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Four Daughters breaks ground on expansion

Fri, Jun 6th, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley Features

Co-owner Vicky Vogt stands in front of wine selections at Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery. Photo by Barb Jeffers

When Vicky Vogt first dreamed of starting a vineyard and opening a winery, she, like all new business owners, hoped it would do well. After opening the doors of Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery on December 15, 2011 the business has so exceeded expectations for owners Gary and Vicky Vogt that an expansion on the winery building has been started ahead of schedule. Groundbreaking for the 8,000 square foot addition took place on May 29, 2014 and is scheduled to be finished in late fall 2014.

As the name of the business describes, yes, Gary and Vicky have four daughters. Vicky states that opening the winery was a way to get her children back home and into a form of agriculture as the four daughters did not want to farm corn or soybeans, but she thought they may be interested in wine and they were. Two of the daughters moved back home to work at the winery and two son-in-laws work there full-time as well.

The four daughters and their families are 1) Shawn - married to Patrick Sween with five children: Kieran, Lucca, Rowan, Calum, and Eliot. 2) Erin - married to Tim Stromberg. 3) Kristin - married to Justin Osborne with three children: Henry, Evan, and Archie. 4) Justine - married to Dan Prieve with two children: Kalvin and Isla.

It was always the intention of the owners to build an addition onto the winery but did not have it in their business plan to happen this soon. The first year Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery produced 8,000 gallons of wine and this past year production jumped to 26,000 gallons creating the need for additional space for production now.

Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery has a total of six acres of grapevines used to produce wine for the business each year and the person in charge of the vines is Vineyard Manager Patrick Sween. As you can imagine taking care of such a vast amount of grapevines cannot be an easy task but based on the quality of wine that is produced at the winery Patrick does a magnificent job.

Justin Osborne, the Winemaker, went to school and did a lot of research which provided him with the knowledge to become very creative and also extremely successful at his craft. Vicky states that some of their most popular wines are the Sparkling Pinot Noir, Marquette, and Big Boy Blend.

The Sparkling Pinot Noir is described as “a full and grapey wine with big flavors and a hint of sparkle” on the business website ( The Marquette is a dry red described as “a complex wine” representing a “new standard in Minnesota Wines” explains the site. The Big Boy Blend is a “rich and hearty red wine with depth and complexity” and “everyone loves it,” stated Vicky. They are also just releasing a hard cider and it is “pretty good stuff” says Vicky.

According to Kristin Osborne, the planned event center and additional production space will double the current square footage of the winery putting the final size at 18,000 square feet. The new construction will include a large event space, a pre-function area, two smaller rooms to be used as bridal changing rooms and an additional area for wine storage. The entire space will also be used for additional wine production throughout.

Erik Aleven, Executive Chef at Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery, is very excited about the expansion as the kitchen will be quadruple its current size. With the larger space they will be able to offer chef’s classes right in the kitchen.

Vicky Vogt said that the menu Aleven prepares is never ordinary adding there is always a twist with his creations which contain many local ingredients. While visiting the kitchen last Monday, Aleven was busy preparing pork rib and bacon corn dogs and also rueben ravioli as part of a meal to be served that evening for a group from Hormel Foods of Austin, Minn.

Vicky states that with large businesses such as Hormel in Austin and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. the winery gets visitors from all over the world and said it’s fun to talk to such a vast variety of clientele. She also loves to see people from the area who stop in on a regular basis saying she has acquired “a lot of new friends” through the business.

Wine tasting is available all day, every day, with no reservations needed. Many varieties of on-site produced wines are available for wine tasting at a reasonable price of $5, or if you would like to have a souvenir, wine tasting with a logo glass to take home costs $9.

The kitchen offers an array of items on the menu including snacks and boards, pizzas, and plates. Some of the items on the menu are so interesting you want to order them just to try something new and different. A few examples are Bacon Guacamole, Brie and Blueberry pizza, and Nord Dog Sliders. The kitchen is always open during business hours and the menu is constantly changing.

Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery hosts many events including birthday parties, corporate events, retirement parties, showers, and has been used many times as a very unique site for weddings and receptions. The focus is on “creating a unique winery experience for all guests,” states Kristin Osborne.

Many exclusive experiences are planned for the upcoming summer and fall. Thursday Night Gourmet Dinners and Tour with the Winemaker are special events for small groups where the attendee’s enjoy hors d’oevres and wine while talking with the winemaker and are treated to a special tour followed by three additional courses along with a variety of wines.

Moonlight Dine in the Vines gives guests the rare opportunity to take pleasure in a several course gourmet meal under the stars and amid the grapevines with the added ambiance of a full moon. The first Dine in the Vines affair on June 12, 2014 will spotlight local growers. The final Dine in the Vines event on September 9, 2014 will be a New England-style Lobster Boil. On June 25, 2014 Executive Chef Erik and his kitchen staff will prepare a meal in a slightly different style in which the ingredients are chosen by the guests. This event is called “Chopped!” and is based on the Food Network series. Reservations are necessary for special events as group size is limited.

A small gift shop area gives visitor’s a chance to purchase wine related souvenirs, clothing, utensils, decorative items, and more. You are sure to find something special here for your friends and family that are wine lovers.

The owners and 40 employees at Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery certainly use creativity whether it be in their flavorful wine blends, the exceptional food, or the earthy, modernistic atmosphere the building and grounds create. The staff are very friendly and make you feel as if you have known them for years. The Vogt family says the culture is “a blend of Minnesota-nice and casual elegance” which pair together well with a glass of wine and good friends or family.

Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery is located at 78757 Highway 16, Spring Valley, Minn. at the intersection of Highways 16 and 63. Hours are Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

If you are unable to journey to the vineyard wine can be purchased from the online store. Products will also be available at retail locations soon. For more information on the winery visit Reservations are suggested for groups larger than six. The phone number is (507) 346-7300.

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