Planting began at Round Lake Vineyards in the spring of 2007. Today we grow over 19,000 vines across four vineyards in seven blocks. The first block was three varieties: La Crescent, Frontenac Gris and Marquette. Today those are still some of our most treasured vines producing some of our best and most award-winning wines. The rich black soils under our feet are streaked with fractions of sand and gravel to benefit the drainage, yet give our wines great mineral character. The well water on the property reflects the strong odor of iron and minerals, which translates to the wines we grow.
The second block planted in 2008 gave us St. Pepin, Brianna, two of the most distinct wines produced by the winery. Many people say they’ve had these wines from other wineries and ours are unique. I credit that in part to the soil and sun at Round Lake.
Today we’ve added Petite Pearl, Sabrivois, King of the North, Petite Amie, Frontenac Blanc and Louise Swenson, plus more Marquette. Grapes always draw from their location and Marquette is true to this statement. We’ve got the Marquette grape growing in three different blocks and each gives very unique characteristics. One may be lighter and fruity whereas another may be richer and more complex.
The last grape we planted was Itasca. This is a grape developed by Peter Hemstedt when he was at the University of Minnesota. It grows like nothing else on our land, putting on strong canes and beautiful bunches. When Peter visited our vineyard, before the vine was even released or named, I told him this location would be for his next great grape. The south-facing slope was once a pasture to buffalo then horses and runs from the crest of the hill north of the winery towards the south. Its sandy loam offers great drainage for both water and air and the rich topsoil holds great nutrients. It’s the perfect vineyard location to grow grapes.