by Urmila Ramakrishnan
Northfolk Winery, located near Stark, will celebrate its spring opener May 9 and 10.
Owners Mike and Ann Tessneer will host a gourmet pizza night on Friday, May 9, at the winery. They’ll also kick off the first concert of their folk music series Saturday, May 10.
This is the second folk music concert series the husband-and-wife duo have hosted.
“It really gained momentum by the end of the year,” Ann said.
This year’s kickoff is the day before Mother’s Day. Sarah Krueger will be performing her original folk-rock numbers at 7 p.m. Saturday. Though folk enthusiasts will have to pay $15 to see her, there will be a free opening concert, performed by Kenny Krona from 2:30-4:30 p.m. There will also be a wine tasting for $5, where customers can sample seven of the 15 wines Northfolk sells. Participants are also welcome to buy a glass or bottle.
The couple hopes to see more people than last year.
“Depends on if it’s raining or snowing,” Mike said. “Last year (in October), we had 75-100 out listening to the concert and about 25 inside snacking and drinking wine.”
Other artists this year are The Pines — Ann’s favorite folk band — and Ann Reed. Barley Jackson will also be part of the concert series.
Mike and Ann started the winery six years ago. They strive to make everything from local fruit, and currently 80 percent of the wines are locally sourced.
“We still are getting some stuff from the West Coast,” Mike said. “Fruits like pears don’t do well in Minnesota, and we buy 600-800 pounds of pears. Even if you find someone (in Minnesota) with pears, they maybe have like 40 pounds. That won’t help us.”
They’ve also increased production since inception. This year the winery has ramped up about 1,200-1,300 cases of wine, compared to 70 cases in its first year.
This year, they’ll offer a new three-berry cabernet-esque wine, which showcases Saskatoon berries, elderberries, blueberries and black currant. Blackhawk Red — a combination of a malbec frontenac wine — is a popular red and La Crescent. These and some of their fruit wines, like the apple wine, will be available May 10.
Northfolk Winery is located at 43150 Blackhawk Road, Harris. Tickets can be purchased in person, by phone at 651-674-7548 or by email at [email protected]