CAMPGROUND: Another Harvest Host site. This is a winery called Round Lake, on Round Lake. It is absolutely breathtaking. We are parked along the lake on a graveled area. One other Harvest Hoster – another Airstream! Restaurant connected to the winery. No services, but we can use their wifi. Free. 5+ stars
LOCATION: Round Lake, Minnesota, in far SW part of state
WEATHER: All over the place. AM thunderstorms, PM sun and warm, 75
After listening to the coyotes during the night at the Harvest Host farm, we awoke to lightning and thunder all around us. The sky turned dark. The farmer was out in his field, trying to get some work done before it started raining again.
Our drive was about 150 miles today, on back roads, through eastern South Dakota, across the NW edge of Iowa, then into Minnesota. We saw A LOT of corn! There were a lot of bad patches in the road, from flooding earlier in the year.
We stopped for lunch in Orange City, Iowa. It is a Dutch community, with names like VanderPlug and Vandermeer all around. Neat as a pin, of course. Several Dutch Reformed churches. It is a sister city of Pella, Iowa where I went to college. Both towns, as well as another sister town – Holland, Michigan celebrate with a big Tulip Festival each spring. Here, there are windmills everywhere.
The downtown square is quite cute with more windmills and Dutch wooden shoes
On to Minnesota….
We approached thi winery through a lackluster town, then a nondescript highway. We turned into the lane, and WOW! The winery/vineyard is down a one-mile lane, with grapes growing on both sides. At the end of the lane sits Round Lake. We gasped when it came into view. It was so unexpected. The shoreline forms the edge of the grounds of the winery/vineyard. We checked in at the tasting room/restaurant, and they instructed us to park along the lakefront. Wow!
This is right out of our front door – a dock so boaters can tie up to eat/drink here.
The grounds are spectacular. They are set up for outdoor weddings and receptions. They told us they have one every weekend. There is a little cabin along the lake used by the brides to get ready for their big day. The owners have a house on the property, too.
We tasted some wine, then took a walk around. George tasted the grapes, which they will harvest next week.
Their wines are surprisingly good. To support the winery, we bought two bottles. They make some wine, mostly the whites, from their own grapes, but import California grapes for the dry reds, which is what we bought.
DINNER: We ate at their restaurant, outside on the patio, in perfect weather. We shared a wild mushroom/sausage flatbread pizza and some salted edamame. (Iowa farmers probably think it is very strange to eat these soybeans!) We chatted with the owner and his parents, also sitting outside for dinner.
What a great experience!!!!!!!!