A little background
Located just seven miles south of Kimball, Minn., you’ll find Millner Heritage Winery, which specializes in the production of Austrian-Hungarian style wines. Their website offers a fascinating review of their family history and how they got their foot into the wine making business.
Better yet, follow them on their Facebook page for real-time updates about their winery and seasonal specials.
Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of coming to Millner Heritage Winery as part of the bachelorette festivities for one of my close girlfriends.
I was surprised to find such a large winery tucked away in the rolling hills of farmlands just 7 miles outside of Kimball. I grew up around this area (okay, maybe an hour north of this area) and I’m delighted at anything that allows me to boast about my small corner of the world.
So when the bridal party made it’s way out to Millner Heritage Winery, the anticipation of learning more about this place just about killed me and it did not disappoint.
The winery itself is a site to behold when you’re driving down its narrow gravel road through rows and rows of budding groves of grape vines to the main building.
Our visit began with a detailed tour of their family vineyard/winery, which consisted of an informative, tractor-drawn trolly ride through the vineyard rows. On this tour, the owner Jon described in detail the process of growing a vineyard and described the grape varieties grown on their land.
To tour the winery and learn about wine-making, you’ll have to sign up for a separate tour, but it’s worth it. To date, this was the most in-depth winery tour that I’ve had the pleasure of participating in. Our tour group was walked through every step in the wine-making process from harvest to bottle. If you’re considering taking this tour, make sure you bring a jacket. It got quite cold in there.
Our tour ended with a sampling of 14 of their 16 wines. On this day, they didn’t have their Nordsuss or Gemutlichkeit wines available for sampling. If sipping 14 wines in one sitting seems like a little much, they offer a variety of sampling levels at various prices. Since many of our party were not from the area, we took the opportunity to sample all of the wines produced at Millner Heritage Winery.
I would recommend getting a cheese plate to go with the samplings to enhance the flavors of their wines.
I SO appreciated that visitors are given a wine list that details what grapes each wine contains, what barrel they were stored in, how the wine was produced, and what flavors you’re likely to experience when tasting.
It became apparent quickly that anyone could find a wine that they enjoyed here. Out of the 14 that we sampled, I easily could have brought eight of these home with me (and if I had the funds to do so I would have!). What kept me from enjoying a few of their wines was the notes of apricot in the wine. I’ve never been a fan of apricot, but the other women on our tour adored those wines (apricot lovers rejoice!).
In the end, I went home with two wines: the Rona and Mullner Nice.
*Descriptions below are from their wine list.
Rona (red wine): This is a poetic term for the Great Hungarian Plain in eastern Hungary where Jon’s wife Annamaria grew up. This wine is moderately tart, thus it is often nice to pair this wine with food that is seasoned a little heavier or a bit spicy.
Mullner Nice (white wine): Made from pressing frozen Frontenac Gris grapes to concentrate the sugar, acid and flavor compounds, roughly about 40% concentrating the juice. The resulting wine has a tremendous amount of flavor (they’re not kidding on that point) and sweetness.