Grapes, much like water, naturally exist in three forms: solid, liquid, and raisin. Imbibe the fruit's most drinkable state with today's Groupon: for $30, you get two bottles of house-label wine, a cheese and sausage tray, and three samples of regional wines (a $66 value) at Indian Creek Orchard Winery & Grille in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.
Home to a huge flock of fruit shrubbery, Indian Creek’s orchard of plum, crab-apple, and pear trees in Frederic, Wisconsin, is a shrine to fermentable globoids. The winery turns these tasty wares into palate-pleasing liquids rich with malic acid and sprightly flavor-notes to bolster its long list of wines ($22 per bottle). Surprise your tongue with one of the seven orchard-sourced varieties—such as the pinot grigio-esque honeycrisp apple wine or the semi-sweet Indian summer blush—or peruse the carte du vin to find other locally-squeezed versions. A tray of meats and cheeses accompanies these libations ($10), as well as two samples of three wines from the cellar’s extensive collection of local, national, international, and interstellar bottles ($2 per sample). Indian Creek serves only local fare and features regular live music, providing ample opportunities for post-degustation enjoyment.
Wineries and Grille in St Croix Falls
The story of Wineries and Grille in St Croix Falls began at a picturesque Wisconsin orchard. Former owners Linda and Mike Welch were busy crafting delicious apple wines from the fall’s harvest when the phone rang. "I’ve got 20 pails of ripe grapes,” the voice on the other end of the line said. “What do I do with them?" Out of the goodness of their hearts, Mike and Linda sprung into action, blending the grapes with their apples to create unique local wines. Their process evolved, as did their humble orchard, which now encompasses Wineries and Grille. Though they have since sold the orchard, they continue to produce apple and grape wines. They also market and sell wines from other local makers who have a talent for making outstanding vintages but struggle with the vagaries of marketing, sales, or convincing customers that some bottles contain genies.
Linda and Mike have a knack for tracking down Wisconsin’s best wines, partnering with producers such as Seven Hawks Vineyards to spread forward-thinking drinks. They sell new wines crafted from cold-weather hardy grapes at the University of Minnesota. They also carry national labels, such as Canyon Road from California, which is specially crafted for dining, and international labels from Spain, South Africa, and elsewhere. But even stronger than Linda and Mike's love for ambrosials is their love for St. Croix Falls and its local produce and game. Their son Greg uses these local ingredients to create hearty entrees with elk, rainbow trout, and hand-cut steaks. They pair smoked pork chops and crisp salads with bricks of homemade fudge and cheesecake, for meals that highlight the subtle flavors in their wines and leave diners yearning for more.