Paul Werni had a lot of time on his hands. After relinquishing the successful landscaping business he helmed for 10 years, his mind wandered to thoughts of what he might do next. A love of well-crafted spirits eventually turned his attentions to books on distillation, which in turn brought him to workshops across the country and tours of distilleries in Austria and Germany. With a few in-depth lessons with experts from a Christian Carl distillery, Werni finally learned enough to create refined, flawless libations, and his own distillery was born. Lauded by critics and connoisseurs alike, 45th Parallel Distillery distills quality vodka pours from local ingredients and zero additives, overseeing the entire process from grain to glass within its facility. In addition to 45th Parallel Vodka?a name derived from the line of latitude on which France's Bordeaux region, Italy?s Piedmont region, and Vermont's Appletini region lie?the distillery also fills bottles with whiskey, limoncello, and Midwest vodka and gin, a budget-friendly alternative to top-shelf spirits that pairs well with mixers or stands alone for delicious home imbibing.
The Water Street Inn & Charlie's Restaurant, which was originally built in the late 19th century as the Lumber Exchange Building, aims to preserve the legacy of the area's industrial pioneers with its faithful restoration of the building's Victorian architecture and artwork. Intricately carved wooden trim and filigree wallpaper run throughout the 41 rooms, and the lobby's original tin ceiling reflects glints of lamplight after being covered in layers of plaster for decades.
In the on-site Irish Pub, barkeeps set pint glasses onto a handcrafted wooden bar that once stood as the counter in the building's original post office. The elaborate dining room hosts breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus with a full list of award-winning, international wines. High ceilings and ornate dining sets in the banquet room add a dash of elegance to wedding dinners. A patio with views of the river makes an inspiring stage for traditional wedding activities such as bobbing for cake.
Northern Vineyards is a shared winery owned by the Minnesota Winegrowers Cooperative, a group of winemakers who own 1- to 15-acre vineyards across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Members grow Frontenac, Prairie Star, and other grape varieties that perform well in the region; since the region has a cold climate and short growing season, grapes grown here must tolerate lower temperatures, ripen early, and be able to knit their own woolen mittens. In the fall, growers lug their mature grapes to the main winery in Stillwater, where award-winning winemaker Robin Partch transforms them into 30 kinds of wine.
The winery?s barrel room hosts wine tastings seven days a week at a glossy, wooden tasting bar. There?s also an outdoor deck that overlooks a historic lift bridge along the St. Croix River. In nice weather, visitors can bring a picnic lunch to enjoy with a glass of wine on the deck.
Ride Man Ride's chauffeurs understand that sliding into the backseat of a Jaguar XJ Super V8 for a ride to a business meeting or a night on the town ups the ante on sophistication. That's why they don three-piece suits that echo the luxury car's sleek façade as they slip behind the wheel, prepared to ferry clients around town in the amenity-stacked vehicle. Passengers can decompress in the car’s heated seats and recline to their back's content, or leverage the privacy screen to watch monster-truck-rally marathons on the backseat DVD player without offending the driver. For the digital passenger, laptop tables securely support personal computers to facilitate connection to the car's WiFi or broadcast their own soundtrack through the cabin. A bottle of Fiji water and dual-zone climate control helps passengers to reach the perfect levels of comfort or acclimate their body temperatures to perfectly match those of high kings.
There?s strength in numbers at Energy Pilates & Fitness: In addition to owner Debra Tourek, there?s 16 experienced and specialized fitness instructors, a childcare manager, and a medical director. They combine their powers to empower students to work their hardest. The team also emphasizes a fun, loose atmosphere, and each class can be easily customized to accommodate a range of workout needs and the current level of gravity. They lead dozens of classes that encompass different styles of Pilates, yoga, cardio workouts, Barrebody classes, and high-intensity interval training. Each instructor prepares his or her own unique workout routines; however, all routines focus on flexibility work, core work, and full-body conditioning. The studio also offers childcare for children 6 weeks old?11 years old during classes for an additional fee.
Taste of Stillwater's annual festival, established in 2011, directs the spotlight toward the palate-popular offerings of local wineries, breweries, restaurants, and food trucks. Throughout the daylong celebration, empty tummies shuffle from station to station filling up on samples of refreshing beverages and foods, fueling bodies to explore the festival grounds' shopping opportunities and to tour Saint Croix Vineyards. Families stake their claim on the lawn area with blankets, foldable chairs, and giant bronze statues of their great-grandfathers before they feast their ears on live music. Taste of Stillwater dedicates a portion of its proceeds to charities including Valley Outreach, a community-based nonprofit organization that supports low-income people with donations of food, clothing, and other necessities.