Labor Day weekend 2011: Saturday in St. Croix

Well, to start….the Hawkeyes won their opening game yesterday (“won” is a bit of an understatement, seeing as the score was 34-7), so it was a happy home.

DT and I drove up to my parents’ house (about 45 minutes north of the cities) and from there, crossed the border to Wisconsin, specifically St. Croix Falls (about 30 minutes from my dad and mom’s), and from there, drove a bit further to Chateau St. Croix winery.

It was a lovely day for a drive.

to Taylor's Falls

View as we headed into Taylor's Falls.

WI drive 1

Wisconsin country

WI drive 2

We’re heeeeeeere!

Chateau driveway

Chateau front

The winery is beautiful….inspired by the owners’ time spent in Germany.  It looks like a European castle – stately and traditional.  Inside, it feels almost like a lodge – a fancy lodge at that.

Our visit started out with a tour of the winery.  We began out by the vines, where there were also some animal friends.

ducks

sheep

turkeys

The ducks, sheep, and turkeys help balance the soil with their grazing and, erm, fertilization.  It’s like a little vine-wine ecosystem!

Then we moved on to the production room.

production room

tank post-it

Pinot Grigio in this tank.

bottling machine

Bottling machine

labels

Wine labels

On to the barrel room….

barrel room

The wine will sit in the barrels for one-two years.

Port wall

Mom and me in front of the Port wall.

tasting room

Tasting room

cheese cake

Cheese case....Oooo.

tasting bar

wine

Wine wine wine

chairs

Dining room

Dining room

knight

Sir Knightalot of the Chateau dining room.

That ends the tour, now to taste some wine!  We each got five samples and two cheese plates to share.

wine toast

Winery cheers!

cheese plate

Cheese, crackers, and chocolate, a-yum. Yes, that is green cheese....laced with mint. The purple cheese was made with Port and was DEElish.

It was a glorious, sunny, fall-ish-feeling kind of day.  The perfect kind of day to sip some wine outside.

Mom, Dad, DT

Mom, Dad, DT

DT and me

DT and me

The unanimous favorite was the Chateau’s Zinfandel, filled with rich, jammy flavor.

After a solid couple of hours at the winery, we made our way back to St. Croix Falls.  Lovely little downtown!

St. Croix Falls

St. Croix Falls

It was nearing dinnertime, so we stopped off at Grecco’s to eat.

Grecco's

Grecco’s is a bright, eclectic bistro with a sophisticated menu, overlooking the St. Croix River.  It is divided into four dining rooms with an open kitchen in the back of the restaurant.

Greccos hall

View from the entrance down the hall.

mural

blue room

Blue bar room

Grecco's bar

Grecco's bar

Grecco's room

Our dining room

doorway

kitchen

Open kitchen

Even the bathrooms were nifty!

bathroom sink

Glass rocks in the sink....love that!

bathroom wall

Lady on the bathroom wall

We started with a couple of appetizers.  Mom and I shared the hummus plate:

hummus

The hummus was chunky and garlicky – served with bread and zucchini slices.  The bread was scrumptious; dense, spongy, sweet – almost biscuit-like.

Dad and DT tried the tuna tartar:

tuna tartar

Photo credit: Pops.

I hear it was mighty tasty.

For our main courses….

shrimp linguini

DT had the linguini with prawns in lobster cream sauce.

Mom had the tuna tartar (already photographed above).

caprese

I had a beautiful Caprese salad with pesto and balsamic reduction.

Dad had the risotto with bacon.  He said it was too monochrome to photograph.

We all devoured our meals and raved about our selections.  Full, happy tummies all around.

We rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and hit the road again.

to Taylor's Falls

Back to Minnesota

St. Croix River

St. Croix River

We stopped by a little old church at the top of the hill in Taylor’s Falls.

church

church sign

church plaque

The church was an enlisting site for Civil War soldiers....crazy!

view 1

View from the hill

view 2

What a delightful day!  After all that, it was time to head home and put on stretchy pants.  😉

Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend!

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One Comment on “Labor Day weekend 2011: Saturday in St. Croix”

  1. […] Mine has been lovely.  The perfect mix of work and play, as I earlier predicted.  Yesterday was the play part….we started the afternoon with a visit to Chateau St. Croix Winery with my family.  Remember when we did this last year? […]


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