writer. Since she has been writing the Women & Wine column for RochesterWomen magazine, her husband is becoming a wine-lover too.