Wine, winter, win-win
The wineries that make up Waconia Wine Country are hosting a celebration of the season with mulled wine, food, wine samples, microbrews, music and more. This is a rescheduled event; the original Winter Wassail Weekend in December was canceled due to weather. Now, it's one day of touring, sipping and fun from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 4, at Parley Lake Winery, Sovereign Estate and Schram Vineyards.
Tickets are $35 (must be 21 or older) and include a complimentary wine glass for three samples at each of the wineries. Visit each website for a list of particular events. At Sovereign, for instance, they'll have sleigh rides and a glass-etching artist to customize gifts and wine bottles. Register at parleylakewinery.com, sovereignestatewine.com or schramvineyards.com.
Lakewinds looking for makers' ideas
Lakewinds Food Co-ops, with stores in Richfield, Minnetonka and Chanhassen, have opened 2017 by launching a first-of-its-kind Maker to Market incubator program to connect makers, farmers and retailers and foster long-term economic success for all involved. The co-op is partnering with the Good Acre, a nonprofit food hub with a licensed commercial kitchen that primarily works with low-income, immigrant and independent farmers. The goal is for independent food makers to turn their ideas into reality using the harvest of small Minnesota farmers. Once there, the Lakewinds team will help with marketing and retailing at its co-ops.
They're seeking applications from local and regional food producers not currently selling in retail. Products will be evaluated for program selection based on taste, uniqueness of the product, trend in category, adherence to Lakewinds product standards, and number of ingredients with the potential to be sourced from the Good Acre Farmer Network.
For details and a link to apply, visit lakewinds.coop/community/maker-to-market/. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 30.