All types of people – but especially Midwesterners – enjoy a solid winery experience. Vineyards embody peace and relaxation. The best of them have serene scenes of grapes and trees and offer a look at the craft of winemaking. Most importantly, there is wine – ideally, a lot of it, and all of it very good!

As summer winds down, autumn makes its entrance. Folks want to see the added touch of fall’s beauty transform these already beautiful locations.

Unfortunately, Omaha proper is a little light on the vineyards, and you must travel roughly 30 minutes at the minimum to reach any of them. But if you are willing to put in a little bit of drive time, you can try the best of wines and soak up these spectacular spots.

These ten wineries are top-notch and within a reasonable distance of Omaha and Lincoln. Commute safely, consume responsibly, and have a grand time!

SOARING WINGS
Soaring Wings opened in 2004 after owner Jim Shaw began construction in 2001 as a retirement project – it quickly became evident it was more like the start of a lucrative business. Found on Facebook page

Soaring Wings Vineyard

  • Wednesdays-Saturdays: 12-6 pm | Fridays: 12-9:30 pm | Sundays: 12-5 pm
  • 17111 S 138th St., Springfield, NE
  • (402) 253-2479

With a name like Soaring Wings, your expectations might fly a little high. But this winery, 20 years since first rooted in the soil, will meet them. Casual consumers and connoisseurs alike can appreciate this Springfield vineyard for its timeless atmosphere, award-winning drinks, and thoughtful service.

Roughly 30 minutes outside of Omaha, the vineyard sits amid gorgeous green pastures with a patio overlooking a river of hills. That view, along with reasonable prices and a wide selection of in-house beers and over 20 wines, is why Soaring Wings has won over 200 awards. Or maybe it’s lightning in a bottle.

And if you are in the market for a more-fun-for-your-buck winery experience, you are in luck. Live outdoor music happens here on Fridays and Sundays, featuring fantastic acoustics and performers. And the venue offers rental packages for events, including weddings, ranging in price from $200-$2000 per rental. No matter the seriousness of your visit, you will enjoy it!

CELLAR 426
Richard and Amy Hilske opened their dream project, Cellar 426, in 2012, and the vineyard has since become a popular Ashland attraction. Found on Facebook page

Cellar 426 Winery

  • Mondays-Thursdays: 1-7 p.m. | Fridays-Saturdays: 12-9 p.m. | Sundays: 12-6 p.m.
  • 1402 S 9th St, Ashland, NE
  • (402) 944-8109

The Cellar 426 Winery is the ideal vineyard for a meet-up between Omaha and Lincoln. This Ashland vineyard sits halfway between Nebraska’s two largest cities, and fans from both areas visit the award-winning winery for its serene location, vines, and wines.

Take the roughly 30-minute drive and find yourself in the beautiful wooded countryside, filled with acres of grapes to appreciate up close during a splendid afternoon stroll. Or you can kick back and absorb the recommended level of sunlight or sunset from the deck.

Fans of autumn will love this. As fall enters, enjoy the limited-time-only Caramel Apple Sangria Special, now until October 30th. You can even get it to go in a container! This somewhat sweet white wine with hints of apple, pear, and kiwi flavors tastes ripe and calming. The best part? A bottle is only $16.

DEER SPRINGS
The Deer Springs Winery was certified by the 18th president Ulysses S. Grant 145 years ago. Found on Facebook page

Deer Springs Winery

  • Wednesdays-Saturdays 1-9 pm | Sundays 1-6 pm
  • 16255 Adams St., Lincoln, NE
  • (402) 327-8738

Deer Springs Winery is perfect if you live in Lincoln and worth the roughly 50-minute drive from Omaha if you do not. The relaxing vineyard provides award-winning wine and a peaceful shady atmosphere, perfect for kicking back this fall and through any season, even the sad, wintery ones!

The dashes of modern renovation bring the best out of the original architecture in this 145-year-old homestead property. The shaded trees and outside seating will make for a relaxing and peaceful glass of wine under the best aesthetic circumstances. It makes for a great place to read, study, or create.

Finally, you might need to try some of the housemade, award-winning red wines while you are here. That includes the rich, ripe and clove-tinged Big Buck Red and the 2018 Marquette, a complex dry-tasting varietal with black currant, cherry, black pepper, and spice.

DITMARS
Please feed the goats only the approved food bags. Found on Facebook page

Ditmars Orchard and Vineyard

  • 19475 225th St, Council Bluffs, IA 
  • Tuesdays-Saturdays 10 am – 6 pm | Sundays 11 am – 5 pm
  • (712) 256-7053

Ditmars Orchard sits only 30 minutes away from Omaha, making it a logical choice for wine lovers in this town. But those in Lincoln may find themselves driving the hour-plus to Council Bluffs to see what this autumn-styled vineyard, which began as a family project and is now one of the most successful and spacious orchards in Iowa. Let that be a lesson: follow your passions!

Ditmars may be one of the best places to buy apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, pumpkins, strawberries throughout the seasons – ask our loyal fruit customers. Each bite you take into one of these juicy and succulent goods of the Earth will have you coming back for more!

Lastly, the venue satisfies a diverse audience, including wine enthusiasts and families looking for fun during the changing seasons. Enjoy a delicious flight, glass, or bottle of wine, or sip on the seasonal apple cider, which tastes fantastic alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Either will be delicious! And If you have little ones, the kids will love the animals in the petting zoo area and the pumpkin patch, perfect for the fall.

BODEGA
Founder Doug Grave lived in Spain before opening Bodega Victoriana, and it was there he discovered his love for winemaking. Found on Facebook page

Bodega Victoriana Winery and Wedding Barn

  • Wednesdays-Thursdays 12-8 pm | Fridays-Saturdays 12-5 pm | Sundays 12-6 pm
  • 60397 Kidd Rd, Glenwood, IA
  • (402) 618-3640

Another Iowa vineyard you should know about is Bodega Victoriana Winery and Wedding Barn, which sits about 30 minutes outside of Omaha and a little over an hour away from Lincoln. As the most spacious vineyard in Western Iowa, it is a solid place to kick back and sip wine, eat fine snack cuisines, and even get married.

Here in the Loess Hills of Western Iowa, you will find a 100-year-old barn, the perfect vintage wedding venue known for its lovely atmosphere. And for those visiting casually, the vineyard and the acre-wide pond make for a quiet outdoor experience.

The wine connoisseurs will especially enjoy Spanish-inspired wines made of grapes grown right here in Western Iowa. And for those who love to munch, you are in luck. While you sip, try some of our delicious charcuterie, salmon, and cheese boards, which go perfectly with groups of two and four people.

KIMMEL ORCHARD
The Kimmel Orchard has been around for 100 years, officially beginning when the Kimmel family planted apple and cherry trees. Found on Facebook page

Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard Educational Foundation

  • Wednesdays-Saturdays: 9 am – 5 pm| Sundays 11 am – 5 pm
  • 5995 G Rd, Nebraska City, NE
  • (402) 873-5293

The Kimmel Orchard sits 40 minutes away from Omaha and an hour away from Lincoln, well worth the drive. The 98-acre location features a top-notch winery and an agricultural experience that is fun for the entire family.

In the wine-tasting area, enjoy the wide-ranging selection of Kimmel Orchard wines and tasty nonalcoholic slushies. You can purchase delicious fruits like apples, pumpkins, and Asian pears grown in the orchard and flavorful salsas and barbecue sauces to take home with you.

Give the foundation a call to see what fruits are in season, then go on a U-Pick session on a Saturday or Sunday. You and the family can have fun picking your favorite delicious fresh fruits and connect them to the process of making wine. Then go for a walk on the Tree Dome Nature Trail, which combines education with walking and beautiful sights.

SLATTERY VINTAGE ESTATES
The fire-cooked pizzas are a big hit among loyal visitors here at the Nehawka located Slattery Vintage Estates. Found on Facebook page

Slattery Vintage Estates

  • Thursdays: 4-8 pm | Fridays and Saturdays: 1-8 pm | Sundays 1-6 pm
  • 8925 Adams St, Nehawka, NE 68413
  • (402) 267-5267

Nestled deep in the hills of Nehawka, Slattery Vintage Estates lies roughly 40 minutes away from Omaha and Lincoln. And while this vineyard does not make wine of its own, it still offers a genuine winery experience filled with serene tastes and scenery. You can even spend the night if you want and book ahead of time. 

If you want to visit Slattery Vintage Estates, there is an excellent selection of Nebraskan wines and delicious local beers for you to taste. The vineyard also cooks tasty cuisines, including fire-cooked pizzas, which many loyal customers consider essential to try.

Then there is the enticing overnight option. For those who choose to book a night at the vineyard, you will be sleeping in a classy bungalow and experience the best in glamping (glamorous camping).

Lastly, you can also rent out the tasting room or Heritage Hall for your non-wedding events at $75 an hour for a minimum of three hours. For weddings, prices vary depending on what you want, what season gets picked, and what day of the week, among other factors.

JUNTO WINE
Junto Wine is a prominent supporter of wine and physical activity, which is why they are sponsoring a five-kilometer run on the second Sunday of October. Found on Facebook page

Junto Wine

  • Fridays-Saturdays: 12-9 pm | Sundays: 12-6 pm
  • 1356 182nd Street, Seward, NE
  • (402) 646-0515

You will find Junto Wine roughly one hour out of Omaha and just 20 minutes outside of Lincoln, tucked away in the Garland Hills amid a sea of trees. This vineyard boasts breathtaking beauty as it sits on what was once an ancient glacier – a hypnotizing experience when mixed with fan-favorite wines.

And, amazingly enough, Junto also serves stunning sangria (good sangria is a rarity) among other spectacular wines made on-site. If you want to know how it’s made, schedule a tasting and check it out any day of the week. It is $20 per person for a 45-minute tour, including choice wine tasting selections and, depending on availability, time with either the owner or winemaker. 

This prehistorically connected Seward vineyard even offers an outlet for walking and competitive running. The hiking trail stays open from sunrise to sunset all week long, and Junto will host an annual five-kilometer Fun Run on Sunday October 10, 2021. Come, test your running skills, then buy a bottle of sangria to take home and hopefully celebrate your win!

JAMES ARTHUR
The James Arthur Vineyards opened in 1996, pairing its beautiful Raymond, Nebraska setting with a thoughtful approach to winemaking.  Found on Facebook page

James Arthur Vineyards

  • Mondays-Thursdays: 10 am – 6 pm | Fridays-Saturdays: 12-9 pm | Sundays: 12-6 pm
  • 2001 W Raymond Rd, Raymond, NE
  • (402) 783-5255

Roughly one hour from Omaha and twenty minutes outside Lincoln, James Arthur Vineyards sits majestically, nestled over our state’s beautiful prairies. Here, you can explore the vines up close, sit under a shaded deck beside a flowing waterfall, then take a walk to the hilltop to look out at hundreds of beautiful acres of grasslands. Yes, you get this picturesque perfection as you sip your superb wine. 

When you enter James Arthur Vineyards, take your first swing at their selection of homemade wines by sampling some of them. Do this with the cozy fireplaces at your feet while munching on delicious snacks for the best results. And if you share an interest in winemaking – an ancient art, almost as old as mead-making – you can look at the behind-the-scenes production in the barrel rooms. 

This winery will also regularly host events through the fall, with six dates in October alone, including their popular Haunted Hayrack Ride series. So, if you are looking for the best way to spend your fall and if you enjoy wine and spooky stuff, visiting James Arthur Vineyards is a no-brainer.

PRAIRIE CROSSING
The Prairie Crossing tasting room is open year-round. Found on Facebook page

Prairie Crossing Vineyard & Winery

  • Wednesdays: 12-7 pm | Thursdays-Saturdays: 10 am – 7 pm | Sundays: 12-6 pm
  • 31506 Pioneer Trail, Treynor, IA
  • (712) 487-3812

Prairie Crossing Vineyard is about 30 minutes away from Omaha and over an hour away from Lincoln. But Lincoln people, it might be worthwhile: the vineyard sports a relaxing setting, face-to-face experience with the vines, a chill patio setting and, of course, award-winning wine.

Check out any of their excellent wines, including the Prairie Rose, semi-sweet red wine with a tinge of raspberry and pomegranate. They note it pairs excellently with barbecue-type foods.

And to soften the blow that fall is already upon us, Prairie Crossing is extending summer a little bit, with the summer hours running until October 31st. Once November hits, the vineyard will go to a weekend-only schedule, so live it up five days a week while you can!

Finally, if you are interested in a glamorous wedding or entertaining party, Prairie Crossing will not disappoint as a venue. Fill out a form online or call to get more in-depth information on your next event. They won the 2019 WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award, after all!


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