Grape growing in Minnesota is a testament to the benefits of research and resourcefulness. Elmer Swenson, noted horticulturalist, created, among others, the cold-climate Edelweiss and St. Croix varieties.
In addition, decades of research at the University of Minnesota has led to the creation of numerous cold-climate varieties to include Frontenac in 1995. Minnesota’s first American Viticultural Area (AVA), Alexandria Lakes, was created in 2005 at the behest of the owners of Carlos Creek Winery. Most of Minnesota's wineries are located in the southern part of the state near the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.
Tours typically last from 30 to 60 minutes per tour and they are well worth your time to check out the different ones. Each one has their own flavors, beauty, and charm to experience.
What is even more awesome is that most wineries offer free samples of their wines when you go through a tour as well. Some do more formal tasting events as well. The tours are extremely interesting and fun to do too. They aren't just there to sample the wine that you're looking forward to but are actually very informative and you get to meet a lot of like-minded people usually that are also doing the tour. It's always nice to a fellow wine lover! - Be sure to call ahead if you are planning on doing a tour at one of the wineries or vineyards though to check on availability since many of them get very busy during season.