Winehaven Winery and Vineyard

Winehaven Winery and Vineyard is Chisago County’s first estate winery, and is the perfect too-hot-for-comfort, August stop. Around since 1995, Winehaven is four generations deep in the Peterson family. Prior to establishing a vineyard and winery, the Peterson family cultivated bees in the St. Croix River Valley. The honeybee on the label is a homage to  the Peterson’s honey.

The vineyard is 15 acres of different winter-hardy grapes. One variety of grape, Chisago, was developed by Kevin and Kyle Peterson and patented in 2008, adding yet another accolade to the Peterson heritage. They have won more than 200 awards, have been featured in Wine Spectator magazine, USA Today and ranked number one in Minnesota in case production by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Winehaven offers 19 types of wine, with distinctive flavors that are reflective of the region like Cranberry, Nokomis, Rhubarb, Grapewinds Port, Edelweiss, Frontenac Gris, Raspberry, Slippery Slope White Ice, and Deer Garden Blush. I myself, brought home a bottle of Just Peachy, my new favorite Minnesota wine.

I stopped in for a tasting and stayed for the incredible panoramic views from the patio – which makes sense as it is  located in the heart of Minnesota’s scenic Chisago Lakes area, situated between three lakes; Lake Ellen, Green Lake, and Lake Martha. The sloping hillsides are the perfect backdrop for a wedding, meeting up outside the city or for those just passing through in need of a relaxing atmosphere.

The Northern Tavern and Grill

Last time I went to Taylor’s Falls and Franconia Sculpture Park, I stopped in and added The Northern Tavern and Grill to the #mnbucketlist. Right on the highway in Chisago City, right between Lake Martha and Little Green Lake sits this uber-popular sports bar that boasts one of the best sunset views on the eastern side of the state. Northern was crawling with Bikers, Hot Wings and Cold Beer when I was there but it’s a year-round favorite. Hang out on their huge patio during the summers for bonfires and a game of bags or come in the winter, pull up a snowmobile and warm up with Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers. They also have Bingo and Burger Mondays, daily specials and Frickles (deep fried pickle chips). And since there is limited options for food like this in the area and with desserts like Tuxedo Cake and Fudgy Wudgy Cake, you can surely count me in. You can catch BUZN 102.9 there on occasion, too!