Niobrara Valley Vineyards Review
Address: 90256 State Spur 16F Nenzel,Nebraska 69219.
Phone Number: 402-823-4131
Tasting Hours: Memorial Day-Labor Day: Wed-Sun 2:00-7:00 and by appt.
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 12/26/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Ever since we took our honeymoon in Sonoma, people have been giving us wine as gifts. This is a good thing. Sometimes, however, it comes in masses, for example at Christmas or our anniversary, and when this happens bottles often get tossed into the cellar un-catalogued and en masse for another day. Such was the fate of an inconspicuous bottle of red wine with a diamond-shaped, felt label bearing a yucca plant (a spiky prairie bush) with a hand-written year on the label, a gift from Marks dad who, amongst other things, sells wine.
Several months later Mark ran down into the cellar to grab a bottle for dinner and emerged with that one. With no expectations whatsoever, we opened it up and filled our glasses. Lost in conversation, Mark absentmindedly took a drink of the Nebraska wine between bites. Suddenly it had our whole attention.
Holy s—, Mark blurted out, interrupting, have you tried this yet? Sonja took a drink.
Wow, she replied, letting the interruption go, What is it? Mark looked at the label.
Its a Marquette, he said, clearly a little surprised by the discovery.
Thats seriously good wine, Sonja replied, taking another drink.
I know, came Marks response. Its not good-for-Marquette, its just good wine, period.
A little more than a year later, we visited Niobrara Valley Vineyards, where this delightful bottle had come from. A significant jaunt west of Valentine towards Nenzel on Highway 20, then south, we found ourselves thankful for the four-wheel-drive as we carefully navigated the well-drifted lane that led to the NVV winery and tasting room. Upon our arrival, we were greeted warmly by the owners and found ourselves eager to step inside out of the cold.
After a tour of the immaculately clean if utilitarian facilities, we stepped into the tasting room. On a cold, blustery afternoon in late December, we were the only ones there. Both the tasting room manager and one of the owners were present, and they took the time to talk us through all of our questions while allowing us to taste all of their wines and snack on a small bowl of complimentary cheese.
Currently, the small operation was offering three whites and two reds. The Boss Cow was our favorite white, a flavorful, off-dry white. The two reds available were the Rancher Red, which was semi-sweet, not bad at all, but not our style, and the Marquette. The latest vintage of the semi-dry to dry Marquette was as good as we remembered, and we savored every sip as we sat around the quaint, nicely decorated tasting room. While every other wine at NVV was a modest $15/bottle, the Marquette was double that, making it among the pricier wines produced in the state. That being said, if it isnt the best red wine being made in Nebraska, its easily in the top five.
The lover of fancy tasting rooms in close proximity to their hotel need not inquire into NVV; off the beaten path would be an understatement. For the adventuresome, however, and for those who simply cant settle for anything less than the best, the trek to NVV and the chance to have their award-winning Marquette poured into your glass by those responsible for its creation is a worthwhile undertaking, and one wed strongly recommend.