It may come as a surprise, but Nebraska wineries are flourishing. The uninitiated
would be forgiven for thinking that growing wine in Nebraska is almost impossible,
given the state’s harsh and fluctuating weather.
However, a tour around the wineries in Nebraska shows that to be far from the
case – instead of proving an insurmountable obstacle, the weather has been used
to cultivate hardy, resilient grapes that make astoundingly palatable wines.
As such, wine tourism is now a burgeoning trade, and more and more people every
year are using their vacations
to this state to sample wine in Nebraska.
Of the twenty or so vineyards operating today, Cathills Vineyards in Pierce is considered the oldest of the in-state wineries in Nebraska. Set in a scenic spot surrounded by rolling hills, the winery produces great wine at affordable prices. It’s also an extremely inviting complex of buildings: the main building is a remodeled barn, and the barrel room is alluringly cavernous. These can be rented out for special occasions such as weddings.
Another well-established producer of wine in Nebraska is the Soaring Wings Vineyard. Just south of Omaha, it overlooks the Platte River, which makes for an eminently tranquil setting. Soaring Wings Vineyard is one of the family-run wineries in Nebraska, and the hospitable, homey feeling here is tangible. What’s more, the wine is considered excellent, and has won over 120 prizes in international competitions since the winery started competing back in 2004. Soaring Wings Vineyard also does a nice line in event hosting, with a weekly acoustic music session, and a yearly Wine and Blues Festival in spring attracting visitors from the surrounding area.
Other vineyards in Nebraska include the James Arthur Vineyards, which is to be found north of Lincoln, and Schilling Bridge. The latter is a good stop for those who like their beer as much as their wine, as the winery also doubles as a microbrewery that specializes in a wide range of ales, lagers, and stouts.
While the main clump of Nebraska wineries is to be found towards Iowa and Missouri in the east, each winery is a fair drive from the next, meaning visitors who want to experience more than one will be best off utilizing car rentals. Once you have a set of wheels, it’s quite possible to enjoy a vacation simply touring the twenty or so wineries in Nebraska; you could start east and slowly make your way west, or vice versa. Such a vacation could utilize the many cheap hotels and motels to be found throughout Nebraska, as staying in these will save money and therefore allow you to really make the most of wine tasting sessions!
What’s more, such a vacation could take in Nebraska’s many tourist attractions.
For example, the city of Omaha includes the Henry Doorly Zoo, the Joslyn
Art Museum, and the evocative Old
Market, while Lincoln offers the memorable State
Capitol Building. There’s plenty to see away from the urban areas too, such
as the inimitable Carhenge, and Pioneer Village, which gives visitors a real
taste of Nebraska’s past history. With such sites punctuating visits to Nebraska
wineries, a memorable vacation
is all but guaranteed!