Falconer Winery, Old Tyler Road, Red Wing, Minnesota

Tradition holds that there are 4 key factors that go into producing a great bottle of wine: climate, terrain, and soil, as well as the techniques used by the wine maker. These things combined are known as the wine's environment, or terroir. There are all kinds of charts out there to illustrate the concept of terroir, from complex to whimsical:

But there's one thing all these charts seem to lack, and that's a big scary falcon. 

It turns out that falcons are an equally important part of the terroir equation, because they keep animals like voles and rabbits, as well as other birds like starlings, from eating the grapes. That means that Falconer Winery isn't just a cool name, but a descriptive part of Red Wing, Minnesota's terroir.

Falconer's 28.4 acre winery is in the Mississippi River bluff valley, and its award-winning wines are produced from cold-hearty grapes. (❄🍇 on the chart.) "In Red Wing, the summers are long, warm and wet; the winters are freezing, snowy and windy; and it is partly cloudy year round."

This is all good to know, but as far as I'm concerned, you know what goes into producing a great bottle of wine? A great-looking winery. 

This one was built in 1958 and has served as a popular events venue, known as equally for its wood-fired pizzas as its frontenacs, marquettes and prairie star wines. 

If it were mine, I'd make its outside patio a little more noteworthy too, like this:

There's plenty of room to enjoy the vineyard's amenities, both inside and out:

Adjacent to the winery is the 3,974 square feet house:

It's light and bright and loaded with potential:

I know just how I would renovate and decorate it: 

Studio McGee's Crestview House project serves as terrific "after" inspiration for the dining room, kitchen, and den as well.







There's also an attractive four-season sunroom as well as three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The city of Red Wing grew around the ancient Barn Bluff on the Mississippi River. It was settled by the Dakota Sioux chief Red Wing in the early 1800's. 

Falconer Winery is about ten minutes west of Barn Bluff.

Later in the century, Barn Bluff was part of Red Wing's industry because of its limestone and the clay deposits near it. Those of you familiar with Red Wing Pottery might have noticed the crocks in front of the fireplace in the den in the listing photo.

Yet another reason why wings are an important part of Red Wing's terroir.

The listing is here.

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