Nissen Wine Review
Address: 88973 Hwy 57 Harrington,Nebraska 68739.
Phone Number: 402-254-3426
Tasting Hours: Sept 4-7: 10:00-6:00
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 6/6/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Just outside of Hartington in Nebraskas upper east corner, along Scenic Byway 12, better known as The Outlaw Trail, a somewhat grandiose new tasting room sits atop a hill, overlooking a lush green vineyard and several neighboring farms. Planted in 2003 and first opened in 2006, the Nissen Winery is the realization of a dream for the Nissen brothers, Tim and David. The new tasting room is open to the public, though the second story isnt quite finished yet. On a beautiful summer afternoon it didn’t much matter as we elected to sit out on the vast patio.
The grounds were attractive and relatively manicured. Our seats overlooked a rolling hillside planted with grapes, and across the way on another hilltop sat a pergola where weddings and other special events can be hosted in the serenity of a lush, green vineyard. The staff at Nissen were helpful, and we felt very fortunate that Tim Nissen happened to be around to chat with us. Tim takes great pride in his handcrafted wines, and we got the sense that he would happily sit and talk to anybody who expressed an interest in the hobby about which he is so passionate and knowledgeable.
Nissen offers six red wines, ranging from the sweet Roselyns Blush and Kid Wade rose to a full-bodied, dry Sam Bass that is made of Frontenac grapes and aged in French Oak. We found that the reds had more personality than many we have tried that were made of the same varieties, boasting flavors of smoke and earth in addition to the more fruit-forward style of winemaking often applied to the same grapes by less creative winemakers. We also enjoyed the Outlaw Trail theme, complete with perfect labeling, on the Kid Wade, Sam Bass, and also Jesse James, in addition to a sweet white wine called Doc Middleton.”
Aside from Doc, however, our experience with the white wine was somewhat less dynamic, probably because two of the five wines they were offering at the time were sold out. What we were able to try we enjoyed, though they certainly erred on the sweeter side of things, and probably wouldnt do much for a lover of traditional dry, old-world whites. Regardless, it was an enjoyable experience. As an added bonus, the tasting was free, and all of the wines were available for $15.00 per bottle.
Hartington, Nebraska, is a tiny hamlet that fails to appear on all but the most detailed of maps. Yet in spite of its size, the town boasts a wide variety of great experiences, from the Arlo and Anne Wirth Art Gallery to the Cedar County Historical Museum, and from dinner at the historic Argo Hotel to the beautiful views and delicious wines of the Nissen Winery. When you find yourself on the Outlaw Trail, be certain you stop in.