Day #88 – Yet another winery stay

LOCATION:  New Prague, Minnesota – just south of Minneapolis
CAMPGROUND:  Next Chapter Winery. Another Harvest Host site.  Harvest Host camping is in their wedding parking lot, right next to the vineyard.  Friendly owner/host.  Indoor wine-tasting area plus outdoor patio.  Music and food trucks on most weekends.  4 stars out of 5
WEATHER:  Minnesota is experiencing an unusual heat wave.  High 95
DISTANCE DRIVEN:  2 hours

In no hurry to rush to the winery, we hung out at Oxbow Park in the morning.  I did my last hike, then some friends came out for coffee. 

We have enjoyed our stay here.  We will probably return to the Rochester area again next summer, and will stay here again…..We will book way ahead of time so we get a site with electricity for our entire stay!

Then, on to this winery.  Our route took us through the small town of Pine Island.  UH-OH!  They were having a Cheese Fest with a parade.  The parade route was our route, too!  Since that street was blocked, we tried going down some side streets.  Most were blocked, as the parade route turned and wound itself through the town.  The streets were narrow, as cars were parked along both sides.  We had to turn into a residential area where it was super crowded, due to cars parked for graduation parties.  What a mess!  I was SO afraid that one of the streets would dead-end, and we would be stuck.  Finally, we just re-traced our steps and went back the way we came, into the country.  From there, we took an alternate route avoiding Pine Island.  Whew!

This winery is quite nice.  The owner met us and guided us in his ATV to our camping area.  This is a popular place for weddings.  The server told me they had had ones on Friday and Saturday.  We are parked in their overflow parking lot, used for weddings.

Here is the view from our front door, looking toward the winery…

  Since it was beastly hot, and without electricity (A/C), we headed in to their cool  indoor wine tasting area.  There was music on the patio where most people were sitting.  I bought a bottle of their driest red wine called “Wedding Bliss”, appropriate for our wedding parking lot location. 

They serve local craft beers, so George bought a can.  He also bought bottles of rum and whiskey which they make here, too.  So, our “free” Harvest Host site cost us quite a bit!  🙂 

My high school friend Nancy joined us.  We had a great time sipping wine and catching up.    We ordered  dinner from the food truck as it was way too hot to cook.  We sat in the shaded wedding reception area and ate.  The food truck served smoked meats.  George and I split their ribs (delicious) and Nancy had carnitas (tacos with shredded pork). 

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