Motoring up Lutsen Mountain’s Ski Hill Road, you’ve likely noticed welcoming and playful signs for the area’s latest landmark: North Shore Winery and Sawtooth Mountain Cider House. Curiosity won me over and on our last 142C visit, I popped in during Bluegrass Sunday.
What a gem! Nestled among a lovely forest of pine, cedar and maples, flanked by a sweet berry patch and wildflower meadow, here you will find a pretty nice slice of North Shore paradise with a Superior view, knowledgeable hosts and delightful libations.
With home-spun and soulful blue grass music filling the air, I parked the car and was impressed to see so many folks + families of all ages enjoying the sunny Sunday afternoon in this friendly spot.
The helpful server recommended I try the Viognier, which was crisp and refreshing, not too sweet. It was tough to choose given the menu plays off some familiar favorites: the Lutsen Blend, Blue Fin Bay, Boundary Waters, Artists Point and Cascade Blend. And, their cider choices include Herbie’s Blend, sweetened with Caribou Crème maple syrup, and Moose Joose made with dolgo crabapple for a crisp, fresh taste. The busy crew was also serving up wood-fired homemade pizzas that were hot, bubbly and topped with tasty ingredients!
It was a pleasure to meet owners Chuck and Kim (pictured here behind the bar), so gracious, easy-going and busy! They made guests feel right at home, offering tastings, tips and sips to curious visitors, sharing their favorites and recommending the winery’s signature ciders and wines.
Area artists also have a main-stage display inside; stay a bit to marvel at their work that celebrates the allure, beauty and magic of the North Shore.
And, happily, North Shore Winery offers the best souvenirs I’ve found yet in Lutsen —besides treasured memories, that is!
If you swing in for a sip, be sure to share your favorites. Oh, and given I’m not well-versed in the white wine genre, this overview on Wine Folley offers an interesting comparison between Chardonnay & Viognier. Cheers! xo