Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Wine, wheat & unwinding at a Wanamingo area winery September 25, 2019

Heritage Wheat Demonstration Day at Aspelund Winery.


VISIT ASPELUND WINERY and Peony Gardens between Kenyon and Wanamingo, and you’ll discover a place of peace. I love this country spot. For its quiet setting. Its beauty. The genuine friendliness of owners Bruce and Dawn Rohl. And the wine.


So many lovely peonies in multitudes of colors, shapes and scents. The Rohls hybridize, grow and sell peony plants. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo, June 2016.


In the spring, I delight in the peony fields bursting with color and fragrance.


A pile of wheat awaits threshing.


In autumn, the changing hues of the surrounding farmland delight me as I sip wine on the tasting room deck.


Separating the wheat with a treadle-powered threshing machine.


This past Sunday afternoon brought a new experience as I watched the threshing of wheat, then grinding into flour. The winery hosted Heritage Wheat Demonstration Day, part of the Cannon Falls Area Historical Society’s Heritage Wheat Project.


First, threshing the wheat.


Grinding and regrinding the wheat into fine flour.


Bruce Rohl grinds the wheat into flour.


After observing that process, I held a deeper appreciation for the early farmers who worked hard to grow, harvest, separate and grind wheat into flour. What a job.



But, oh, the delicious result—the grainy textured bread…



I didn’t just watch this demo, though. I wandered through the vineyard, already harvested. Photographed a golden apple.


Rows of flint corn border the driveway into the winery.


The Rohls grind this flint corn into corn meal for cornbread. They also grow popcorn, offered for sale and also for complementary tasting with their wines.


Examined the towering flint corn the Rohls grow and grind into corn meal.




I paused, too, to photograph a homemade (I think) vehicle parked on the grounds.


A mug of mulled Lady Cara-Mel wine from Aspelund Winery.


And, of course, no visit here is complete without wine, this time mulled and sipped from a mug. Perfect for an autumn afternoon on the deck overlooking the ever-changing Minnesota countryside.

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “Wine, wheat & unwinding at a Wanamingo area winery”

  1. I love places like this and that mulled wine looks really wonderful on a fall afternoon. Perfect outing for a fall day.

  2. valeriebollinger Says:

    What an interesting event in a beautiful setting. Looks and sounds wonderful. I’m glad you were able to attend.

  3. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    What fun! Mick and I visited a winery in Cannon Falls about two weeks ago – Cannon River Winery – and really enjoyed ourselves. We’ll have to add this one to the list, especially now that the leaves are turning!

  4. I remember your spring post about this winery. At the time they were making asparagus wine. Did you ever get to taste it? My friend and I wanted to visit while I was in Minnesota, but we ran out of time.

  5. Ken Wedding Says:

    Aha, my great grandfather, Albert William Rohl (1862-1957) grew up on a farm just outside of Morristown. A distant relative of the winery owners?

  6. Gunny Says:

    The car is really cool. It was a production car I do believe – just not sure what manufacturer.

  7. Missy’s Håndarbeid (Missy’s Crafty Mess) Says:

    I can’t imagine how many long and tedious hours it would take to feed your family. So very interesting to see how things are being done. I’ve been watching a farming documentary series on YouTube. They are living on an Edwardian era farm for a year.

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