Miletta Vista Winery Review
Address: 1732 Highway 281 St. Paul,Nebraska 68873.
Phone Number: 308-754-4416
Tasting Hours: Sun, Wed, Thurs 1:00-5:00; Fri 1:00-8:00, Sat 11:00-8:00
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 5/11/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Though we have needed its heat and light for thousands of years, fire is often a destructive force, engulfing homes, forests, and the occasional winery. In the dry summer heat of 2012, Miletta Vista Winery, located just north of St. Paul, Nebraska, succumbed to the flames, extinguishing five years of hard work and progress for Mick and Loretta McDowell. Just two years later, however, the only hint that the winery was burnt to the ground can be found framed on the tasting room wall, or else spoken on the lips of the staff and locals who clearly recall the fear that the town would lose its greatest attraction. Today, Miletta Vista is a thriving winery, and a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.
We visited Miletta Vista on a dreary Sunday afternoon, Mothers Day to be exact. As we entered the spacious tasting room, moms of many ages sat enjoying a glass of wine with their families, and the last of a Mothers Day brunch buffet was situated on one side of the room. We were told they had two seating times that day for the brunch event and were finally slowing down. The tasting room at Miletta Vista, complete with crystal wine glasses, does indeed make a great setting to treat Mom. Through the many windows that wrap the tasting room, you can see the lush green of the countryside and vineyard meet the gray hazy sky an amazing view even on a drab day like this. Outside is a large covered seating area that looks as though it might double the capacity of the tasting room. Although the city of St. Paul, Nebraska, is quaint with a population of just under 2,000, the views from the tasting room at Miletta Vista beckon visitors from around the country and even around the globe to visit, a point proven by the maps hung in the tasting room. First one of the United States, then one of Nebraska, then one of the entire globe, each marked by push pins from the winerys many visitors.
The owners, Mick and Loretta (MIck and LorETTA) are two of the most personable and interesting winery owners weve met on our many travels, and each took time to speak with us on more than one occasion, talking about everything from local events to the winemaking process to how they selected the specific Riedel decanters they serve their bottles in. Always, they were smiling, as they swept about the tasting room checking up on every guest. Mick even offered us a tour. Unfortunately, most of their other staff seemed content to stand idly behind the bar and offered little assistance, not even a smile, but the diligence and personalities of the owners picked up most of the slack of their lackluster employees.
For the white wine drinker, MV has nine offerings, ranging from what is labeled off-dry to sweet in the tasting notes. Truth be told, all of the wines err on the sweeter side, but one or two of the dryer offerings possess a crispness and minerality that is uncommon in Great Plains varietals. The red wine drinker has five to choose from, including St. Croix, Noiret, and a few blends as well. Here Mick continues to experiment with the oak aging. While the wines are not aged much (bottled about two weeks ago we were told about one by a tasting room attendant) they have a unique quality to them, light-bodied yet dry. Even the big bold Cab drinkers among our party enjoyed the Wolf River Red, a blend of Marquette and DeChaunac grapes with a pleasant French vanilla finish that could only have come from oak.
All things being equal, Miletta Vista is one of the most intriguing and enjoyable Nebraska wineries we have visited. The story of their new, gorgeous tasting room and the views it provides, high quality wines, passionate owners, and rural, Nebraska location all combine to make Miletta Vista a place we strongly encourage you to visit.