Things are sparkling and expanding at Four Daughters.
That’s a sign of success.
“We just got our kegs of Loon Juice, and we’re excited to get it on our shelves…it’s our sparkling hard cider made from Honeycrisp apples,” said Four Daughters co-proprietor Vicky Vogt, showing off the jazzy five-liter kegs of hard cider she describes as having a “bright” taste.
She is also excited about the expansion of the winery that’s been in progress since late spring as a means to make room for more people to celebrate larger and more occasions at the vineyard and winery.
Four Daughters has stood on its current footprint for nearly three years now, but its wine selection has been growing enough — including the recent introduction of Loon Juice — that the production room where most of the special events, such as weddings, organizations’ fundraisers and gatherings of friends, is no longer large enough to accommodate such celebrations.
“We’ve added our sparkling La Crescent, we’re working on a sparkling Zinfandel, our Big Boy…we’re gearing up for our harvest again in early September, which means our production room is full, and we’re storing our event supplies in other places,” she said. “When we first started, we were able to fit 150 in the production room, but now it’s 80 on a good day. The new event space will have room for 300. We’ll have more kitchen and storage, more event space…we’ve amped up production so much that there’s not much room for events right now. We’ve become the biggest wine-producing winery in southeast Minnesota.
“I think the whole thing goes together hand in hand, in one big (picture). Now our food is a big part of us, too, and all the components put together — good wine and food put together – all works.”
The venue has become a popular place for weddings and receptions, and that was one of the deciding factors in determining whether to build in the back yard. The winery’s kitchen was originally designed for servicing its dining seating and the existing production room, but, Vogt noted “we’ve served up to 200 people for weddings out of this kitchen, so we’d like more event kitchen space, and that’s why we’ve decided to build an event kitchen, a divided event center so that we can host more than one event at a time, we’ll have a bride’s room and a pre-production room, and more case storage. We’ll still have smaller weddings in the production room, but that will allow us to do more events, open up some opportunities. We have a lot of weddings booked for next year, and we’ve been really busy booking events.”
Construction of the winery’s expansion project began late this spring and is expected to be completed before the snow flies. The Vogts’ plans for the new event hall are organic in structure and meant to convey the ambiance of a working winery.
“I’m excited about moving our oak barrels to the event space for continuity with the rest of the building,” she said. “Part of the production will be happening in that space as well, and it will give us expansion space, because we don’t have much production space. It’ll have the same openness, about the same color scheme.”
Vogt shared that the east wall of the venue will have glass rollup garage doors that will let them have open air events if they want to, and there will be a patio on the whole east side that people can access to enjoy a beautiful day indoors and out.
The winery and vineyard’s calendar is filled, with a 200-seat “Moonlight Dine in the Vines” event set for Sept. 6, as well as several other events the Vogts have arranged.
“We’ll do dinner out in the vines, under the full moon,” she noted. “We have been really busy with our own events…we do plan our own — we have a yoga class and a ‘canvas and chardonnay’ class coming up. We’re hoping that with the new kitchen, we’ll be able to do cooking classes, something new. There’s a lot of exciting things going on. We’re always growing and always changing.”
Four Daughters is located just before the intersection of highways 16 and 63 outside of Spring Valley. For more information, call (507) 346-7300, log onto the vineyard and winery’s website at fourdaughtersvineyard.com, or find them on Facebook.