Feather River Vineyards Review
Address: 5700 South East State Farm Rd. North Platte,Nebraska 69103.
Phone Number: 308-696-0078
Tasting Hours: 1:00-6:00
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 5/25/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Deep ruts scarred the muddy, dirt roads leading south from Interstate 80, near North Platte, that took us to Feather River Vineyards. These roads, lined by relatively young but blooming trees on either side, soon lead into the thirty-five planted acres of vineyard that Feather River maintains, making it one of if not the largest planted vineyard in the state of Nebraska.
Upon entering the tasting room, we were given a warm greeting and started our tasting. We were well attended to the entire time, and Connie, who was very knowledgeable, took the time to talk to us about the entire operation, and the wine she was clearly quite passionate about. The interior of the tasting room is bright and clean and has windows that overlook the winemaking room and vats. Throughout the room, we found unique objects make of wine barrels such as bottle racks and large oblong bowls. We were impressed by both the price and intrigue of these items and though we typically don’t buy souvenirs in winery gift shops, came home with one of the wine barrel bowls that now sits in the center of our dining room table and is filled with corks from our travels and from some of our favorite vintners.
Outside of the tasting room is a large pergola-covered patio and lots of open green space. A gazebo is nestled in the corner of the space and would be perfect for a small gathering of friends. Beyond the green space begins rolling hills with vines, and off to the right a few cattle gathered the day we visited. We might venture to say Nebraska is one of few places that you can enjoy the view of cattle grazing and grape vines in the same panorama.
The wines at Feather River represent a broad swath of what can be done in the state of Nebraska. The whites err on the side of sweet, which is to be expected in this region. We favored the blends, in particular those made for the colder seasons such as “Frosty’s White” and “Winter White,” as well as the 2010 Seyval Blanc, which is a respectable dry white wine offering. The reds and blushes were nice as well, the “Sarabande” rose and the “Rendezvous” blend being two of our favorites. Their Marechal Foch was also very nice, with the smoothness you expect of this varietal but with more oak than some and a dry finish reminiscent more of a Malbec than the Pinot Noir we often compare it to. It is also worth noting that while wines in this region typically run anywhere from $15 to $28 a bottle, Feather River’s wines are all priced at a very reasonable $12, which may be why we left with nearly half a case of wine.
Conveniently located just south of I80, Feather River is an easy stop when traveling across the state of Nebraska. With its reasonably priced wines, scenic views, and unique collection of wine souvenirs, Feather River is a worthwhile visit either as your destination or even if you are just passing through.