A humble countryside winery set in the Vermilion River Watershed, Vermilion Valley Vineyards prides itself on valuing its roots — or rather, its vines.
“We take wine seriously, but we’re not pretentious,” says Joe Juniper, co-owner and wine maker at Vermilion Valley Vineyards. “We follow sustainable practices, and how we operate ultimately comes back to the land.”
While Vermilion Valley Vineyards is an estate winery that boasts more than a dozen wine selections, Juniper zeroes in on three bottles on which the winery hangs its hat.
A medium- to full-bodied dry wine featuring soft tannins, the Cabernet Franc leans to the savory side with an herbal, perfume-y style. It can be paired with a ribeye strip steak, a pork tenderloin or even a salmon dish not usually associated with red wine.
A robust and spicier wine, the Pinot Noir is a dry red that brings up hints of crushed red pepper flakes, violet, overripe strawberries, coarse tannins and salty prosciutto. A perfect parallel to pork, this wine pairs wonderfully with barbecue.
A dry white wine with a big palate weight, the Pinot Gris is bright and earthy with hints of the rind of honeydew melon, green tomato, bright acidity and more. Because it is so robust, it pairs well with chicken and vegetables such as beets and Brussels sprouts.