Wine for your weekend – winery spotlight

As we’re building a house this summer, there hasn’t been time for much else. We see our friends when we can…a lot of times before, after, or during them helping us build the house! We see our families, generally when they come to see or help with the house. We have date nights at the house sitting on the exposed second floor eating pizza and drinking beer and imaging that some day we’ll do it again, in the same spot, in our finished home, but it will feel much stranger because we’ll be sitting in the middle of a closet.

We have forgone many of our favorite summer things this year in pursuit of home building. Our golf clubs haven’t come out of the basement yet. We have yet to go down to Thursdays on First. And we have yet to take the winding, scenic drive out to Pepin, WI to sit on one of our favorite patios while drinking one of our favorite wines.

So this week when we sat down and talked about how the house was important, but the summer was also slipping away, and we should make time to schedule some of these summer favorites into our days, the first thing that Josh suggested we do was make a date night trip to Villa Bellezza winery for dinner and a flight of their new summer offerings.

This is Villa Bellezza:

The closest thing we’ve found to an Italian palazzo in the Midwest! Featuring a restaurant serving authentic Italian cuisine, a large outdoor patio space, and a full slate of award winning wines, it is one of the best spots around to enjoy an evening sipping wine, enjoying a good meal, walking through the small town of Pepin, and/or sitting down by the river watching the boats go by. If you don’t want to eat at the winery, the Harbor View Cafe down on the water is an excellent meal with a quaint, unique atmosphere. It’s worth a trip to Pepin in and of itself…but we like to pair all trips to Pepin with a stop for wine!

Pepin Nouveau 2018We’ve sampled a vast majority of the wines at Villa Bellezza, but there are two new offerings this season that I’m excited to try and tell you about. The first in the Pepin Nouveau, this is the first wine made from the 2018 harvest, thus it should come as no surprise it’s described first as “young” in the tasting notes. A dry red, the wine is medium bodied, with a fruity aroma and notes of berry. It’s described as a summer wine, good for grilling and festive celebrations. The label features fireworks, so I’m definitely feeling the summer vibes!

Riva 2018The second new wine is Riva, a white wine named for the wineries proximity to the river and Lake Pepin. I just saw Riva released on the winery’s Facebook page, so it’s a brand new offering, and, as 2018 vintage, is a young, new wine in general. The wine is a dry white, and features notes of apricots, peach, and citrus. It’s also a recent award winner taking the gold medal at the Monterey International Wine Competition. Described as the perfect wine for enjoying out on a dock or a boat, this one is also giving me the summer vibes just from its tasting notes!

It’s a beautiful weekend here in the Midwest, and if you can’t make it out to Villa Bellezza, then instead of a specific recommendation, I’ll recommend exploring your own local wine options. Grab a bottle, find a patio space, and make time in the midst of your busyness to enjoy a few moments of relaxation with a glass of something good, and the people who make life good all the time!


Published by Kate

A former Wisconsinite, Kate now resides in southeast Minnesota with her husband where she teaches high school English and theater. She recently completed her master's degree in learning design and technology, and continues to study and advocate for arts integration in the classroom. A recipient of the RISE America grant for high school theater, Kate is working to innovate and expand theater opportunities for the students at PIHS. An avid distance runner, concert pianist, and want-to-be wine aficionado, Kate's blog "ink." is a passion project, embodying all the best parts of life: friends, food, wine, thoughtful conversation, style, and sass!

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