Wine & Cider Sipping in Small Town Nebraska

My husband and I don’t get much alone time. Our days are usually spent rushing to get the kids and ourselves ready in the mornings, working long days, only to come home to dogs that need walked, kids that need fed, and a home that needs cleaned.

Twice this year now, we’ve chosen to use one of our vacation days to have a day date. The bonus here: We don’t have to pay extra for a babysitter like we would on the weekends, and it feels like we’re playing hooky from the rest of the world.

So for our fall Friday date, we decided to go wine and cider sipping in the small town of Ashland, Nebraska. It’s situated right between the state’s two biggest cities- Omaha and Lincoln.

So quick back story on why I chose Ashland. I was at my friend Midwest Essentials house and she had these cans of Glacial Till Hibiscus Ginger Cider. You guys, it was amazing and at the time I had no idea it was Nebraska-made. So when I was searching for places to wine taste and saw Glacial Till come up, I was pumped!

Cider Flight: $7
Flavors left to right: Original (tastes like green apples!) hibiscus ginger, honey lavender, and dry.

Let’s start with ambiance. First off, the space is large. Two floors, plus a rooftop patio. As you can see there’s a rustic industrial vibe at play. The service was great. We had a wonderful woman who was outgoing and knowledgeable. My husband did the wine tasting while I came to try all the ciders!

Wine flight-$7 for 5 flavors

As far as the wines go, they were alright. Nothing exceptional, except for maybe their Prairie Fire port- a dessert wine served with chocolate.

While I already knew I loved the hibiscus ginger (the pink one), I also loved the original. It tastes like green apples. Each cider just bursts with flavor. The dry was my least favorite- but it was still very good. My new favorite though? The honey lavender! I can’t even explain how smooth, calming, and delicious it is! We were also lucky enough to try their seasonal cider- caramel apple. They tapped the first keg of it while we were there and gave us a taste! I ended up buying a growler of it and a growler of honey lavender to take home.

Cellar 426

Being from Michigan, wine tasting in Traverse City is a fall pastime. I doubt many other states (with the exception of California and maybe New York) will live up to the beauty and perfection of the wine tasting along Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas, but Cellar 426 was at least reminiscent of it.

The beautiful view off the back patio

At Cellar 426, you’ll find a wide variety of red and white wines as well as some sangrias. Josh mostly stuck with dry reds while I tried the semi sweet whites and sweet reds.

Cheers to Cellar 426’s delicious cherry wine!

We ordered the cheese and salami board. The cheeses were delicious! The stuffed olives were amazing. The chocolate-covered almonds and apricots went so well with their cherry wine! We bought a bottle to take home.

We sat and enjoyed the view as the breeze blew through. We talked and connected. November will mark 7 years of being married (holy hell how did that happen) and it’s admittedly hard sometimes to find something new to talk about or laugh at. Days like these help refresh our relationship.

After finishing up our wine and snacks, we took a walk around the property.

It’s an interesting mix of farm, vineyard, and even spruce trees. At one point I said, “I wonder if this is also a Christmas tree farm?” Josh cracked up saying they would be some damn big Christmas trees 😂

It was good to laugh and make new jokes together. Something two souls who were both voted class clown in high school desperately need!

We will definitely be back to visit both. It was also great to see children during both stops. Sometime we will bring the kids back to run through the vineyards while we taste some wines and stop at Glacial Till to refill my growlers!

All in all, it was a near-perfect day together. Soon, I’d like to check out two other wineries that are closer to Lincoln. James Arthur Vineyards and Windcrest Winery. If you’ve ever visited those, or know of any other wineries in eastern Nebraska or Western Iowa, I’d love to hear about them. Drop me a line in the comments or visit my Instagram account:

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