Sandager

Andrea and Greg Sandager with some of the 11,000 vines they planted at Rustic Roots Winery in Scandia. The business will open up to the public Saturday.

 

What began over a year ago will culminate Saturday for Andrea and Greg Sandager. 

Rustic Roots Winery will open up to the public that day, the latest business venture for the pair as they own Abrahamson’s Nursery as well. 

Rustic Roots Winery is located at 20168 St. Croix Trail in Scandia, which is located across the highway from Abrahamson’s Scandia location. 

The pair officially bought the farmland last July with the purposes of making it a winery. 

“We thought it’d be a great setting for a vineyard,” Greg said, with advisors from the University of Minnesota concurring, highlighting its exposure to the sun, the elevation and its drainage.

Along with personal interest, Andrea explained, community interest played a factor as well. 

“We thought having a winery would make Scandia more of a destination,” she said, highlighting its proximity to the Twin Cities area. 

The name bears significance as well. 

“I’ve spent my entire life in Scandia,” Greg explained. “We have roots in the area.  We both went to Forest Lake. 

Added Andrea: “The name fit with our feeling. We wanted a place where people could stay for awhile.” 

Last summer was preparation of the land for planting the 11,000 vines currently in the ground. This winter and summer have been about remodeling what was a residential home into a storefront. 

As of now, the business will feature nine varieties of wine – four white, four red and one rose in assorted sweet and dry flavors. 

COVID-19 guidelines have thrown a wrench into indoor seating, but the pair said there’s plenty of room to enjoy the wine along with local beers, hard cider and other non-alcoholic options on three patios. Or one is certainly welcome to bring a blanket and spread out on the property.  

As the calendar turns towards fall, also expect the food options to increase -- pizzas, flatbreads were among some of the possible choices. 

“We are going to let the business go as it grows,” Greg said. “It’ll depend on our guests.”

The pair also praised their experienced staff, some of who have worked in previous wineries, as it was their first venture into the winery business they wanted all the help they could get.  

Besides their staff, Greg and Andrea explained other area wineries (Dancing Dragonfly, Chateau St. Croix, etc.…) have been beneficial as well. 

“It’s about a collaborative effort,” Andrea said. “To make each other better and improve the industry as a whole. We want to show there can be good wineries in Minnesota and western Wisconsin and not just in California.” 

Expanding more on the collaboration, they said, with so many wineries so close to each other, possibilities might include wine trails or joining up for events. 

Reservations aren’t required, but feel free to call them at 651-433-3311 and availability can be answered.  They said tours aren’t available right now, but are on the horizon.  

Hours of operation will be 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays-Wednesdays and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. For more information, visit rusticroots.wine or call 651-433-3311.

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