Minn. wineries promoting California-style tours

Minnesota now has 43 licensed wineries, which industry insiders say is enough to promote California-style tours.

A St. Paul Pioneer Press report says the Minnesota Grape Growers Association is holding its annual Cold Climate Conference this weekend in St. Paul. Members there say they’re just beginning to touch on ways to draw more tourists to the area.

For example, Wild Mountain Winery in Taylors Falls has teamed up with three neighboring wineries. Together they’re launching the Upper St. Croix Valley Wine Trail. They’re hoping to lure day-trippers and wine lovers who’ll stop at each destination.

Wild Mountain winemaker Irv Geary says his winery is teaming up with hotels, restaurants and limousine companies. He says the goal is to create a larger tourist destination.